I am trying to crate train my new dog and having trouble?

I have a 4 year old german shepherd that we got at 8 wks that had no problem with crate training. This is a 5/6 month old black lab that we just got and hasn’t been crate trained before and won’t stop barking and whining. What can I do to get him acclimated to the crate?

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14 Responses to “I am trying to crate train my new dog and having trouble?”

  1. King Les The Lofty says:

    There IS a difference between a GSD and a Labrador!
    There IS a difference between an 8 weeks old pup and a 5-6 months old pup!
    Both differences favoured you when you got the GSD.

    It is pretty obvious that the Lab has grown up free, as do my pups. I use crates only for transport.

    ● First step is to get the Lab to WANT to go in to the crate – you’ve been told proper things beginning with putting tidbits in there, and waiting.
    ● Second step is to get the Lab to be confident that it is coming straight out again – so you OPEN the crate within 2 seconds of the tidbit being swallowed. Anyone getting a new dog should NOT be going to school or work for at least a week, preferably a fortnight, so that there is no NEED to leave the pup locked up during the day. Those first few days are essential for getting the pup confident & happy with the new routines.
    Timing is essential – NEVER open the gate while the pup is complaining, wait until it is quiet. Best is to open the gate BEFORE the pup has time to get worked up.
    ● Third step is to provide company when the pup MUST be in its crate – I presume it wants to SEE your other dog, and probably wants to cuddle up to it. Organise the positions of the crates to provide as much comfort as possible. It might be necessary to place its crate beside your bed so that you can periodically trail a comforting few fingers by the gate where they can be sniffed/licked, if the pup needs YOU, not your GSD. (Does the Lab actually NEED to be crated at night? Once the rest of the litter have gone, my retention-pup gets the run of my house from about 8 weeks old, except for the bedrooms & lounge – and it learns fast that although MY bedroom door is always open, entry is verboten. That is helped by the fact that whichever adult dog is inside "knows the ropes", and the pup copies that adult. Yeah, sometimes a sock or shoe has been moved to the passage before I wake up, but so what?)
    ● Fourth step is to harden your heart when the Lab MUST be in the crate. (Yeah, you’ll all lose some sleep for a few nights….)
    Les P

  2. Katakia S says:

    get him in after a long tiering walk. ont close the door. pat him, codle him, feed him lots of nummy things. then let him out. when hes good with that, do less and less of those things, smaller walks, or more and longer and close the door for a few seconds. its all about your dogs personal gain. if he will be gioven lots of nice attention when he comes out, he’ll want to go in!!*-*

  3. cheriebabe2003 says:

    giving a treat is a great idea. Make sure that you don’t use the crate as a punshiment, b/c they will never want to go in it. also it won’t hurt if you put a towel with your scent on it for comfort.

  4. hj_thorne says:

    it takes a long time to crate train if the dog has never been crated as a puppy.

    You can’t just shove her in the crate shut the door and leave. You have to teach her that the crate is a happy place, you must feed her all her meals in the crate, you must leave the door open and let her go inside on her own, reward when she does. Then you have to work with shutting the door when she’s in there and sitting outside feeding her treats, then open the door and let her wander out. Work up to shutting the door and leaving her in there while you wander around the house within site, then working up to leaving the room for a short period of time then slowly building the time out of her sight, never letting her out of the crate when she’s howling, barking or whining, she has to learn that she only get’s let out of the crate when shes quite and behaving. This takes a long time of patience and consistent training for them to accept the crate as their "safe place" to be. Some dogs just never become accustomed to being locked in a crate.

    My dog took over a year before we could leave her locked in the crate and she’d be quiet and fine with it. She was a year old when we tried to crate train her and when it seemed like she’d never get used to it and always howl and try to get out one day she started going in the crate and laying down to sleep, sometimes she wouldnt’ want to come out of the crate. We weren’t crating her but putting her in the garage if we were gone all day. Soon we were able to put her in a crate and be gone several hours with no problems.

