Crying in the crate

Posted by crazycrayonmom
Sep 9, 2011
I'm posting this question for my sister. She has adopted an 18 month old lab mix dog. With the advent of back to school, she now has to try and crate train Shelby. They've done some crate training with her and when they are home she's okay. She is fed in her crate and does just fine with it.

Shelby is not fully house trained and for her protection and the protection of the house she needs to be crated. The problem is she cries and barks all day while in the kennel. She also has a doggy sibling who is outside of the crate and helps with the whining and barking. Tucker (the older dog) hated the crate when he was younger and actually chewed his way out of 2 of them! Tucker tries to help Shelby by chewing on the outside of the crate.

It's been 4 days and the behavior hasn't changed. Today she's setting up a camera on the kennel to see what goes on while she's gone. She doesn't have the option of going home to let them out during her work day. Shelby also has food sensitivities so treats and things like Kong can't be used for soothing.

They don't have a room that would work to put Shelby in for the day. And she lives in town and her neighbors have told her about the all day bark fest, so far they are being quite nice about it but she wants to fix this problem soon, before she gets an official complaint. Any suggestions?
Posted by MaxHollyNoah
Sep 9, 2011
Hi crazycrayonmom!

Long time no talk...hope Koko and Max are getting along well

As for crating Shelby, all I can think of as a solution is to let her exercise a lot before leaving her in the crate, and just practice crating every day. Never use the crate as a punishment or time-outs.

I don't know how long she is being crated but considering the night time sleeping time, she would be ended up spending most of the day in her crate?

Also, having the other dog outside of her crate might work the opposite; you might think the other dog can be her company, but in her mind, it makes her want to get out of the crate even more

18 mos old for labs is a peak time they want to run around and play with other dogs. I feel sorry for Shelby if she is left in a crate for long period.

If my foster pups are not potty trained, I leave them in our utility room. Our utility room door and walls are all chewed up by them. But pee on the floor is easy to clean. Still, I limit the time for confinement up to 4 hrs. (I come home for lunch to let them out).

I hope someone else can make more suggestions.
Posted by KOPCaroline
Sep 11, 2011
Hey there,

I agree, this is a bit tricky. Its not very fair to keep Shelby in the crate most of the day and at night - labs are happy, playful dogs and they a decent amount of time to romp! Also, having the other dog outside the crate is probably just adding to Shelby crying - she wants to be out playing with him, not just watching him roam around!

Do they have a yard they could put an exercise lead out on, or even a kennel and run set up? This way she's controlled/limited to where she can get to, but can romp more and be more entertained in the day? They could even try putting both dogs out so they can wrestle and lay together.

If they dont have a room that they can shut Shelby in (even a place to keep the other dog away from her?) and they're not up for leaving her outside, I'm not sure what else to suggest honestly - I think if she's constantly crated and sees the other dog walking around this is going to be an ongoing problem. Maybe another member was in a similar position and has more ideas, but I think outside leads or runs might be best?
Posted by crazycrayonmom
Sep 11, 2011
I know, I was gone for a long time, I had to get a new laptop and couldn't find my link to the site!!

Koko and Max are doing great! Max is my running partner now. I just ran my first 5K race this last weekend. I'm going to ask if they allow dogs on the course next year.

I have quite a few concerns about my sister taking in this stray. Shelby is also showing some aggression issues too. What she really needs to do is sign up for some obedience classes and teach Shelby to see her as the leader of the pack. But she says she can't right now. She does have a friend with an outdoor kennel/dog run and offered to let her use it. She's considering it now. That would be a great interim solution, at least until it gets too cold out.

Thanks for the posts folks. ttyl