Do Dogs Hate Crates? (Solved & Explained!)

If a dog is left too long in a crate or experiences something stressful while they are confined then it will definitely color their opinion on the crate. Try feeding your dog their meals in the crate and tossing in treats from time to time and your dogs opinion of the crate may slowly change.

In this article we’ll explore the most popular questions about dogs and their love and hate relationship with crates. Read on to find the answers to the most popular questions on this subject!

Do dogs feel sad in crate?

If a dog is crated too often and for too long, they can develop separation anxiety and depression quite easily. Dogs are pack animals and need a certain amount of socialization, as well as a lot of exercise.

Provided that it’s done right, crating is extremely beneficial, just be sure not to treat it as ‘doggy storage’ and try to keep crate time to a minimum.

How do I know if my dog doesn’t like his crate?

You’ll know! Your dog will be reluctant to get anywhere near their crate if they don’t like it. You can slowly change this by leaving the crate door open and tossing in the occasional treat and by feeding your dog their meals in the crate.

Over time, when they see that you aren’t going to push them in and close the door, your dog will relax a little and you can start closing the door for their meals, letting them out when they are finished. Be sure to offer treats and praise and your dog’s opinion may change.

Why do some dogs hate the crate?

Anytime that a dog is left unattended too long in their crate or anything stressful occurs while they are inside, your dog will build a negative association. If this happens enough times, then your dog will start to hate the crate.

At this point, you will need to begin a slow process of associating treats and praise with the crate in order to change how they view it.

Is it bad to crate a dog?

 Crating is not bad, provided that the crate is not abused by overuse. Properly done, crating prepares your dog for travel, helps in potty training, and even helps to provide your dog a safe, personal space to chew a favorite toy or to take a blissful nap.

With treats and praise your dog will soon love that crate, just be patient and consistent with the training!

Should I feel bad for crating my dog at night?

While it’s easy to feel guilty about crating, keep in mind that dogs love dens, and it’s not uncommon to find a mother dog nursing pups under a porch or another small nook where they feel safe.

Your dog might not like the crate at first, but with a little time and a lot of treats, you’ll catch them seeking it out for naps and to chew on toys in no time!  

When can dogs sleep out of crate?

Most dogs are not going to be mature enough to be unsupervised at night or when you are at work until about 2 years of age. That said, you can let them sleep without the crate between 6 and 18 months of age, provided that you are there so that they won’t get into trouble.

It all depends on the individual dog and their tendency to get into mischief.

Why crate training is bad?

Crate training can be bad if it is done incorrectly. A dog that is crated for too many hours a day will quickly become depressed and may suffer from separation anxiety and other issues. This is why care must be taken not to overuse the crate.

When it’s done right, your dog will view the crate as their personal space and even go into it without prompting if you leave the door open!

Do dogs sleep in crates forever?

No. How long the dog needs to stay is really a matter of the individual dog, but within 6 to 18 months a dog can usually sleep on their own without getting into trouble. That doesn’t mean that you should let them roam the house when you are gone, however.

Dogs aren’t generally mature enough for this until 2 years of age, but they can sleep outside of the crate well before that.

What to do if dog is afraid of crate?

If your dog is afraid of the great, make a game of throwing treats inside and saying ‘Crate!’ and pointing at the crate. When your dog goes inside, say ‘sit!’ and if they stay inside, then tell them ‘good dog’ and call them over to you for a treat.

With a little patience, your dog should relax their attitude, as they’ll see that you aren’t always going to close the crate door on them!

How do I stop crate anxiety?

A great way to keep your dog distracted while they are inside the crate is a Kong toy. These are hollowed-out toys made of rubber that you can fill with things like cream cheese or peanut butter, freeze, and then give to your dog.

Your dog will then happily spend time getting out the filling, instead of worry about being in the crate!

What if I don’t want to crate train my puppy?

If you don’t want to crate train your dog, there are certainly alternatives. The easiest thing to do is to puppy proof the bathroom or another room and to seal off the entrance with a ‘baby gate’ so that your dog cannot get out.

This gives your dog much more space than a crate and you are still able to put them somewhere when you need to run an errand and don’t want them getting into trouble!

Should I put blankets in my dog’s crate?

You need to be very careful about selecting blankets for your dog’s crate. Your dog will definitely chew them at some point and if there is any sort of filling or they break easy, then your dog may ingest fragments and this could impact their intestines.

You can purchase chew proof blankets commercially from many pet stores and online vendors, and these are the best choice if at all possible.