    Look up crate training on the internet and don’t stop working with her. Purchase Kongs and fill them with treats and peanut butter to keep her busy and only give them to her when you put her in the crate. Remember a crate must only EVER be a positive experience for a dog, never a place to be punished in, doing that will only undo everything you’ve worked hard for.

  5. Jackie says:

    If hes pretty obedient, buy a bed first. Then let him stay in that till you train him. You have to associate it with good things. Think about what he likes. If he even steps into the crate, do what he likes/or give him what he likes. The try it again and again until he is comfortable to stay in it for 1-3 mins. Then take him out and give/do whatever he likes. Then, do it again but walk away for 15 seconds. Then come back and let him out. But make sure not to make a big deal about it when you let him out! Then try it again and again but increase the amount you are gone. eventually, he should be able to stay in there for atleast an hour! Good luck! But make sure you give him breaks and dont make training time too long. You have to do a little every day. If that doesnt work, and its totally helpless, go to a obedience class that has crate training.

  6. Rudy says:

    Go to this site and click on Crate training. It’s very easy to understand.

  7. Majestik moose© (envies DP) says:

    what do you do when he whines? If you let him out, he has figured out that if he b**ches enough, you will let him out.
    From now on, everything that can be done in his crate, is. He eats in his crate. If you go somewhere, he is in a crate. Move the crate in the family room, and when you re just watching TV, he is in his crate.(you might want to use subtitles, he will whine).
    Whenever you put him in there, pair that with the arrival of a really exciting treat. Go to whole foods, they have raw meaty beef marrow bones for about a dollar a bone. Thaw one out, (just sit it in a cup of hot water) and give him one every time he goes in. Pair that with the word "crate", or whatever word you choose. Show him the bone, toss it in the crate, and give command.
    Also, you can give carrots in the crate, or other non biscuit treats(they are too junky, he will get overweight fast).
    After he realizes that just because he is in a crate doesn’t mean you are leaving, you can have him in there less. He should still eat in there for a while.

  8. Rhea T says:

    If by crate you mean kennel .we tried this with an american eskimo that we got who was 5yrs old when we got him and we put him in a kennel for "kennel training" for two different reasons.1 being the barking and whining problem and also the "marking his territory " on everything and anything that was left out. so if you are tryin to "kennel train" your dog tryin to curb the barking and whining try using a spray bottle filled with water and spray him when you come home while he is still in his kennel or crate whichever you prefer to use.it does work and it is not considered animal cruelty because when you adopt or purchase an animal from a shop or shelter they usually tell you it is ok to use the spray bottle when you are training. so good luck!

  9. FALL OUT BOY IS #1!!<3 says:

    maybe he hasn;t gotten used to his new home and still needs time to adjust… have a designated spot for him to do his business… be firm not mean… don;t spank him if he doesn;t do it right just say no and tap his bottom…


  10. walking lady says:

    Try starting out by throwing a treat in the crate, let the puppy go in and get and if he comes right back out, that’s ok. Throw a few more in, let him walk in and out to get them. Then throw a chewy in there, encouraging him to lie down to chew it. Close the door of the crate for only a minute at first, the idea being you gradually lengthen the time and the dog gets used to the crate and learns that he’s going to be let out again. Don’t let him out when he’s whining – he needs to be quiet to be let out. How long it takes will depend on him and how consistent you are. Lots of praise and rewards for all positive behaviour – even if it’s very short at first.

  11. chichilover1 says:

    Any time you put a dog in a crate and react in any way when they whine they will continue just because they got a response. The only way to break a crate whiner is to not react in any way if he is whining. Dogs operate totally on a cause and effect basis. They do not distinquish between positive or negative reaction.

  12. str8putter says:

    I started my boxer out, put a treat in the crate and leave him in it , say like when you go run errands or go to the movies

    Don’t leave him for extended times but couple of hours is fine,
    Now all I have to do is point at the crate and give him a treat and in he goes.. no fuss

  13. ♥ DP © says:

    Put him in the crate for short periods of time. The second he is quiet for a few seconds at least.. Tell him GOOD boy and let him out. You want to slowly increase the time he is in there, and you want to teach him that the only thing that gets that crate door open is, for him to be quiet.