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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 19284
Experience:  Behaviorist /Trainer and Dog breeder 18+ years
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My Golden Retriever is 8 months old and is suddenly afraid

Customer Question

Hello,
My Golden Retriever is 8 months old and is suddenly afraid of his crate. We had no problems when we brought him home at 10 weeks and he was instantly comfortable in his crate. Ike is crated during the night and when nobody is home. During the day he isn't crated for more than 3 hours at a time.
The fear of the crate happened suddenly one morning when we let him out. Now he shakes when it's time to go to bed, or when he will be alone. I don't want to force him in the crate, but I want to keep him safe!
I've started to put his food bowl just inside the crate and he will eat. I'm just worried about having to physically put him in the crate when we need to leave during the day.
Thank you.
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Dog Training
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 2 months ago.

Hi JaCustomer,

My name is ***** ***** I’ve been involved professionally with dogs in the health and behavioral fields for over 18 years. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.

I find the easiest way to overcome this type of crate fear is to leash your boy and take the leash through the back of the crate. Don't force him into the crate but use that to keep him from backing up. Then have some paper thing hot dog slivers or another food that your dog loves on hand. Mine love hot dog slivers or a portion of a slice of bread (not sure why they love the bread). I'l let them have a tiny taste and then toss a small piece into the back of the crate. Most dogs even if a bit scared will creep in to get the treat. As he does take up the slack in the leash being sure you give the command you use for him to go into the crate.

Usually after a few times going in this way, when he hears the command he will go in without the treat. When that happens, give him twice the treats through the crate wires so he is rewarded for going into the crate.

I hope this information is helpful to you. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have . If you do find this helpful, please take this opportunity to rate my answer positively so I am compensated for my time.

Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 2 months ago.

Hi JaCustomer,

My name is ***** ***** I’ve been involved professionally with dogs in the health and behavioral fields for over 18 years. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.

I find the easiest way to overcome this type of crate fear is to leash your boy and take the leash through the back of the crate. Don't force him into the crate but use that to keep him from backing up. Then have some paper thing hot dog slivers or another food that your dog loves on hand. Mine love hot dog slivers or a portion of a slice of bread (not sure why they love the bread). I'l let them have a tiny taste and then toss a small piece into the back of the crate. Most dogs even if a bit scared will creep in to get the treat. As he does take up the slack in the leash being sure you give the command you use for him to go into the crate.

Usually after a few times going in this way, when he hears the command he will go in without the treat. When that happens, give him twice the treats through the crate wires so he is rewarded for going into the crate.

I hope this information is helpful to you. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have . If you do find this helpful, please take this opportunity to rate my answer positively so I am compensated for my time. I forgot to hit the rating box, so I'm reposting the answer.

Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 2 months ago.
Hi Katie,
I'm just following up on our conversation about Ike. How is everything going?
Jane Lefler
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 2 months ago.

Hi Again,

I just thought I'd check in to see how things are going for you and your dog. Let me know if my answer was helpful.

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