Your Dog Hates Their Crate - What To Do
Pet Behavioral Problems

Your Dog Hates Their Crate – What To Do

Does your dog suddenly hate their crate? Are you unsure what you can do to fix this? Don’t worry, you have come to the right place!

It is super frustrating when your dog suddenly hates their crate. Sure, you have made it cozy for them with blankets, a bed, and their favorite toy, but now to them, it looks like a metal cage of hell.

You want your dog to have its own space, whether it is for them to sleep, relax, or simply go when you are out of the house, but now attempting to get them in there is an ordeal.

Frustrated and disappointed, you don’t know what to try next. You wonder if your dog will ever use their crate again.

Well, no more! Today, we are here with the answers you need! Keep reading to find out why your dog hates their crate and how you can change it!

We have a list of the most common reasons your dog hates their crate and how you can fix it!

Why Your Dog Hates Their Crate – Problems And Solutions

Below we have a list of the most common reasons why your dog might hate their crate. This will help you understand what’s going on, and with our solutions, you can rectify the issue! Let’s dive straight into it.

Your Dog Hates Their Crate - What To Do

Change Of Environment

One of the most common reasons is a change of environment. Dogs love routine, and even the smallest change can stress them out!

If their crate has moved or their pillow and blanket have been washed? While these changes are normal for us, they can stress a dog out and put them off going into their cage!

Solution

To fix this, simply move the cage back to where it was, if possible.

You can also place something in the cage like a toy that hasn’t been washed. This will have the familiar scent on and entice the dog back into their cage.

If you aren’t able to revert your changes, you will need to wait it out. Despite hating change, dogs adapt pretty quickly.

Entice your dog into their crate with a treat or chewy and don’t react to any crying. Pretty soon, they will get used to their cage again!

Over-Crating

Over-crating is another common cause. If your dog spends a lot of time in their cage, especially when you are out, they might be bored or have a negative feeling towards the cage. It can start to feel like a prison, rather than a relaxing space!

Solution

There are two things you can try here. The first is to make sure your dog is having a lot of exercise. This way, they will sleep in the cage more, rather than sit in there bored.

Make sure that your dog is having a walk before spending an extended period of time in the crate, and ensure there is lots of fuss and playtime afterwards!

You can also try to transition your dog from the crate to a small room when you are out of the house.

Opt for a room that can be closed off, without too many things that could be destroyed!

This could be your kitchen or hallway, where your dog can stretch and enjoy a change of scenery. Just make sure they have everything they need here!

Negative Association

If you use your crate as a punishment, then your dog can develop a negative association with it. The crate will become an uncomfortable and bad place, rather than a relaxing den.

Solution

To fix this, do not use the crate as punishment. You might need to restart your crate training if this is the case. Or, you can look for trigger points.

Is it that your dog doesn’t like the door closed? Or do you need to entice them with some treats? Observe your dog and you can create a plan to re-ignite the love for their cage!

Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety can be a real problem for dogs, especially if they are always near you when they are in their crate.

If your dog doesn’t want to be in their crate as soon as you leave the room or house, it’s a good indicator of separation anxiety.

Solution

It’s a tricky one to solve, and we recommend seeking professional help. It might take a while, but by tackling this problem properly, you can achieve long-term success.

Other Animals

If other animals have gone in the cage, they will have left their scent behind. Dogs have super sensitive noses, even a slight change in smells can throw dogs off!

If you don’t have other pets in the house full-time, this will be even worse. It’s like you finding a stranger sleeping in your bed!

Solution

This is one of the easiest issues to fix. Simply wash everything thoroughly and add some of your dog’s toys to the crate. They will recognize this smell and will be more likely to return.

Conditioned Behavior

Your dog might be trying to test boundaries, and be looking for attention/ if they refused to go in their crate and got attention, then they will continue to do this for more attention.

Quickly, this becomes conditioned behavior where your dog is seeking more attention from you.

Solution

You will need to counter condition this behavior. Focus on rewarding the calm and quiet behavior when they are in the crate, rather than giving them attention when they refuse to go in.

Smells

Similar to our earlier point, other smells can put your dog off their crate. If they have been sick there or had an accident, that smell will linger!

Solution

Check the crate regularly for any accidents and wash the bed thoroughly. You will want to frequently wash their bed and any blankets in there.

Make sure you add a toy to the bed with their scent so they aren’t put off by clean and fresh smelling bedding!

Pain

Your dog might be finding their crate painful or uncomfortable, and won’t want to be in there relaxing.

Solution

Check the crate for any metal bars sticking out, or anything that could be painful. You might want to purchase a thicker dog bed, and add a pillow, or a blanket to make them more comfortable.

Make sure that the crate is still the appropriate size for your dog. The crate they had as a puppy might be too snug for them now!

Final Thoughts

And there you have it, the most common reasons why your dog might hate their crate and how you can fix these issues!

Make sure you are checking the crate regularly to remove any painful objects and keep the bedding clean. Within time, your dog is sure to love its crate again!