Why does my dog hate being crated?

We adopted a rescue dog from the humane society and purchased a wire crate for her. She absolutely hates getting in the kennel and being in it no matter what we do. We entice her with treats and put a comfortable bed in there with her. She actually was able to get out of the kennel a couple of times. After seeing how she acted outside of the kennel when we were gone, we decided to leave her out of the kennel. It was nice for about a week and she didnt do anything wrong until last night. She tore up a few things in the house, but nothing really expensive. I decided to start putting her in the kennel again because of this. We went to the store for a couple hours earlier today and came back to find her in the kennel but she tore up the plastic flooring and banged up the cage pretty bad. She is a 35-40 lb lab mix. How can I get her to like the kennel or stop her from tearing stuff up in the house?
thanks for all the answers. for the most part, these things have been tried. the crate has a soft bed in the bottom and a blanket (she tore up both). she has tons of chew toys around the house. she is never forced in and actually made a little progress the other day. my wife tried one of the ideas of just repeating going in the kennel and back out and receiving treats for it. she did alright but seemed to have forgotten it by the next day.

once again, thanks for all the answers. we are leaving her out now and she has not done anything bad yet. *crossing fingers* =)

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  • wolfeblayde

    The wire crate may be the problem. Try a plastic Pet Porter type crate instead. The reason for this is because the wire crate is open and may make her feel vulnerable. The enclosed plastic crate is more like a "den," which tends to make the dog feel more secure.

    Here’s how I’ve crate trained several dogs in less than a day. (It will probably take longer for some dogs, especially those who have been abused.) Start by tossing a treat in the kennel and leaving the door open. When the dog retrieves the treat, praise her. Continue to do this at intervals until she’s comfortable going in and out of the crate.

    Then toss a treat in, and close the door after her for a short period of time — a minute or two, tops. Repeat this at intervals throughout the day, increasing the time slightly.

    Finally, close the crate door and leave it shut while you work around the house. If the dog howls or causes a problem, ignore it. If you scold her, you’re giving her attention (even negative attention), and that’s what she wants.

    When you leave for the first time after training, put the TV or radio on low to keep her company and help with the anxiety. Hopefully, she’ll get the idea quickly that the kennel is a fun, safe place to be, and you can leave without fear of coming home to a mess or worse.


    Dogs are like wolves in that they like a safe den of their own. In my opinion, failure to keep a pet safe constitutes far more serious "animal abuse" than vet and trainer-approved crating.

    When an owner can’t be with the dog (and no one can stay home 24/7 with an animal), the responsible thing to do is make sure that the dog can’t harm itself by eating something spoiled or dangerous, swallowing something that could choke it or pierce an intestine, or chewing on a live electrical cord.

    I applaud the owner of this dog for recognizing that there is a problem and asking for help.

  • feline

    my dog didnt like it either for a long time, then finally she realized that im not giving in to her when I leave. So she dont mind it as much now.

  • Rhonda

    You don’t know what she experienced before she was rescued. My guess is that she was abused. She is letting you know that she hates being caged, so find another kinder alternative, for her sake and yours. How would you like to be caged all day long?

    I suggest you train her with the help of a professional. Good luck.

  • Nicole W

    We’ve had labs for eight years now. Labs hate small spaces, and prefer large areas to run around and play in. They need lots of love and kindness, and no undeserved punishment. Just get mad at them, scold them and they won’t do it again. They are extremely intelligent and can think when they should or should not do something. She might have been closed up in a small space for a long time, then decided that she hates it and fights back. Play fetch with her or take her for a walk, tire her out a bit and let her go into the kennel on her own time, leave the kennel open. Put a nice blanket in there for her. DO NOT try to lure her in with treats, she’s too smart for that. She won’t trust you. Have a great time with her, labs are great. Later.

  • t64btlfan

    why does your dog hate being crated? wouldn’t you hate being locked in a crate? I know I would. I realized she is ruining things when she is out I would suggest a leash but she would probably just rip that also. All you can do is train her positively. Leave her alone brief periods at a time and when she does not tear something up praise her praise her praise her she will evenutally get the message

  • ravin_lunatic

    I would report you for animal abuse. You put your dog in a box, which you call a ‘kennel’, because you are too damned lazy to train him and walk him and teach him to behave. THAT IS SICK! Have you EVER heard of the Dog Whisperer? Cesar Milan. Check him out.

    I just cannot understand people who want a dog and then box them up or tie them in the back yard. They are social pack animals and HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE SHUT IN THE CLOSET FOR JUST A FEW HOURS??? FOR CUSSING? OR FARTING? OR ANY OTHER UNMANNERLY THING YOU DO????

  • Gizmo

    She’ll get used to it. Give her a treat when you put her in…

  • surroundedbyidiots

    Wolfblayde is right, my dogs hated the wire crates. They tore them apart whenever I left them in those. But once I got the plastic ones, I never had anymore problems. It’s rare that I have to put my dogs in their kennels, but when I do they all go in willingly now. I even have a few who will go in their kennels even when they don’t have to, they like to nap in there.
    It sounds like she may also have some separation anxiety going on due to the abuse/abandonment in her past. Talk to your vet about getting some medication that will help her. While she is on the meds, hire a professional trainer to work with her.
    Good luck!

  • kitten

    the owner before you may have kept her in a crate all of the time. one thing you could do to stop her from tearing up things is to go to a pet store or even walmart buy some sour apple pet spray.spray it on the things that she might chew on. it tastes really bad to dogs and cats.this should stop her from chewing on things.

  • sexy babe

    The number one cause of inappropriate chewing when you are not home is boredom.

    At the very least, provide your dogs with good toys to amuse themselves. Many toys can be stuffed with peanut butter or other dog treats. This gives the dog something appropriate to do when you are not around. Another tip is to keep the television or the radio on. Talk radio is thought to be better than music and is soothing to most dogs. Nothing though, can replace human interaction, not even a second dog, which is not a good idea if you don’t even have time for the first one.

  • dawggurl47

    It’s probablly because you just got her and she is testing her dominance. If you decide to crate train do it and be firm. The first few time she will cry and throw her tantrums and such but just ignore it, act like you don’t hear it and she will evetually get used to it. My dog is crate trained and she loves it now. Its like her little house, we keep it in the living room so she can still be with us and when she get’s tired she walks right into it and goes to sleep. Don’t let people make you think it’s cruel. It’s best to have your dog crate trained especially if you take alot of trips. Just remember not to give into her.

  • *The Coolest Loser Ever*

    her problem with kennels may be linked to her past. Meybe she was locked in a crate for hours and hours, in baking heat and hypthermia-cold, and she is thinking "NO! thats not going to happen AGAIN." DO NOT, whatever you do, force her into a crate. Instead, baby-gate a nice size area, preferably a living room. Pick up all small items she may chew or knock of, and spray ‘Bitter-Yuck’ on all large items. Give her a comfy bed, lots of stimulating toys (Try giving her a tennis ball, a squeaky toy, a stuffed toy, and rope toy)and she will be happy.

  • allpetsradio

    Try to get some sort of blanket and put it in the crate. Also, try to make the dog feel that the crate is not a bad thing. Make it a place of rescue not discipline.

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