I had an issue with my black lab Noah this morning, and need some guidance. He just turned a year old, and we have had him crate trained since we got him at 4 months. For the most part, he does not mind his crate. If he sees his Kong, he runs right in there waiting for it. There have been days here and there where he did not want to go in, but for the most part, he likes it. Our goal is to be able to eventually let him have run of the house, or most of it, at least. Today, I left him in the kitchen free to roam, with a baby gate up to keep him out of the rest of the house, and the basement door was closed. I left for work at 8, and went home at 12 to see how he did. Well, he destroyed the kitchen door. He scratched at it so bad that not only is the paint off, but there are shreds and splinters of wood everywhere! I was half expecting to find his nails torn off of his paws. I let him out and he had a major case of diarrhea, which I believe is from all of his anxiety.
Noah has always loved going into his crate, but now, all of a sudden, he is hesitant about going in there. I "bribe" him with his Kong, and he will go in, but it takes some coaxing on our part. before he would just run in and wait for us to give him his Kong. Is this just a stage he is going through? I leave the radio on for him to keep him comfortable, and when i came home the other day, he had peed in his crate, something he has not done in a long time.
Have others gone through this?* I really do not want to crate him for the rest of his life, but I don’t know if this was just a first time experience, or will it get worse if we try to do it again? I really hope to hear from others who may be able to help me out.
separation anxiety can be misdiagnoised.* often times simple boredom causes the dog to misbehave when home alone.
here is an article that may help you determine if your dog truly has this problem:
"Properly trained, a man can be dog's best friend." ~ Corey Ford
you said he suddenly got hesitant about going into his crate...Is it possible something got in there while you guys were gone and he felt trapped and spooked and so now is unwilling to go in there?
Has he peed in his crate only that one time? or has he done it since?
I was told if your housebroken crate trained pup suddenly starts having accidents frequently it could mean something is up...they might not be feeling well.
I don't mean to alarm you or anything. Just thought I'd share what I have been told.
I am sure the other more knowledgabe people on here will have some better insight...
<3 01/01/2006-03/18/2017 <3
he did have a few accidents in the past month, but when i spoke to the vet about it, they felt it could have been because of a shot they gave him for allergies that contained steroids, and that it would make him drink allot more and pee more, so i just chalked it up to the meds.
That was my first thought.separation anxiety can be misdiagnoised. often times simple boredom causes the dog to misbehave when home alone.
It sounds as though he was just a little confused about being left out of the crate for the first time. Sometimes dogs can become so set on routine that any change can make them anxious/destructive/etc.
My suggestion would be to continue to crate him but SLOWLY transition him from crate to kitchen. By "slowly" I mean start leaving him loose for 10 minutes, then 20, then 30 and so on until he is reliable. If he doesn't handle change well you can help break him out of it. Feed at different times every day, walk him at different times, play with him at different times, etc. etc., and keep him guessing. Routine is essential for a puppy but it is not essential (at least not IMO) for an adult dog. My dogs for example KNOW they will get walked 2-3 times a day, KNOW they get fed twice a day, accept that I may leave at any time and so on but they don't know WHEN. Breaking routine is a good thing...it makes them more adaptable.
thanks for the replys. i thought that maybe it was too much too soon as well. we are going to start slowly this weekend and see how it goes from there.