I have a 1 year old black lab. A few days ago I got him his first crate, a large plastic one (used for flying), as I will be moving with him in a few months. I wanted him to get used to the crate and start to love it before the move. The problem is that he will not, for any reason enter the crate. He has always been a little scared when it comes to strange noises, and enclosed spaces but has quickly gotten over it when I put out a treat in the closed area or I show him that the noise isn't something to be scared of. Ive read about every tip for getting ones dog used to a crate (putting in a treat, feeding him inside the crate,toys,blankets,his bed,and even peanut butter on the back wall), but nothing works. He is usually so easy to train and picks things up fast (also extremely food motivated), so I'm finding it unusual that he is so scared to go in.
I've tried to pin point what the problem is and I can't figure it out. I've taken the top of of the crate, he still wouldnt enter. Ive moved the crate around when he was near and have tapped the crate, and its not the noise thats scaring him Right now I have his toys sitting in in (top back on) but have removed the door. He won't even go near the crate.
Any ideas on what the problem is or tips that will help my little guy go into his crate?
It just may take him awhile. It took tank a long time to get used to his crate( a week before he would step in a few weeks before be comfortable in it). I would take the top off and just let him get used to it. Then after 3 days or so put his food in it. If he is hungry enough he will go in to eat it. Does he have a favorite toy or treat? If so I would put that in there and he has to reach in to grab it. Keep doing that for about a week or two(depending on how long it takes him to be comfortable with it). Then put the top back on. If he gets scared because of the top start the process over again.
- Others may have better advice.
~It doesn't matter how smart the dog is,it matters how smart the owner is.
It will probably take longer to train an adult to like a crate than if you had just done it as a puppy.
Thanks for the advice. I originally wanted to crate train him when he was a puppy. It's illegal where I live to have doors closed on the crates when at home/away so decided against getting a small one and thought I'd wait to get a big one for when the time to move came. Now I'm wishing I got one before!
I posted on your thread on the other board - have you tried throwing something SUPER high value (think steak, stinky cheese, ham, etc.) and leaving the area to give the dog space. If that doesn't work start smaller. Put his food bowl OUTSIDE but near the crate at feeding time. When that works, slowly move it so it touches the entrance of the crate, then slowly move it so it is just a bit in the crate then eventually, little by little, inside the crate and then deeper in there. This could take 2-3 weeks, don't rush it. You can do this AND randomly use high value treats the same way (if the dog won't go in, then leave them just outside at first, then just on the inside of the crate).
Always back away from the crate to allow the dog space to go in without you crowding them even if it takes them a few minutes.
Charlie (foster) and Rocky
Charlie (foster) and Rocky
I'm in Sweden. The laws on pets here are very strict. I am originally from the US and was so worried that my dog would destroy my apartment here if he wasn't crated. But Swedish law also prohibits being away from your pet for more than 4 hours at a time, so he hasn't really gotten the chance to be too destructive (except for the chewing of drywall, destroying over 2000$ worth of textbooks,and the occasional biting of the coffee table- ha!).
I got my dog when she was about a year old. At first I had to lift her into the crate until my vet told me to feed her in there. I did this and she goes in without any problem at all. I also always give her a treat when she goes in so she doesn't think this is a bad place. Always leave the door open. Now she goes in here and just lays down because she knows this is "her space." Good luck.
In memory of Morgan Marie. January 1996 to August 2009
This is Sofie Ann