Charlie depressed in crate?

Hello all,

We're in the process of crate training our 7-month-old pup. He has been eating his meals in the crate since we got him (at 3 months) and learned early on to go into his "house" on command. But we didn't start real crate training (closing the door) till a few weeks ago. We are now keeping him in there for about an hour a day, with us in the same room. We give him his favourite treats once he's in: a kong with peanut butter and his bully stick. He'll quickly lick out all the peanut butter and will sniff his bully stick, but he won't chew it - even though it's his favourite chew of all time and he only gets it in the crate now. He'll just sit there or lie there and look at us. He doesn't whine or try to get out - he'll paw weakly at the gate here and there, but that's it. When we open the door, he runs right out with tear stains on his sweet little face. So… we get the feeling that he's not freaked out by the crate, but that he doesn't like it either. Is this normal? Will he learn to like it with time?

Our goal is for Charlie to stay willingly and peacefully in his crate for an hour or two at a time when dog-fearing guests come, or when we're vacuuming, etc. Any suggestions to make the crate a happier place for him?

Basenji Mix

Well of course every dog is different. For us - we never put Duke in his crate just because for training purposes. We put him in his crate with treat because we had to leave the house. Now a days, I find Duke and Daisy in their respective crates because they're resting. I find this interesting, because they used to run and stay on our beds when someone was home. In the very least if the bedroom doors were closed off and they couldn't access the beds, they would snooze on the sofa together. Now - I see them in their inidividual crates. Granted, no treats are involved with their choice. The thing that has changed is . . . I bought some very nice comfy cozy crate beds and blankets - so this may be the motivator they go in the crates voluntarily. Stay consistent - keep the treats coming when they must go into the crate. You never know when they'll surprise you …

Thanks, Jill. Your post made me and DH reconsider our crate training goals. Also, we started to think that perhaps Charlie might be so unhappy in his crate because we were right there in the room with him - but he couldn't join us. So… here's what we did. We got him a larger wire crate to replace his plastic crate. He can fully stretch out if he wants to - it's roomier and airier for him. We put his old doggie bed in there and made it as cushy and comfy as we could. And we decided to crate him when we have to go out - and when we're at home only if necessary (repair man, etc.). We were having issues with Charlie busting through the baby gate that closed off his puppy-proof room, so crating when we leave feels like a step in the right direction.

So far, it looks like he's not sure what to make of the new situation :rolleyes: He's had the new crate for 3 nights now. He didn't sleep in it the first night, but chose a pillow on the ground instead. But he did sleep in there the next two nights. He's been left alone in the crate twice now, but still goes in when we ask him to. His last nap was on that little pillow though... oh well... I think he's wary of the crate, but we just need to stick to the plan and he'll get used to it... hopefully :o

In our experience they are like babies & cribs, let them cry and start with very short intervals, make it positive and act or do something else to ignore them. Also make the crate really comfy or put in a a nice blanket.

They grow to love their crates. We leave them uncrated when we go out and when we return we often find them asleep in their crates. They feel safe & cozy in them.

Looks like your connection to Basenji Forums was lost, please wait while we try to reconnect.