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sophie031013 12-11-2013 08:47 PM

9 month GS is afraid of crate!
Our 9 month old german shepherd all of a sudden is scared to get into her crate. How can I teach her that it's okay to go in and stay in her crate? She used to just go right in and lay down. Now she won't go near it!

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trcy 12-11-2013 08:57 PM

To get my puppy in the crate I used treats. Now I get the treats out and tell him to go in the crate. He runs into it and lays down. I tell him "good. here's your crate treats". It's worked so far.

angierose 12-11-2013 09:06 PM

I'd start right over as if she were a puppy, with tiny sessions and lots of praise and treats. Maybe feed her in there, too. Mine got spooked once after getting her paw caught between the bars, and was scared of the crate for a bit.

sophie031013 12-11-2013 09:19 PM

I've been trying to use treats and she won't respond even with a few treats laying in her crate. She just lays down in front of it. I tried to grab her collar and she just wrestles and tries to bite me. I was thinking of throwing in treats and just leaving to door open and letting her come and go... Maybe throw her toys in so she can fetch them. Sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't. It took me 30 mins to crate her yesterday morning.

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VanH 12-11-2013 09:27 PM

Shikha loves her kennel thanks to peanut butter Buddy Biscuits (soft). We started by showing her a treat, then placing it just inside the door. The next treat went in just as far as needed so she would take a step in. Then each treat went further back in. In a few minutes, she was going in all on her own. Then we added the cue "Go to your den." And then toss the treat towards the back. Eventually, we slowly closed the door, then give her a treat.
You could try this & slowly work up to longer periods with the door closed. Also, when Shikha is calm in her kennel, I periodically offer her a small spoon of peanut butter or pumpkin through the kennel door. This reinforces that good things happen when she is lying down calmly in the kennel.
Paul Owen has some great techniques on his Original Dog Whisperer dvd (available on Netflix). And Zak George has a good video on You Tube. Look up How to Potty Train and Crate Train. I know you don't need the potty training, but he demos how to get a dog to like a kennel.
Good luck!

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blackshep 12-12-2013 08:14 AM

Start feeding her meals in there, give a treat every time she goes in etc. Pretty soon she'll associate it with being a pretty great place to go :)

WVGSD 12-12-2013 09:11 AM

If she went in it initially without any challenges and now she won't, something may have happened while you were not home and she was in the crate. This might be getting a foot or toe caught or something similar. It sounds as though you are going to have to start over with her and you might want to consider trying a different type of crate. If you have a metal fold-down type crate, you might want to consider switching to a large plastic crate (such as a Vari-Kennel or airline style).

I would also play with her around the crate and do as the others have suggested, feeding her in the crate with the door open and tossing treats and toys in to the crate for fun.

Does she have anything that she just absolutely loves like a high value treat or toy? If so, you might try putting that in the crate and just letting her go in and out on her own. Wrestling with her will only make it worse, athough I do understand that she needs to go in. Please keep us posted as to what success you have.

Sansa's Mom 12-13-2013 04:37 PM

+1 on feeding her all her meals in there, I feed my puppy all her meals inside kongs in her crate. Also get a really really good treat, like a raw meaty bone that she only gets to chew while in her crate, or a strip of bacon or something. Dog biscuits, milk bones and such sometimes aren't a sufficient motivator.

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