How to Stop Dog Barking in Crate Ultimate Guide
Dog barking, whining, and howling is the dog’s most natural means of communication. Barking is generally triggered because your dog wants your attention. So many people try to use the silent treatment on their dog where they try to ignore their dog until they stop barking. This is a bad idea because your dog will not understand why you are not responding, “this method rarely works.”
Obsessive barking is one of the most common reasons people take their dog to the pound or shelter, so few find new forever homes.
As dog owners, it’s up to us to teach them that they need to be silent while in the crate unless it’s an emergency, i.e., needing to use the bathroom or an unknown sound approaching.
6 Steps to Stop Dog Barking in Crate
One of the most asked questions from puppy owners is “how to stop their dog from barking in their crate.”
Today’s guide will show you the proper steps to take to solve your excessive barking forever! These steps also work on older dogs!
1. Dog Crate Size
Size matters, especially when you have a growing puppy. You must make sure you have a crate that is going to be able to sustain the size of your puppy over the next 12 months. Ideally, you will want to go with a dog crate that grows with your puppy.
There are some fantastic dog crates out there that accomplish this, and the best thing is, you will only have to purchase one for your dog’s entire life.
Crate training a puppy is a regular part of raising a puppy and is a fantastic management tool that allows you to speed up your house training if used correctly.
Your dog’s crate needs to represent their “Den” aka their safe place. Dogs are denning creatures by nature, so they should ultimately learn to love to be in their crate rather quickly.
“Did you know dog crates were designed to represent, a den-like structure?”
2. Utilize The Dog Crate More Often
There are a few things we do as dog owners to encourage barking that we need to stop immediately. One being that we only crate our dogs when we go to sleep or leave the house, “this is a huge no-no.”
Instead, we should be crating our dog throughout the day at different times, locations, and circumstances.
You want your dog to get familiar with being in their crate at all times of the day under any circumstance.
- During dinner
- While watching TV
- When you have visitors over
- While you are mowing the grass
It seems odd, doesn’t it? Bear with me it will make sense.
The idea is while you’re distracted doing something else, it makes for an excellent opportunity to pop your dog into their crate for a short period. This time also allows you to train them with your voice by giving them commands like “be quiet” or “no” in the event they start barking.
The last thing you want is for your dog to think that the only time they go in their crate is when you’re going to bed overnight or when you’re going to leave your home.
By randomly using it through the day you will abolish this thought altogether. Also, be sure to move the crate around the house to get them used to staying in many different spots in the event you have to move the location later on permanently.
Leave the crate door open with some of their favorite dog toys and snacks inside for encouragement.
3. Be “All Business” when you’re letting your dog out of their crate
So many of us genuinely love our dogs and treat them like our little fur babies “me included,” but we fail to realize we are a part of the problem…
Meaning we often encourage bad barking behavior when we shouldn’t be.
We encourage barking by hyping up our puppy before, and after we let them out of their crate simply because we missed them so much, “trust me, they missed you too.”
By doing this, we are only setting them up for failure. Make sure you’re not making a big deal about coming in the door and letting them out.
Trust me, I fully understand the want and desire to but please refrain, you will have plenty of time to give them all the loving’s they deserve at the appropriate time.
Instead, do the following
- Wait until they fully calm down before letting them out.
- Once they are calm, place their dog leash on them and take them outside for a walk or let them run around in a fenced area.
- Once they return from outside you can properly great them without the risk of bad encouragement
Your goal is to get your dog to relax a little bit more in their crate. You don’t want to teach them that the more excited they get, the louder they get, the more noise they make, the more they’re rewarded by releasing them from the crate.
Be cautious of your body language, the key is to keep them as calm as possible the entire time they are inside the crate.
4. Make Sure Your Dog Is Quiet Before Letting Them Out
So many dog owners let their dogs out of the cage the minute they start barking, this is one of the worst things you could do.
If they figure out barking means that you’re going to come and let them out of their crate, they will not stop barking until you do exactly that.
That doesn’t mean to ignore them, just the opposite, in fact, reward them by letting them out of the cage when they are not barking.
5. Communicate / Use Commands
Remember when I said barking is the primary way for dogs to communicate? Well, our voice is the primary way we communicate as well. As dog owners, we must let our puppy know when they are making a mistake.
- Use a dog command like “stop” or “no” the moment they bark
If we want them to learn correctly, we have to let them know at precisely what moment they’ve made a mistake.
Granted you need to take into consideration how long they have been in the crate, i.e., if it’s in the middle of the night and they start barking they might be alarming you of danger or needing to use the restroom.
Do NOT ignore them.
6. Cage Jarring
If you have an extremely stubborn dog that ONLY barks when you are out of the room, then give this technique a try.
- Attach a long leash or lead to the cage so that it rattles when you shake it. This is not meant to “yank the crate or scare the dog.”
- Only shake the leash the moment that they’re barking, aka, making the mistake
- Follow up with voice commands for extra support
- Let them out of the crate once they are quiet for a solid 10 – 15 minutes
By making a physical sound on the crate, you’re much more likely to get your dog to stop barking because they will want to investigate the noise. If done correctly, this can be an extremely powerful training tool.
This method should only be used as a last resort and is not ideal for skittish dogs or dogs that are still afraid of their crate.
Your dog is going to bark in their crate, it’s going to happen, remain calm and follow the steps I have laid out and you will have a quite 4-legged bundle of joy that loves to hang out in their crate all hours of the day.
If you are still struggling to cure your dogs’ crate barking shenanigans, then consider placing them in obedience training to ensure everyone in the household remains sane.
If you have any further questions, please feel free to leave me a comment.