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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We have had our mixed breed dog for six years and she has always used at crate at night and when we're gone (when not outside). She has always enjoyed the crate, gladly went in at bedtime and even would go in on her own during the day to rest. It seemed ideal. A couple times last winter we traveled with her and left during the day and put her in the travel crate, the same as we would have done at home. She chewed up her rug and plastic tray and clearly was trying to get out. We determined she was just upset that she couldn't go do the fun stuff with us.

This past spring she actually escaped from the crate several consecutive nights using her tongue to lift the latch from the outside. I zip tied the door shut for a few nights and she quit trying. For the past week and a half she's at it again, furiously trying to get out of the crate. She's managed to break the zip ties and get out every night, shoving the heavy metal tray completely out from under the crate. If we let her out when she starts trying we feel like we're rewarding her behavior. If we keep her in we're afraid she will hurt herself or the furniture nearby. Nothing seems to have changed to warrant this behavior change. Do dogs sometimes just start hating crates? Last night I let her out and she got her dog toy and laid down in her "day bed" by the couch and promptly went to sleep, exhausted from her escape efforts.
 

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If this is a sudden change in behaviour and was fine with being crated that much and now is not, I'd be asking why.
Is it possible that the dog was comfortable being in the crate for hours and now is not? Getting older, maybe cramping up and getting sore overnight, or is having a feeling of urgency concerning bladder or bowels?
What does your dog do if not crated at night?
Things to ponder.
 

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Can I ask why you find it necessary to crate her at night? I've always let my dogs sleep with me.
Yes, I've noted crates being mentionjed on this forum quite a few times and wondered about that.

We do have one but we got it for when we have to travel if a crate is mandatory. It's never been used unless you count the grangirls playing hide and seek in it.

Like you, our dog sleeps with us - on his own bed in ourbedroom.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Regarding the crate or no crate question, that is a personal decision we made when we got her. We prefer to keep the dog hair away from the bedrooms and we have a lot of deer in our area which can get her pretty excited at night where she could do some damage to our house. My question was intended more to ask if anyone has experienced this sort of change in behavior and if there were any suggestions on how to remedy it. I will try leaving her fav toy in the crate tonight. Maybe it will occupy her.
 

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Regarding the crate or no crate question, that is a personal decision we made when we got her. We prefer to keep the dog hair away from the bedrooms and we have a lot of deer in our area which can get her pretty excited at night where she could do some damage to our house. My question was intended more to ask if anyone has experienced this sort of change in behavior and if there were any suggestions on how to remedy it. I will try leaving her fav toy in the crate tonight. Maybe it will occupy her.
Is the crate outside? It sounds that way if your dog can be spooked by the deer.

Anyway, my two cents worth.
Maybe the dog feels trapped and has worked out a way to overcome that feeling. You could put a padlock on it I suppose Substitute crate with cage. Do you really want that for her?

You don't want her in the bedrooms because of hair. Fair enough but don't the bedrooms have doors?

And, after six years with you, do you really think she would do damage? Strikes me that is not a very good bond you have.

I'm sorry if you don't like that but it's how it comes across to me.
Maybe I've just been lucky with the dogs I've had. Or maybe they have. Mutuall trust.
 

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Regarding the crate or no crate question, that is a personal decision we made when we got her.
I made the same decision. :)
You might check the crate out, move it, open it up. See whether maybe there are ants, odors from cleaning sprays, or anything that might have spooked her.
Artdog pointed out that this is a sudden change in behavior, great observation, which means this might possibly be a health issue. Maybe a vet visit would help.
One more thing to consider is that maybe the getting out of the crate somehow turned into a game?

To answer your question, for me, anyway, my dogs are happy and calm in their crates, they even know which one is theirs- they have two sets- one in my bedroom for sleeping, and one where they eat.
 

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Yes dogs can definitely just start hating crates. I suspect she had a panic attack and now has an aversion to it. Just like how people can start avoiding things after anxiety attacks.

I would come up with a different solution. Good luck, I hope you find something that works for everyone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I appreciate the replies that have been non-judgmental. I recognized that there was probably a cause behind the abrupt change in behavior but I couldn't identify anything. There were some good suggestions as possible causes. Last night we decided to leave her crate door open but confine her to the room that the crate is in. We put a nice new soft rug in it and we found her sleeping in it this morning. There is still the risk that she will see something outside and get destructive (yes, some dogs like to chase animals) but we will see how it goes. Ultimately, we want her to be comfortable in the crate so we can use it when we travel.
 

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@McL117 - Have you ever tried playing crate games with her? I did that with both my guys (only one as a puppy), and now they both happily go into their crates when needed. Like you, I need to them to be comfortable in their crates for travel, and dog sporting events.

There's always going to be people who use crates inappropriately, which in turn causes people to hate the crates, so don't let those responses get to you. Both my dogs actively seek out their crates during the day, and then sleep with my husband and I at night.
 
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