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Hates Crate, Skittishness/separation Anxiety Ongoing...

Guest CitosHooman

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Guest CitosHooman

Hi all. We've had our new greybaby since October 20th. He's so curious, such a good doggo! He's a little bit of a spook, and I can certainly relate to that. Our guy went from loving his crate/never leaving it when he initially arrived - to hating his crate (as of two days ago). He will RUN if he even *thinks* he might be crated. Any forced redirection towards the crate means him shaking and cowering. So we're following his lead.

I've thrown kongs in there. Amazing, multiple treats that he loves in order to invite him in. He'll sniff, but have his butt out just far enough while looking over his shoulder so that he knows he won't have the door shut behind him. Sometimes he doesn't care at all that they're in there.

Not a big problem, and we'd be happy to let him stay out since he's such a well behaved doggo. The only issue is is that he has separation anxiety (that may explain why he hates being crated - he associates it with us going away). We have a camera set-up to see how he does when we are away. When he is crated, he howls/whimpers for about 10 minutes, and then he relaxes and goes to sleep. Today, he was uncrated while we were away at work, and he howled on/off for about 5 hours. Even when we first got him and he was crated, he never howled for this long. But since he was able to move around today... he's very preceptive to outside sounds so whenever he heard something he would think it was us... go to investigate, realize it wasn't... and the howling would start again.

Feeling a little frustrated. His skittishness was getting better but is now getting a little worse. He was making progress, it seemed, with his separation anxiety but now he hates his crate, and is even more distressed when he's outside it. Any tips? Is medication our route?

Edited by CitosHooman
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When you left him uncrated could he still get into his crate if he wanted to?


I have a crate for my Grace but I only shut her in it for the first night. Since then I have left the door open so she can go in and out as needed. It's her safe place and doesn't get disturbed if she's in there.


It's still early days yet and could be several months until he settles down to his new life.

Grace (Ardera Coleen) b. 18 June 2014 - Gotcha Day 10 June 2018 - Going grey gracefully
Guinness (Antigua Rum) b. 3 September 2017 - Gotcha Day 18 March 2022 - A gentleman most of the time


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Him sleeping in a crate in the beginning does not mean he is crate trained. Could have been "zombie mode" also.


Our new boy (moved in Oct. 27th) slowly starts to show differnt behaviour, likes and dislikes about 3 weeks after moving in. This still is not his true self.


Beeing left alone (with dog company) worked during the first weeks for like two hours. Now! he starts howling.


It is a process. It takes time, patience and some humour.


Especially for a single dog being left alone is not an easy thing.


I believe in calming down myself, not calming down the dog via medication. What you describe does not sound like real hardcore SA, but a dog, that needs time, routines, trust and some more basic experience what it means to live together with humans thathave to leave him sometimes.


Smaller steps might help.

Edited by Rakete
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You may need to retrain him to the crate. Serve meals in there, maybe give him a good chew while you are home (leave the door open initially) - make it a happy place and try to break the association with you leaving. But don't force the issue. You can certainly try something like l-theanine or melatonin to see if one or both might help. Most importantly, you need to work on actual alone training though. Have you done that yet? Dr. Patricia McConnell's I'll Be Home Soon is a great place to start. It's short, inexpensive, and packed with great info. If he gets worse or isn't otherwise making progress, you should consult with a rewards based trainer or veterinary behaviorist. The behaviorist can also give you advice concerning prescription anti-anxiety medications, if needed. Or talk to your reg vet, too. :)

Edited by turbotaina

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