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Separation Anxiety Related To Dog Crate

Separation anxiety dog crate: Learn how to make your dog love its crate and overcome its anxiety when left alone. Find out the causes, symptoms, and solutions for this common problem.

When you put your dog in a crate, you might see that as a punishment or a start of a bad experience, it doesn't like. When left alone in this annoying crate, your dog can become extremely anxious and upset and start barking excessively, whining, howling, chewing, scratching, digging, escaping, urinating, defecating, vomiting, or even self-injury. It tries to escape this hated situation. So, this article will show you how to remove this bad idea about the crate and solve this Separation anxiety that your dog suffers from.

Separation anxiety dog crate: Learn how to make your dog love its crate and overcome its anxiety when left alone. Find out the causes, symptoms, and solutions for this common problem.

As we used to do in splansh. We try to cover each pet-related topic from all its aspects. We talked before about home remedies for separation anxiety in dogs, and today we will talk about crate training as another solution to this problem.

Crate training as a solution for separation anxiety

One of the possible solutions for separation anxiety is crate training. Crate training teaches a dog to accept and enjoy being in a crate as a safe and comfortable place. A crate can give a dog a sense of security and prevent them from engaging in destructive behaviors when left alone.

However, crate training is not a magic cure for separation anxiety. It can sometimes worsen if done incorrectly or if the dog negatively associates with the crate, as mentioned above. Therefore, it is important to understand first the difference between crate and separation anxiety and how to properly train a dog with separation anxiety.

Crate Anxiety vs. Separation Anxiety

Crate anxiety is a specific type of anxiety that occurs when a dog is confined in a crate or any other enclosed space. Crate anxiety can be caused by various factors, such as lack of proper crate training, traumatic experiences in the past, fear of isolation, boredom, frustration, or lack of exercise.

Separation anxiety, conversely, is a general type of anxiety that occurs when you're not around your dog, making them feel separated and lonely. Various factors, such as changes in routine, environment, family composition, or history of abandonment or rehoming, can trigger separation anxiety.

Some dogs may suffer from crate and separation anxiety, while others may only have one or the other. It is important to identify the root cause of your dog's anxiety before attempting to crate train them.

Should I put my Dog with Separation Anxiety in a crate?

The answer to this question depends on your dog's situation and personality. Some dogs may benefit from crate training to reduce their stress and provide them with a haven. Other dogs may find crate training more stressful and prefer more freedom and access to the house.

The key to deciding whether to crate your dog with separation anxiety or not is to observe their behavior and reaction to the crate. If your dog shows signs of fear, panic, or aggression when in the crate or when you try to put them in the crate, then crating may not be the best option. Suppose your dog shows signs of calmness, relaxation, or enjoyment when in the crate or when you offer them treats or toys in the crate; then crating may be a good option for them.

How Do I Fix My Dog's Crate Anxiety?

Forcing your dog to do what it already hates can worsen the situation; you must fix it and make the crate a positive and pleasant place for them. After that, your task will be easier to crate your dog. Here are some tips on how to stop separation anxiety in your crate:

Choose the Right Crate for Your Dog

Ensure the crate is big enough for your dog's size to stand comfortably. Lie down, and turn around comfortably but not too large that they can use one corner as a bathroom. The crate should also be sturdy, secure, well-ventilated, and easy to clean.

Make the Crate Comfortable and Inviting

You can add bedding, blankets, toys, chews, or puzzle feeders to make the crate more appealing and stimulating for your dog. You can cover your dog's crate with a towel or blanket to create a more cozy and cave-like environment.

Introduce the Crate Gradually and Positively

You can start by placing the crate in a familiar and quiet area of the house where your dog can see you. You can toss treats or toys inside the crate and let your dog explore them at their own pace. You can feed your dog one of their meals in the crate or play games with them near the crate to create positive associations with it.

Increase the Duration and Frequency of Crating Slowly

You can start by briefly crating your dog while at Home and nearby. You can gradually increase the time you leave them alone in the crate at Home. You can also vary the times you put them in the crate so they do not associate it with a specific cue or routine.

Make your Leaving or Returning Home unnoticeable

You can avoid creating excitement or anxiety in your dog by keeping your departures and arrivals low-key and calm. You can also give your dog a treat or toy before you leave and ignore them for a few minutes after you return until they settle down.

Do Not Use the Crate as a Punishment or Isolation Tool

You should never force your dog into the crate or lock them up for long periods without supervision or exercise. You should never scold, yell, or hit your dog for showing signs of anxiety or distress in the crate. This will only make them more fearful and resentful of the crate and worsen their anxiety.

Identify the Underlying Cause of Your Dog's Crate Anxiety

You need to figure out why your dog is afraid or uncomfortable in the crate and try to reduce the source of stress gradually. For example, if your dog is bored or under-stimulated, you can give them more exercise and mental enrichment. If your dog is lonely or isolated, you can provide them more social interaction and companionship. If your dog has a medical condition or pain, you can consult your vet and get them treated.

Reintroduce the Crate with Positive Reinforcement

Follow the steps mentioned above to introduce the crate to your dog, but you must be more patient and careful. You must start from scratch and go at your dog's pace, rewarding them for their little progress. You must also avoid any triggers or situations that may cause your dog to panic or regress during training.

Seek Professional Help if Needed

If your dog's crate anxiety is severe or does not improve with your efforts, you may need to seek professional help from a vet, a behaviorist, or a trainer. They can assess your dog's condition and provide you with more guidance and support. They may also prescribe medication or supplements to help your dog cope with anxiety.

Dog Traumatized by Crate

Some dogs may develop a trauma or phobia of the crate due to various reasons, such as:

  • Being created for too long or too often without proper breaks or stimulation

  • Being created in an inappropriate size or type of crate

  • Being crated in a noisy or scary environment

  • Being crated during a stressful event such as a storm, firework, or burglary

  • Being crated as a punishment or correction

  • Being crated without proper introduction or acclimation

If your dog is traumatized by the crate, you must take steps to help them overcome their fear and rebuild their trust in the crate. Here are some tips on how to do that:

  • Stop using the crate until your dog is ready. You must give your dog time and space to recover from their trauma and regain their confidence. You can use

  • Use alternative methods of confinement or management until your dog is ready. You can use baby gates, playpens, exercise pens, or closed rooms to restrict your dog's access to the house without confining them in a crate. You can also use calming aids such as pheromones, music, aromatherapy, or supplements to help your dog relax and cope with anxiety.

  • Seek professional help if needed. If your dog's trauma is severe or does not improve with your efforts, you may need to seek professional help from a vet, a behaviorist, or a trainer. They can assess your dog's condition and provide you with more guidance and support. They may also prescribe medication or therapy to help your dog overcome fear.


In conclusion, crate anxiety and separation anxiety are distinct issues that can affect dogs. While crate training can effectively solve separation anxiety, it should be cautiously approached and tailored to each dog's needs. Choosing the right crate, creating a comfortable and inviting environment, introducing the crate gradually and positively, and increasing crating duration slowly can help alleviate crate anxiety. However, crate training may not be suitable for all dogs with separation anxiety, and alternative methods of confinement or management should be considered. It is important to avoid using the crate as a punishment or isolation tool and to address the underlying causes of anxiety. Seeking professional help may be necessary in severe cases. Patience, positive reinforcement, and a personalized approach are key to addressing crate and separation anxiety in dogs.

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