Our B has been having issues staying in her crate at night. LIke most B's she struggled with early crate training, but eventually came to love sleeping in there at night. It is very comfortable, with a soft cushion on the bottom, tons of blankets to lay on/in, food, water and toys. The crate is covered at night with a blanket to keep it dark. When she comes in from doing her last business of the night she usually walks right into the crate and stays there quietly until morning. Most mornings when we open the door to the crate she will stay in there for 30-minutes- 2 hours before coming out and doing a big stretch. That's the way its been for the last 4-years, no sleeping issues.
About 2-weeks ago she started screaming and beating on the crate to get out at about 4:00 AM so we jumped up and threw here outside thinking she had to do business or might be sick. She wouldn't go out and was wandering around hysterically whining for no apparent reason. We checked her bed and found nothing in there and checked her for ticks, a common problem where we live, and nothing. We let her sleep out the rest of the morning and she was asleep till 9:00 AM.
The next night and every night since she has done the same thing. Knowing she doesn't have to go out we have let her stay in there and cry hoping she will eventually give up, but she does not. She has chewed all the blankets on her bed and shredded them, even pulling blankets outside the crate in there to shred. When we let her out she is hysterical for about an hour and then ultimately crashes and sleeps for 4-5 hours.
We tried moving her crate into another room to see if that would help, it did not. We tried a smaller crate and that did not help either. We turned up the heat thinking she was cold, put a sweater on her but still hysterics at 3:30-4:30 each morning. We thought perhaps she was not getting enough exercise so over the weekend she went for 3-walks each day, went for two 4-mile runs and every time she went to lay down we would wake her up and make her play, but no change.
If we let her sleep out of the crate she is fine, but at some point during the evening will wake up and try to find us and we have a house rule of no dogs in our master bedroom or closet. I get that many will say just let her sleep with you, but my house my rules. Besides we have invested no less than $2,000 in beds and crates that are littered through out our home for her to sleep in and on.
So besides the obvious answer of just let in your bed, ain't happening, does anyone have any suggestion for helping her get through the night in her crate which she has loved for the last 4-years and still walks in there at night on her own?
Sorry for the novel, but I wanted to make sure I gave a comprehensive background of the issues and clearly articulated what we have tried so far.