Dog Doesn't Like Their Crate? Modifications To Try

fearful dogs Mar 06, 2023

Is your dog hesitant to enter their crate? Or maybe they'll go in, but don't like to stay there. Sometimes, adjustments to the crate itself can make a big difference to how comfortable your dog finds it. In the video below I suggest 4 ways you could modify your dog's crate to make it more attractive to them. 

While making the crate more appealing to your dog will help with crate training, you'll probably still need to train. Don't close your dog in a crate without gradually training them to be comfortable confined in it.  Your dog will avoid even the most comfortable crate if they're forced to stay in it before they're ready.


Crate Modification #1: Bigger Can Be Better

It's common to start out with a crate that's a little too small for your dog. Sometimes just going up by one or two crate sizes can make a crate much more appealing. 


Crate Modification #2: Different Crate Type/Material

Some dogs have a strong preference for (or against) metal, plastic, or fabric crates. In the video below, I discuss some of the pros and cons of each type of crate. For example, metal crates can be the loudest in terms of the noises made when you close the crate, or when your dog bumps the crate. But some dogs will chew holes in fabric crates. You'll need to experiment to learn what your dog likes best.


Crate Modification #3: Pad The Crate Floor

Most crates have a hard plastic floor, and some dogs dislike walking on hard, slippery surfaces. Additionally, the plastic trays in the floor of some crates make noise when a dog walks on them. Try covering the crate floor with a thick and stable layer of padding. I like using a rubber-backed mat as the bottom layer of padding, because it doesn't slide around when the dog moves. 


Crate Modification #4: Cover All Or Part Of The Crate (Or, Don't)

Many dogs seem to prefer crates that are covered with blankets or towels. You can try covering all but the front of the crate, or the entire crate. I've had several fearful foster dogs who seemed to like having a blanket hanging down over about 3/4 of the crate opening, so they could go in and out freely and peek out from beneath the blanket. This gives them a nice hiding place option without being confined.  Your dog might love or hate having their crate covered- give it a try and see what they tell you with their behavior.  

If you try any of the crate modifications described in this blog, we'd love to hear from you! You can comment below this blog, shoot us an email ([email protected]), or message us on Facebook or Instagram.