Achieving Balance and Harmony

DOG TRAINING

Destructive in the Crate

Cesar,

How can I stop my dogs from chewing whatever bedding we put in their crate?

Loretta Hamann
East Northport, NY

Loretta,

There’s so much we don’t know from your question. These are the questions I’d ask you. How old are your dogs? Are they spayed or neutered? How much exercise are they getting? How long are they being kept in the crate? The best I can answer you without knowing the details is that typically when a dog is destructive, he is releasing energy and he’s bored. This may be obsessive behavior as well, but as a general suggestion for a dog that is destructive in the crate:

  • Make sure that you always drain his energy before you put him in the crate. For some dogs a vigorous 30-minute walk is sufficient. For others, they may need twice that much and more of a challenge, like carrying a backpack or going to a run instead.
  • Always lead a dog into the crate gently. Never force them in. If you need to, lure them in with a treat or a leash.
  • Calm behavior in the crate should be rewarded, so the dog knows this is what you expect from him.
  • Only release your dog from the crate when he is calm. They may be excited to see you at the crate, but be patient and wait for them to relax before letting them out.
  • Consider using treats or toys that will keep them occupied in the crate, such as a bully stick or you can fill a Kong toy with peanut butter and freeze it so it lasts longer. There are other toys like treat balls that can also stimulate the brain so they are not bored and their attention is redirected to something more productive than destroying the bedding.
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