Odd crate behavior? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-19-2019, 06:48 PM Thread Starter
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Odd crate behavior?

Hey so I'm sure a lot of you know me by now, I've got the possibly fear aggressive 3-year-old rescue GSD I've been working with: Willow. We're coming up on our 2-month "gotcha" day and things have been a little rough but we're going to start training next week. But things at home are going really well and we've got a sort of routine going, but there's one thing Willow does that make me wonder what's going on.

(OK there are probably a lot of things but this is the one I'm asking about today! :-P)

Willow has two beds: one on the floor by the couch, near where I usually sit, and the other one inside her crate. The crate is in the same room but in the corner.

When I'm sitting on my chair reading or watching TV, Willow is always on her bed by the couch or elsewhere on the rug, sleeping or watching TV (I swear she watches TV) or playing with whatever toy I've given her to chew on. She'll sit there for hours, as long as I am there, and seems to really like that pillow--it's puffier and more comfortable than the one in her crate.

But if I get up to go the bathroom or put a load of laundry in the drier, she will get up and go into her crate. She'll stay in there until I sit back down in the chair--not when I enter the room, not when I turn on the TV, not when I go pick up my phone and take a picture of her (see below!). Only when I actually sit down.

I've been leaving her loose in the house for short periods of time (usually I crate her if I'm going to be gone for 2-8 hours), and she'll stay on her bed by the couch then, I guess because she can watch for me to come back (it's closer to the front door).

But yeah, any ideas why she goes into her crate when I'm home but not in the room with her? Anybody else's GSD do this? Is this an anxiety or fear thing? Is she hoping I'll give her a treat (I usually give her a Kong when I crate her before work and will also give her a milk-bone or something when I crate her at night...and sometimes I'll randomly throw treats in there because I want her to love her crate forever, lol). I'm really not THAT worried about it, just something strange that I can't really explain.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-19-2019, 07:55 PM
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My dogs have all retreated to their crates on their own periodically. If I am cleaning, or whatever. It is possible that your moving about makes her think that you would like her to get herself out of the way. Perhaps in a previous home she was chastised for getting in the way, maybe a previous owner only moved when they had things to do.
My dogs simply got sick of being told to move repeatedly while I was cleaning or rearranging furniture and went to a place were they knew they wouldn't be asked to move.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-19-2019, 08:18 PM
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I wouldn't give to much thought to this behavior. The possibilities why she does this are endless. The fact that she doesn't mind being in her crate and chooses of her own free will to go there for whatever the reason is a good thing. Like you said you want her to love her crate and she seems to not mind being in it.
I would just consider it a positive quirk and pay no mind to it. Over time she may stop doing it when she realizes that she doesn't need to crate up when you move about. The up side...she isn't under foot like many GSD's are famous for with their "velcro" trait.

BTW Willow is a pretty girl.

Ziva 03.07.2013
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-19-2019, 08:34 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Springbrz View Post
I wouldn't give to much thought to this behavior. The possibilities why she does this are endless. The fact that she doesn't mind being in her crate and chooses of her own free will to go there for whatever the reason is a good thing. Like you said you want her to love her crate and she seems to not mind being in it.
I would just consider it a positive quirk and pay no mind to it. Over time she may stop doing it when she realizes that she doesn't need to crate up when you move about. The up side...she isn't under foot like many GSD's are famous for with their "velcro" trait.

BTW Willow is a pretty girl.
Thanks y'all. Yeah I'm not worried about it, just thought it was odd. It is handy having her out from underfoot--which she still does sometimes, if she thinks I'm about to do something interesting like go outside or to the garage.

And yes she's very pretty! I'm a sucker for dogs with the black muzzle. :-)
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-19-2019, 09:00 PM
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Mine love their crates. One likes to retreat to a crate to hide a toy from the other one. The other dog goes to the crate to get away from the first dog.
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