Why Is My Dog Obsessed With His Kennel? (Solved & Explained!)

When you leave an in-home kennel open to give your dog their own personal space, don’t be surprised if they love to use it! Dogs like having their own place, just like humans do, and your dog might start going to their kennel often whenever stressed, craving a nap, or simply when desiring ‘alone time’ with a new toy.

In this article, we’re going to answer popular questions that are trending this week on the subjects of both home and boarding kennels. Are boarding kennels cruel? Will your dog forget you if they spend a week in one? Find out the answers to these questions and more in the sections below!

What is the purpose of a kennel?

A commercial kennel is for boarding a dog when the owner will be away for a prolonged period, while a home kennel can serve as a ‘personal space’ for a dog as well as a way to keep a young dog safely confined when the owner must be out for shorter periods.

Home kennels are also useful with potty training for dogs that are resistant to this and frequently urinating or pooping in the house.

Do dogs like sleeping in kennels?

Just like humans, dogs love having a personal space of their own, so leaving your in-home kennel open when not in use allows your dog to take advantage of the space.

Many dogs love napping in their kennels or sleeping their overnight, as long as the bedding is soft and comfortable and there is a toy or two to keep them amused.

Do dogs like staying in boarding kennels?

While it’s heartbreaking to have to drop your dog off somewhere when you can’t take them with you, it might interest you to know that some studies have shown that occasional ‘boarding breaks’ are not as bad for your dog as you might think.

At good boarding kennels, your dog gets attention and treats and often gets to play with other dogs, and many dogs seem to view this the same way that humans view a vacation! While they certainly still miss their owners, it’s nice to know that the kennel is not always a bad thing – in moderation.

What is kennel crazy?

When a dog spends too much time in a kennel, they can often suffer from seperation anxiety, depression, or the ‘kennel crazies’. When a dog is ‘kennel crazy’, they are extremely stressed out from too much isolation, and this causes them to act out dramatically once they are free from the kennel.

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This might occur when being walked or these behaviors might be present in a dog that you are considering adopting – so if you see this behavior, it’s not necessarily a sign of a ‘bad dog’, but rather one that is spending too much time in a cage.

What is kennel stress?

Shaking, shivering, or pacing after time in a kennel can be a sign of ‘kennel stress’. This may occur when a dog is not yet used to their kennel or if they have been locked inside for too long.

In some cases, it may even be a result of a dramatic change in what is inside the kennel, such as new bedding, sudden lack of toys, or the like.

Reduce the amount of time that your dog is in the kennel by adding in a walk or a visit on your lunchbreak and this can help, or if any dramatic changes have been made then simply wait for your dog to adjust.

How bad are boarding kennels for dogs?

Kennels can be a good thing, but there are certainly caveats to them as well. The presence of many other dogs, for instance, comes with a chance of disease transmission if one or more of them are ill.

The unfamiliar environment may also be stressful to some dogs, though a good kennel will try to keep your dog happy with play breaks and treats. Finally, if a dog is spending too much time in a kennel, then this can lead to depression and separation anxiety.

Are kennels cruel?

Used in moderation, a kennel is not cruel, but when a dog is routinely left in one for 8 hours or more, then that’s a different story. Dogs are pack animals and they need a certain amount of social interaction in order to maintain a healthy mental state.

Left alone for too long, a dog can fall into a deep depression,  which may result in a weakened immune system, aggressive behavior, or even self-harm. As such, kennels must be used sparingly, with 6 to 8 hour periods being the longest recommended for an adult dog and this, only when absolutely necessary.

Do dogs miss their owners when in kennels?

Dogs miss you even when you simply leave the room. These creatures are hardwired with a pack mentality and you are the ‘alpha dog’. When you are nearby, your dog feels safe and happy, and they definitely miss you whenever you leave them in a kennel alone.

Will my dog forget me after a week in a boarding kennel?

No. Studies have shown that dogs have an amazing long-term memory when it comes to their owners and it’s one that lasts a lifetime.

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If you were gone for 10 years and had given your dog to a friend, they would love that friend but if they saw and scented you, they would still know you right away and come running. It’s heartbreaking and incredibly endearing – a dog’s love, once given, lasts forever.

Are boarding kennels ok for puppies?

First off, the minimum age requirement for boarding your pup will be 3 months – assuming that they have completed their vaccinations by this time. That said, provided that your pup is vaccinated, an emergency stay in a boarding kennel is okay, just don’t make a regular habit of it.

Bonding is best achieved by spending as much time with your pup as you can and while you can certainly bond with an older dog, it will be a much deeper thing if you’ve started off bonding from a very young age and you’ll know your dog better because you’ve watched every one of their habits as they’ve developed.