5 year old, crate anxiety
I recently(3 days ago) adopted a 5 year old GSD from a local GSD rescue. I spent one month volunteering and helping exercise this big boy (he has my heart alread!) and this past weekend i officially adopted him.
He walks well on a leash, comes when he's called, knows many basic commands (i learned he knew "back up" while i was in the shower this morning). He lays quietly while we're just watching TV. The only issue, he has some pretty bad anxiety when in the crate. Howling, crying, digging, pushing up against the door. Yesterday, i crated him for an hour while i ran to the grocery store and he got out. Nothing was torn up, or ripped. He just came out of the room where his crate is with a toy as if he was saying "oh, hey! you're back! here's a Kong!"
Periododically, i'll take a handful of small treats and have him go into the crate and lay down. Once he's settled, i'll give him two. Let him come out, then have him go back in and give him the rest of the treats. I'll alternate that exercise between using treats and physical/verbal praise. And last night I moved a chair and TV into the room where his crate is and hung out in there with him and occasionally made him go in the crate and closed the door. I would open the door when i noticed he started getting anxious but before he started crying and howling. The longest we made it was about 2 minutes. The thing is, he does all the carrying on even when I'm laying right next to the crate.
I read one thread where someone would crate their dog at night and sleep next to the crate, but that was with a puppy. Do you think this would work with an adult? Any other tips?
Other than the crate anxiety, he is great. I just want him to be happy when in the crate and most of all, i don't want him to hurt himself trying to get out.