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Why Does My Dog Cry or Bark in the Kennel or Crate?
Your dog is barking to let you know that he or she perceives something to be the matter. In most cases, that’s because your dog is lonely and missses your attention.
This is especially true of dogs that only get locked in the crate when you leave or go to sleep. If you move around in the house while you’re dog is crated for the night, then they might hear you and try to get your attention.
Crate training can take several weeks for young puppies, and they will normally cry when left alone. Dogs that are around 4-5 months old probably shouldn’t be left in a crate for more than a couple of hours at most, and they’ll start to make a ton of noise if left any longer than that.
Some dogs are fine with being separated but they’re still scared of being inside of a crate or kennel. They’ll cry to let you know that they don’t feel safe.
If your dog is kennel-trained but suddenly starts to cry, then something more serious might be the matter. He or she may have to go to the bathroom right away.
There’s also a strong possibility that your dog is sick to its stomach.
How Do I get My Dog to Stop Barking in His Crate or Kennel?
Always make sure that your dog is quiet before you let him or her out, because otherwise you’re reinforcing the idea that you let your dog out the moment you hear noise. This is one of the first steps to cutting back on barking according to the experts at McCann Dog Training:
Once you’ve got that down, you’ll want to try the following steps:
- Reintroduce your dog to their crate in an area of the house where your family spends a lot of time, so they get the idea that it’s safe to be in there
- Start feeding your dog regular meals near or in the crate, to get your dog used to the idea of being in it
- Stop scolding your dog each time they bark, because you might just be entertaining him
- Put something fun, like a favorite toy, in the crate so your dog isn’t bored
- Give your dog an appropriate amount of exercise during the day, so he or she isn’t too excited by the time you crate them
- Take your dog out when they cry for a quick potty break; this will teach your dog the only reward for making noise is a boring chance to relieve him or herself
- Use the crate at different times during day in different locations
- Be “all business” when you take your dog out of the crate, to avoid exciting them
- Give your dog a treat if he or she potties, to further reinforce the idea that this is what the outing was for
- Repeat and make sure to be consistent
Training experts used to suggest playing a crate game that taught your dog that going in the crate was fun, but this method isn’t a good idea because it can teach your dog to get excited when they get closer to the kennel.
Should I Ignore Dog Barking in Crate?
You’ll want to ignore your dog’s barking at first, especially if they aren’t used to the crate. If your dog is barking because they’re bored, then you coming and checking on them might be giving them the attention they’re craving.
Over time, a dog that is constantly reprimanded for barking might actually start to make more noise because it means they’ll get a never-ending supply of attention. Depending on your dog’s personality and how he or she was raised, it could take up to six weeks or so before this behavior stops.
Only come into the room once your dog is quiet. When you do, make sure to praise this behavior so that your dog does understand that they’re doing exactly what you want them to.
On the other hand, you don’t want to start punishing your dog actively for barking in the crate because that could accidentally teach them to fear the crate itself. Don’t even look at him while he’s barking, at least at first, to help discourage the behavior.
There gets to be a point where simply doing nothing becomes ineffective. If that’s the case, then start to teach your dog that all they’ll get out of barking is a quick bathroom break and nothing else.
Once they get the idea that their reward for barking is just boring, they’ll more than likely stop doing it. Getting them enough exercise during the day will help reduce this behavior too, since it can tire them out.
Keep in mind that you shouldn’t ignore a normally quiet dog who suddenly starts to bark, because they might be letting you know that something really is wrong.
Can a Puppy Cry Itself to Death?
Puppies can’t literally cry themselves to death no matter how pathetic they might sound. If a dog makes a lot of whining noises because they don’t like the crate, then they could sound like they’re in serious danger but chances are that they’re just very good at making noise.
A small puppy could, however, get so worked about something that they might end up suffering from cardiovascular failure and die! In this case, they’d die essentially of fright rather than the actual act of crying.
That’s why it’s especially important for you to avoid leaving a young puppy alone when they can’t handle it. Make sure to put their crate or kennel in a part of the house that’s well trafficked so they can get used to the idea gradually without developing any sense of fear.
Doing anything that might shock your puppy could be potentially hazardous to their health, especially if they’re under maybe four months old or so.