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Discussion Starter #1
I love this site and have been following along for several months now. Today i finally registered. I hope I am not too lengthy, but am really confused how to solve a problem.

Annie is a just 5 months old. From the very beginning she has taken to her crate with absolutely no problems past the first couple of nights. She was using a 24 x 36 crate but due to growing, was just getting too big for it ... particularly thru the night. Last Saturday I purchased a much larger crate but used her old bedding to help make the transition easier.

Saturday night she was fine, went in on command and settled down. Sunday evening was entirely different. She refused the crate and headed off in a different direction when ordered to "kennel up". At the time, I thought she was just being stubborn so I took her collar and guided her in myself, put down the door, and covered the crate ... just like every other night. But I waited outside that crate for more than 15 minutes. I could hear her panting in there. I was unsure of any actual problem and went off to bed.

Last night I tried again, but her refusal was even stronger. I just couldn't figure out the problem. I even went down to the basement, pulled out the old smaller crate, hauled it back upstairs and put it next to my bed. I used all of her old bedding ... and still she refused. I was thinking she just didn't like the new larger space.

As i do not want to traumatize the dog and have this be a life time problem, I abandoned any hopes of crating her and allowed her to sleep in my bedroom next to the bed. Although she didn't chew anything during the night, and there were no accidents on the floor ... there are many other reasons I want her to be comfortable with her crate again. I have a multi dog household. Annie will be getting spayed in another month and will need some private space for a couple of days. She has also not been separated from me for long periods of time and needs to be "tested" for house destruction. I just don't feel comfortable to allow this young pup to have free run of the house yet.

So far today, I have tossed treats into the new crate to entice her to go in. She refuses. I took her favorite toy and clearly put it under the mat in the crate to entice her to go in there and dig for it. She refuses. Although I didn't do it with her breakfast, I plan to start putting her food dish in there to also entice her.

I am at a loss on how to approach this problem as I am baffled to this abrupt change in behavior. Annie is a very agreeable GSD. I do not want her to learn to ignore my commands but I do not want to force an issue that truly is disturbing to her.

Any suggestions?
 

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The only thing I can think of, since she seems to be fine with crating in general, is that maybe this new crated is second hand, and has an odor that she doesn't like?
 

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Did anyone else force her to go into the crate without you knowing it? Are your other dogs not crated? Maybe to her if the other dogs are not crated she feels that she shouldn't be as well?

If she is not destructive, then I would test her for short periods of time and see if she can handle not being crated. Leave the crate out and put some yummy treats in there and maybe in a few days she will go in on her own. I think some dogs are just more sensitive to change and need time.

I stopped crating my dog when he was 6 months old. First it was un crating at night and then short periods when we left the house. He proved to be reliable and has been crate free since.
 

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Some dogs just like humans don't like change.

I would just continue with your normal routine and kennel her the same way you used to. Hopefully she'll calm down after another night or so
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I thought it was change she was objecting to as well. That is why I retrieved the old crate to test it out. She refused something she had been using for months now.

No one has forced her into the crate. I live alone and have total control of those things.

My other dog is an 11 year old rescue pet. She has always used a crate as well, although her crate door is never closed.

I suppose for now, I will continue to entice her into the crate ... give all incentives possible for her to go in there .. and hopefully in a day or so she will just lay down comfortably as she always has. I have to admit I was extremely pleased that she made no attempt to wander the house, chew, or have accidents last night. As a mature dog, I feel she is going to be rock solid ... she is receptive to learning anything new and most agreeable to once she understands what I want from her.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
well i think i may have discovered what my problem is but am unsure how to correct it, other than a lot of patience.

i took training treats again, just like this morning and tossed them into the crate. she refused them. finally i got her food dish and put a small amount in it and put in the crate. she was skiddish and refused again.

so i climbed into the crate and tucked the food dish behind me. as i always do, i took a couple of bits of food and had her look at me, shake, , etc... but she was outside the crate. i tried it again but called her inside the crate (yes we were a tad crowded) and did the same thing all over again. each time she performed i gave her a bit of food ... this is a usual eating routine. but each time she would leave the crate. sit and leave, shake and leave, down and leave.

so i got out of the crate and removed the food dish and went back for the treats.

i tossed one in and she went for it and left the crate in a hurry. next treat, i got on the floor and blocked the opening when she entered. i remained there while ordering her to lay down, she did and got the treat. but i noticed she was glancing upwards. again she tried to bolt and i ordered her to lay down, she complied but was glancing upward. i treated her and allowed her to leave the crate.

this new crate has a door that lifts upwards and lays on the top when in the open position instead of swinging like the old crate. i don't think she likes it. the noise of it must spook her for some reason. i think i am going to put a thicker type of covering on the crate to cut down on the vibration of when the door is being pulled up and brought down to the closed position.
 

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My dog at about that same age had a spurt where she wouldnt go in her crate - which she had been doing just fine up until some magic day she decided she didnt want to. I ignored it, continued withe putting her in it (even though she didnt want to), and the following week she was fine. I think she was just testing me.

Granted, when I did force her in her crate (Yes I know, not supposed to do this, but when one has to work at a certain time, there are not hours in the day to sit by the crate waiting for puppy to go in!) -- she settled right down. So there was on concern about it once she was IN. She just wasnt going to do what I wanted.

HOpe your girl settles in!
 

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I got a new crate the "Kong" crate for my house and the door lays over top, and my older dogs did not care for it either. Now though they are used to it and fine. I just kept putting them in when needed and they are fine now.
 

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Her age is also typical of a puppy fear period and, coupled with the new and different crate, it sounds like you have your answer.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
yes, that was one of my concerns ... the fear stage. we have done so great this far and i didn't want to make any problems for the future. i lived years with dogs afraid of storms, gun shots, etc. one of my departed friends was so bad, i had to sedate her when there were really bad storms.

i live near a target range. in late spring, summer, and early fall everything is good. the winter can be noisy though ... when the leaves are off the trees the sound really travels thru the valley. Annie was nervous when i first brought her home but has been acclimated to those noises months ago.

the Kong is exactly the one i bought. i knew the doors were different but never considered it would be a problem. Annie had been so agreeable to the crate. i think if i just put some extra padding on the crate, she should be fine in a few days. i just really dread forcing the issue on her.

we have done some more treat tossing in there and she's going for it. we played some in-house fetch. she went in to retrieve the ball. i have not put her in and closed the door yet. i am going to feed her dinner in there as well. i think we should get on top of this in a couple of days.

people and their dogs ...

thank you for your warm welcome and comforting words
 

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My dog has never liked her crate but I got her to at least stay in there for a couple months, long enough for potty training and being spayed. At 4 months she was out of the crate at night and completely out between 6-7 months. She has never gone near that crate again. I fed her in there, gave her treats, and a blanket...she did not like the blanket and took it out. She was so anti crate that I did start leaving her out for short periods of time, then longer and she has never been destructive or had an accident in the house. Maybe its just time to try it with your girl??
 

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Discussion Starter #13
i stopped back quickly to report that all is well in our household again. i got rid of the crate with the drop down door and found a crate with a swing door. at first she was nervous to go in. once she realized it was not the other crate, life has been good again. she willingly goes in at night, naps in it during the day ... we are right back where we were.
 
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