why does my dog prefer being in her crate and not out with the family?

asked 2015-08-19 07:05:27 -0600

Our lab-pitbull mix prefers to lay in her crate when the entire family (me, my hubby, my 14 year old son) are all in the same room. This has not always been the case though. She used to want to sit on my lap constantly, play, or just be social. Now she seems "uninterested" in us. Could she be depressed? Thanks in advance! Amanda

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answered 2015-08-19 14:26:31 -0600

Many dogs love their crates.It resembles a den they would seek out/build if they didn't have cozy houses to live in. It's probably the only place in the house that is truly theirs, where they can be undisturbed and feel safe. You don't mention how old your dog is, but like people, as dogs age they tend to get a bit less social and less playful. Before, having all of you in one room may have signaled play time, and now she may be thinking, "sheesh, play time? I think I'll just go to bed." It's also possible she's avoiding one family member in particular who behaves in a way that makes her feel nervous, overwhelmed, or uncomfortable. Neither of my dogs bonded much with my ex when he lived with me, even though he was never mean to them. They both have a preference for women, and so they were just never as comfortable with him. We'd see the opposite pattern you're describing - they would be out and social when both of us were here, but when I was out of the house and only he was here, the dogs would spend almost all their time in their crate, only coming out when he would feed them or take them out.

Although dogs can suffer from depression, if this is the only sign you're seeing, she's probably just doing what makes her most comfortable and her preferences have changed as she gets older. If it's important to you that she spend time with the family when you're all together, you could try putting a big comfy bed in the corner of the room for her and giving her a special treat, like a stuffed Kong or a chew toy while she's there with you.

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We have a seven year old Maltese that spends most of the day in his crate. The crate is in our bedroom so he spends almost no time with us unlesss we call him to come out. He always spent time with us in the past. What are we doing wrong?

Marilyn L.'s profile image Marilyn L.  ( 2020-06-03 21:39:54 -0600 ) edit
answered 2015-08-24 21:37:50 -0600

To me it sounds like you did a good job at positioning his crate in a place that he feels comfortable in it as well as respect it so he feels safe in it; that is the reason most dogs like their crates. If you feed them in it that makes them want to hang out in there even when its not meal time.

The same reasons why she goes in it can be used to get her to change that behavior if that's something you are interested in. Try making a comfortable place, like a pillow/blanket or just moving the crate next to the couch at first to get her used to being there. Most times it will take many tries to find the spot where your dog finds the most comfortable.

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Why can't I can't see my 1 year old golden retriever to come out of her crate she seems to only want to be in there unless I pull it out by Force and I feel bad

Caroline L.'s profile image Caroline L.  ( 2022-11-28 11:26:13 -0600 ) edit

It might be because you also have four dogs but I can't see the figure out one she always has Tails except when she walks towards me or when I walk towards her

Caroline L.'s profile image Caroline L.  ( 2022-11-28 11:27:34 -0600 ) edit
answered 2022-12-20 18:25:20 -0600

My 3 year old rescued lab has started going in her kennel every evening, and I’m not sure why. She doesn’t run in there with her tail tucked, she just walks in there and casually goes into her kennel. I checked on her just now and she isn’t shaking, or whining, she doesn’t seem stressed other than her pupils are dilated. I will say, she typically only goes in there on her own if she is scared or stressed out, or if she knows she is in trouble, but the last few days around 6pm she goes in there for no apparent reason. She has done this once before for a couple weeks, but that was months ago. She had a couple of days in a row where the storms were scaring her. I just don’t know what to do. She doesn’t appear to be sick or in pain. It sucks not knowing what is going through her head.

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