Bonnie loves her crate…. well, she'll go in on command and sleep at least. Smitty on the other had hates it. He's chewed through a cheap plastic one, cut his nose on the wire type and pulled off several bars. He's now in a PetMate shell with wire mesh over the windows. Typically he only has to be in his crate 0-2 hrs a day and 2-3 hrs on the weekend. That's it. We gave up making him sleep in it since he never slept while in it (never) and spent the day tired. He cries when we leave and screams when we come home. When we let him out he is panting and somewhat wired. We totally ignore him until he calms down to not encourage that behavior. We video taped him months ago and again today and found he spent the time pacing, pawing, chewing, panting, etc. -- not resting at all.
Oddly we got him from a breeder who kept him in a kennel with another and surrounded by 8 or so others. He had a lot of interaction with her family and time outside. She said he was never a problem. He was 9 months when we got him. Bonnie was only 3 months. I tried to put him in a larger wire kennel with Bonnie as a test and he attacked her (totally out of character). I've tried changing rooms, putting treats and/or pig ears in his crate, feeding him in his crate, I've tried ComfortZone anti-anxiety defusers, music, and nothing seems to work.
We've had him for just over 6 months now and there seems to be no improvement. We have another male (going on 13) who is loose but does not have access to the room with the crates. Leaving Smitty out NOW is not an option, but might be worth trying when the old guy is gone. Years ago, we had a 1 1/2 yr old, Brie, who also hated her crate. She exhibited similar problems. After 6 months we let her have a bedroom and there were no problems -- of course back then we had college furniture too so we didn't care much if she chose to eat it.
Anyone else have crating issues like this? Any advice? Like Brie, maybe he just is wired to dislike confinement?
We are trying to figure out how to work our next vacation where we'll be gone for a week+. Smitty is going to have to spend a lot more time in his crate.