walking away from the crate

6 replies [Last post]
lambchop's picture
Joined: 2016-09-08

So I just got my new puppy this past Sunday and in only 2 days she's embraced her crate as her safe spot and after a little grumbling will gladly pass out for her naps. Now here is where my issue lies. If I move away from her side and out of sight for more than a minute she goes nuts and starts to panic. I know this is typical for a new pup, but I wanted to know how to start moving away from her for longer periods of time without her starting to hate her crate or having her feel like I trapped her in there. Any tips would be super helpful!

dog123's picture
Joined: 2016-06-06

Sometimes you can give them a super special (but safe) crate treat. A KONG stuffed with peanut and/or banana and then frozen will be tasty and keep her occupied. I'm convinced my last pooch was happy to see me leave because he knew it was KONG time.

nplymouth's picture
Joined: 2017-04-09

Pet Profiles

This is where we are at... seems to be worse if we are in the house doing things other than looking after puppy, than going out?

Its also better some days than others. I believe it will be a case of persistance. But I will say this, whenever he comes out, we check he will go back in and he always will!

Do you wait for him to calm down before you let him out, if hes going nuts?


Mydobe's picture
Joined: 2017-06-27

I'm having the same issue with my pup. He goes nuts if I walk away.I have found if I cover the crate with a very thin sheet to make den like he calms down a lot quicker. Downside is I'm now having to cover the crate during the day.

Are we talking about crates or wire cages?

Somewhere within that genetic make up of the dog, a more enclosed confinement device seems to be more comforting to the dog. Dogs are, well used to be, den animals. Wild canidae will have their litters in holes, caves, hollowed out trees and such (dens). These dens aren't all that roomy either. So for my puppies I have several crates of different sizes to suit the dog as it grows. The puppy and grown dogs only need enough room to stand, turn around and lay down. Now these are the plastic travel, airline approved type crates and not wire cages.

If you have a wire cage, try covering the cage with a blanket or something to make it seem more enclosed. The puppy doesn't need or want that sense of openness. If you're using a plastic type crate, do not open the door when the puppy is protesting. In fact don't open the door to the wire cage either. If you do the puppy will learn how to open the door by complaining. Ignore the the protesting all together. To offer soothing words is just like rewarding the behavior with treats. You want the puppy to realize that his protest gets him nowhere but being quiet will. When he's quiet is when you open the door. They get that pretty quick.

To get the puppy more accepting of his new digs, treat (reward) him going into the crate and use a phrase (command), I use "get in your box" when he goes in. Lure him in to start and soon he will get the picture and happily go in his box and chill. Don't feel bad when the puppy throws a fit or if that fit last a while. He's probably used that tactic with success before. The puppy is in his crate and is safe. Just noisy.

You really want the dog used to going in his crate. One day you will be traveling with him and he'll need a place that's safe and secure.


Mydobe's picture
Joined: 2017-06-27

My crate is a large one but it has a moveable divider so I have made the space smaller and will increase the space as he grows, crate is wired and I cover it with a sheet. It's not so much of the feeling guilty if he howls barks etc, my puppy works himself up to the point of peeing in the crate. We are not talking hours here. Literally within 2 mins of walking away his done a pee and keeps barking. Even when I've taken him out for a walk and his done wees outside, the minute I crate him and walk away he works himself up. If I stay by the crate his fine.

DobermanGuy's picture
Joined: 2017-12-11

At the beginning she 'needs' to be locked in there and you need to learn to ignore the whining. If you don't do this from the beginning you set both you and the dog up for failure. You WILL make things worse / harder than it has to be if you give in to the wrong kind of whining.



I always do the crates side by side and have learned to avoid covering them with anything or placing anything between them to block their view.

Each dog has their own crate and I do not allow (for the most part) any dogs to go inside a crate that does not 'belong' to them. (especially if there is some sort of food or toys inside)

With the girls I am raising currently I 'introduced' them to the crates right before heading off to work. I made sure that I was not around to hear the whining and they both figured out fairly quickly that whining would NOT get them anywhere fast or get them any attention at all. Once they are inside and that door is shut - I tend to ignore them and they know it... They learn fast and they WILL train YOU if you allow it. If you have your puppy on a proper schedule you will KNOW if they are whining because of the crate or because they need to go potty and you will know which whining to ignore.

Here lately (my landsharks are 4 months old currently) I have been working on the 'open door policy' of crate training when I am home with them and able to give them 100% supervision. That is when the doors are left wide open but I expect them to get inside and STAY inside when told to. This can be done with treats that will take them a while to consume OR by crating them when they are tired / full of food and you know they are about to lay down to sleep anyway. If one tries to come out - they get led back inside and watched to make sure they STAY there. I like to begin this sort of training with mealtimes and work up from there. (dogs get crated with doors open and made to stay there while I get the meals ready and then they are 'allowed' and called by name to come out to get the reward / meal)

Having a Doberman (or any dog) to 'protect' your home while you are away is impossible if they are locked inside a crate when you are not home. Working in small steps towards an open door policy leads to a dog that will go (and stay) there when you ask and only come out if there is a problem or if you call them.

Small steps example: The dog is crated (door open) where they can see you and KNOW you will get up and lead them back inside if they come out. From there you begin to crate them while you 'disappear' around the corner for a few minutes at a time. (slowly increase this length of time) From there you begin to crate them (door open) before you go outside to check the mailbox for a few minutes. (the sound of that door closing and them 'seeing' you leave is when the time thing starts over from scratch)

From there you start crating them (doors open) and actually arming the alarm before you go outside. Your dogs already know those beeping sounds mean you are not coming back for a while... Stay gone one minute and then come back inside and see who is still in their crate and who is NOT. :)  Give treats accordingly and slowly increase that time 'gone' interval until they have that mastered.

Once they have proven themselves with all that start actually getting in your car and backing down to the end of your driveway. Shut it down and then sneak back up to see who is still inside their crates and who is NOT.

Dobermans are not stupid. Not by a longshot. They will learn sounds, patterns, and routines faster than you can imagine. They know (or will soon learn) darn well what the different sounds on your alarm mean and what your vehicle sounds like.     


I like to use individual dog names when telling any of them to get in a crate or putting any of them inside a crate. In a multi dog household - The more you USE the individual names the faster the dogs will learn them. Around here the word 'Crate' with no name used in front of it is a 'community' command and everybody is expected to do it. (I remembered this pretty quick with the new pups the few times I just said 'Crate' with no name and then looked up to see the older Doberman getting in her crate also)