Dog Training World Forums Behavior Problems Dog Anxiety help in crate training Re: help in crate training

  • Shannon Hargis

    June 11, 2014 at 8:51 pm

    Here are some tips to help make the kennel a more positive experience for your dog and reduce his anxiety.

    When putting him in his kennel don’t give him any “goodbye” affection. This can create anxiety by building anticipation of your departure. Dogs don’t display behaviors that communicate “goodbye”.
    Make sure he is very hungry so that when he goes in his crate he really wants to chew.
    Scolding him when he is crying or anxious in his kennel will make the experience worse and even increase his anxiety. It can actually make him cry all the more. He is displaying submissive urination(an uncontrollable action by the dog) because he does not know how to make you happy. Any type of punishing or disapproval can make this situation a lot more difficult to help.
    When you get him out of his kennel don’t give him a huge “hello”. Act as if the entire ordeal is nonchalant. Portray the type of energy and attitude you want your dog to have. Because he is probably overexcited while he is anxious, I would have a very calm demeanor when greeting. Otherwise he will be impatiently anticipating a high energy “hello”, adding to his already impatient mindset.

    Here is a little exercise (it may take several sessions) to reintroduce the kennel as potentially being a positive thing again. Progress him with this process only if he is comfortable, no force necessary.
    -Use treats to get him to go into his kennel.
    -Give treats for staying in his kennel
    -Give treats for shutting the door. (Open immediately at first and treat again)
    -Give treats for longer durations of staying in the kennel (starting at one second increments and until increase the increments exponentially at around 5 minutes) First with door open and then with door shut.

    Also know that anxiety is normal for dogs. In the wild they would never be separated from their pack members. The best we can do is try to create a different way of coping with the anxiety. Hopefully sleep. I hope this information helps! 🙂