Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

Crate Training

by Emma
(Oregon)


I have a 16 week old Mini Aussie named Finn and he is having a hard time adjusting to his crate. I picked him up when he was 10 weeks old and he has spent time in his crate almost every day since I have had him.

The problem is that he cries, barks, and whines for a good while when he is first put in his crate (upwards of three hours). I have tried acclimating him to it slowly but it still doesn’t seem to be working.

I give him a peanut butter filled Kong every time he goes in it to give him an extra special treat but he still cries for at least 30 minutes before he calms down enough to eat the peanut butter. I also keep the crate in my living area and when we are home, he willingly goes in it to retrieve a toy or lay in it with a toy.

I am at a loss of what to do and worry that my neighbors are getting too annoyed. Should I just continue to be patient? Or is there something I should do to make him feel more comfortable in his crate?


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Same here
by: Kay

I have a 3 year old Aussie named Finn who also hates his crate! He never took to it. While I was still worried about him going to the bathroom in the house, he would just have to stay in it. But once he was house trained I left him free in the house. I did not have any issues with his behaviour while we were gone.

Crate Games
by: Anonymous

Not exactly sure of the full situation when he cries but every dog is different. Mine have all been worked w/ the crates(2 Aussies and a chi mix). Crates have always been a positive place for the dogs. I have made a game of it as well feed meals in there etc. etc....I started w/ lure near crate to let them get close w/ out going in then built on it till they put a foot in(reward) and continued building little by little till all feet made it in. Then I worked on the door moving till I was able to close it for a moment....then closing longer durations as the next task. Once that was built on I started walking away (w/ a closed door). Susan Garret has a crate games video which will give you some fun things to try out and maybe give you a head start in some basic focus work for a great start.

Crate Training
by: Tristink

Hi! I have a two year old Aussie now who also didn't like her crate. At first I thought it was too small so got a bigger one which she would never relax in either. I brought it up to our bedroom and she slept great! Once she was housebroken I took the crate away and she now has beds all over the house which she can relax on. I had forgotten I had to bring the crate into my bedroom with my first Aussie as well. We all know they are a breed that likes to be with their owners at all times so bed time would make sense. She now sleeps next to our bed on her very cushy bed. By the way, you might find house training goes quicker and easier if you train him to ring a bell at the door. I have one on my front and back door and have trained all of my dogs like that. It gives them a voice! Good luck!

Re: Crate Training
by: Emma

Thanks for the tips! But I think it may be separation anxiety more than the crate itself. He cries whether he is in a crate, room, or my entire apartment, He hates not having me in his sight. But Finn is so young. Can separation anxiety occur in puppies less than 6 mo. old?

Crate issues
by: Robin

I have a 4 month old Aussie who surprisingly doesn't have any issue with being in his crate. We used to have a cattle dog who was a complete horror as a puppy when we tried to crate train him. He never took to it. So....I've had both extremes. What I did do with our Aussie Loki the first few days after I brought him home was to put an old t-shirt of mine that I had just worn the night before into the crate with him so he had my scent near him. After about a week I discontinued it but at about 13-14 weeks he kept waking up several times at night barking and whining. I again put my t-shirt in the crate before bedtime and he has slept the full night ever since. As with our cattle dog, as soon as Loki can be trusted to be uncrated, probably around a year old, we will probably discontinue the crate unless he is really attached to it. All dogs are different and have different personalities! Hope this helps!

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