View Full Version : Crate Whining

22nd May 2012, 12:25 AM
Hi guys! Lady is now 6 months old. I swear she gets cuter every day. The training is going really well; she very, very rarely has accidents inside anymore. She goes to the door when she needs to pee! I'm so glad she isn't just randomly pooping in the apartment anymore.

But the crate. She came to me already crate trained, meaning she will not pee/poo inside her crate. She's find in there for a few hours at a time if need be (although it's usually only for 2-3 hours at a time). But she whines and barks for anywhere from 5-15 minutes (according to my roommate) when I leave. It's so pathetic...and loud. I always, always feed her in her crate. I've started leaving a bully stick in there for her to chew on. I give her toys, blankets, pillows, and water in there. I cover the crate so she can't see out. What else can I do to stop the whining? I never let her out of the crate when she does that. By the time I come home, she is happily napping in there...running out of ideas on how to get her to like her crate! Or at least go in there without whining.

22nd May 2012, 12:47 AM
Pretty much the best thing you can do is just let her whine. Make sure your roommate is not speaking to her in any way. You don't need to load her crate up with stuff IMO. A filled Kong or her food should suffice. Dogs mostly sleep all day, and sleeping for a few hours in a crate is no big deal. Make sure you don't give an emotional excited goodbye--be very matter of fact and exit quickly. Somewhere along the line she's gotten rewarded for the whining so she's using it. If there is no reward at all, she'll start to settle down quickly. Apologize to your roommate, ask for her continued help and cooperation, and just keep on keeping on...:)

22nd May 2012, 12:58 AM
We have a 12 year old poodle that still does this when we leave. If you stand at the closed front door after you leave you can hear him. Its all a show for us I think, he chills out after less than 5 mins. Yes I have stayed and listened!!! 2-3 hours is not too long sounds like you are giving her everything she would need just make sure she has peed/pooped just before leaving her. Maybe you can try leaving some music on or a TV???? Other than that, I would just ignore it. I guess some dogs just do this forever, if you go back to her it will only teach her she CAN get you to come back and might make it worse. Do something nice for your roommate regularly because she has to listen to that. I'm sure its heartbreaking but.......just the way it is.


22nd May 2012, 09:51 AM
I guess there's a few ways of looking at this. First off, it would be very unlikely that a young puppy could arrive already crate trained :| (meaning williingness to be in a crate rather than simply not peeing/pooping in one -- the latter is a normal reflex but it isn;t actually the same as crate training) -- this generally is a gradual process that really takes weeks of small incremental bits of time in the crate and out, feeding in the crate etc. So if she is doing this much whining -- she isn;t actually crate trained -- she gets upset at being there and then eventually gives up. But 15 minutes isa lot of anxiety and indicates she actually needs some focused crate training.

I actually don;t like using crates anyway -- I definitely am an advocate of crate training and my four sleep in crates at night and cannot wait to rush in, get their biscuit at bedtime, and not a peep til next morning. But in daytime, IMHO a much more humane setup especially for singleton puppies/dogs is a puppy xpen set up with a crate inside. Dr Ian Dunbar has pictures of this kind of setup and recommendations for crate training and just about anything else dog related in his free book download, After You Get YOur Puppy: www.dogstardaily.com/free-downloads. I just think being in a small crate in the daytime without more room to move about and play is really dull and unstimulating and frustrating for most dogs, especially puppies that need interaction and activity. They may learn to accept it -- a dog can be trained to accept just about anything -- but allowing more free movement and play space is a far richer and happier environment. There's a whole slew of trainers particularly in the US that seems to have adopted a whole-hog approach to crating including advocating crating dogs all day as a fine solution for people who work all day 'because they are just sleeping in their den' but I think this is a horrific life for a dog -- we would be shocked at zoo animals similarly confined. A couple of hours for a happily crate trained dog is of course quite different :) but as noted above I'd always seek some other option ideally, especially with pups. And if a dog is anxious at being left in a crate, then this isn't a good option right now.

I used an xpen then a babygate in the kitchen so Jaspar as a puppy, and then, multiple dogs had the run of a full pee-proof room. Once reliable, they had their own room upstairs to go to, and bed to sleep on, when I go out. These days two have the run of the house and two are gated in the kitchen (one puppy farm rescue is like many such dogs, not 100% housetrained and never will be, and I put another girl in with her for company).

This is the key excerpt (handout) from Dunbar (note the breed... :lol:) but the book is far more detailed:


Leaving your pup alone at home and preparations needed to do this:


And recommended puppy set-up:


23rd May 2012, 02:21 AM
Karlin, I've seen pictures of this set up...I do have a puppy lawn and I agree, maybe she'll like that more. But she whines whenever I leave her, even if I just go into the other room and close the door. She is seriously attached.

I definitely agree that my roommate is awesome. We are moving into a place with a lawn and taking her small dog with us, so hopefully having another little doggie to play with will help with the seperation anxiety. Maybe I will start letting her have the kitchen...it would be very easy to put a gate there, so she'd be much less confined. She sleeps pretty happily in her crate as long as I stay in the room with her. She has a last treat and now she runs in there when I tell her to "go into your crate" at night time.

I hope this is a temporary behavior...I'll ask my roommate to just ignore the whining, even though it's annoying. I don't know that we've been 100% consistent with that to be honest.

19th June 2012, 01:39 PM
I think playpens are great. We are lucky because our flat has an enclosed hallway, so we made that dog proof and made it into a doggy apartment. In there, tails has his bed, some cushions, a giant elephant and there is plenty of room to roll around a treat ball and throw a Kong about. We did regular independence training exercises where we would go out for different lengths of time and come back without making a fuss and found that really payed off.

I think tails really appreciates having space to trot around, infact even when we are in, he sometimes 'leaves home' and spends time pottering about in his 'studio'. He sometimes leaves the bedroom and sleeps in there too which is a bit sad for Lily and myself who miss him so much :(