1 1/2 year old dog HATES her crate . . . what can I do?


I am currently fostering a 1 1/2 year old chihuahua mix.
They have asked me to keep her in a crate at night if possible
and I also prefer she didnt sleep in my bed.

I have been putting her in her crate everynight. Starting with the crate on the bed, then on the counch at the end of my bed, then on the floor and last night i put towels over the kennel so she couldnt see where she was. She is gradually stopping the whinning and barking but she is MISERABLE.

She bites and sratches at the cage and blanket. She fidgits all night and makes this little whimpering sound very quietly. I can tell she is not happy but dont know what to do to make her understand it’s her special spot not a punishment.

Also to get her in i have to hold her muzzle and push her in backwards, I hate doing that because we have a really nice bedtime routine uptill that 🙁

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    8 Responses to “1 1/2 year old dog HATES her crate . . . what can I do?”

    1. wishnuwelltoo says:

      Holy cow! Well I would just put some treats in the crate and let her put herself in the crate, the crate is supposed to be a pleasant experience. I keep the crate by the bed with a night light on so the puppy can see me and be reassured, and I think you need to do this also, you can still drape the blanket over the crate if you have to, but it is going to be more important that the puppy see you so she won’t feel abandoned. Play a soothing cd or radio to reassure her also, but don’t engage her when she whines, just make sure she can see you so she doesn’t feel alone. I have a blanket in the crate and a small food and water dish, toys and bones.

    2. rogue says:

      use a baby gate and put her in the bathroom… make her a cozy nice comfy spot … pillow/dog bed, toys water… show her a treat and throw it in there and she will jump up on the gate then put her in and say"good girl" ….

    3. cat & jo says:

      You might try giving her a little "Kong" with just a tad of peanut butter and biscuit bits that she can occupy herself with while in the crate and that will provide her with a good association to going into it.
      So that it is not food she is getting every night, you could put a doggie chew toy or something else in there that she likes, sometimes.
      You could try putting a light sheet over the crate because towels may make it too stuffy in there.
      You could practice in the day with tiny but tasty training treats, to tell her to "kennel up" and reward with a training treat when she goes in there,but don’t close her in there at first. Then when she starts to go in by herself you can start rewarding her with praise instead of food. Use the same command that means it’s time to get in the cab, like "kennel up".
      Right now she has a very bad association to the kennel.
      I have three dogs. I used a kennel cab to help with house breaking all three. Two do not care for a kennel cab but they will go into it if ever the occasion arises, like when traveling.
      One loves the kennel cab and uses it as one of her "dens" and it stays open for her so she can go in it when she wants to.

    4. Mary Jane LePlant says:

      It’s the way you put her in the crate. She won’t think of it as her special place if you have to shove her in backwards. It will take time and patience, but you have to work with her to go in and out of her own free will. Use treats, toys, whatever she’s into, and get her to go in on her own and reward her with lots of praise and petting. Keep at it, and she’ll learn in no time that it’s her little spot, not punishment.

    5. ©orgi Girl says:

      Why are you covering it? Try leaving it uncovered. And put lots of toys and other things in there she likes. Make it positive.

    6. Erika says:

      You will need to get her comfortable with the cage. Put something of yours in there such as a shirt or something with your scent on it.

      Leave the cage open all day and encourage her to go in by placing her food and water in the cage. Don’t close the door – just leave it open.

      This will take several days. Good luck.

    7. suhailin says:


      i think you must adopt with you dog.
      U can see this site.


    8. zarf2154 says:

      Don’t know if this will help you at all, but when our dog was little ( she was crated only at night for the first couple of months until she was housetrained) her crate was next to my side of the bed; we tried the towel thing, too–which made her worse.

      It was a little awkward, but we positioned the crate so I could put my fingers through the cage bars and rest my hand on her. It did calm her down, and after about three nights she got the idea that I wasn’t going anywhere and settled down.

      Good luck!

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