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11 Reasons Why Dogs Whine In Their Crate All Of A Sudden

Dog Whining In Crate All Of A Sudden

Does your dog seem to hate his crate all of a sudden?

This is weird because you crate-trained them before.

But now, they whine in there non-stop…

And I know you have lots of questions. 

So let’s not waste any more time, shall we?

Keep reading to learn:

  • Whether you should ignore Fido when he’s whining.
  • 5 simple ways to get your dog to like his crate again.
  • 11 surprising reasons why your dog suddenly whines in his crate.
  • And many more…

Why is my dog whining in his crate all of a sudden?

Your dog is whining in his crate all of a sudden due to boredom or loneliness. He might also have a sudden fear of being confined or the container itself. Moreover, recent changes involving his crate can make him whine as well. Other times, it could be due to illness or separation anxiety.

11 reasons why your dog suddenly whines in his crate

#1: He’s bored

If you ask Fido what’s the most boring place on Earth…

He’d definitely answer it’s his crate.

Because there, he has nothing to do.

And you might give him a toy or 2 to be with him…

But canines easily get weary of things.

Fun fact: Dogs have a very short attention span. This research points out that they can only sustain attention for a little more than 1 minute. That’s only if the stimulus is highly relevant to them.

Now, you might be asking:

“Why is my dog bored?”

AKC says your pooch has too much energy to burn…

And that’s due to the lack of exercise and mental stimulation.

Or he’s simply in his crate for too long. Fido’s already well-rested and recharged with so much power.

Now, if that stamina remains unused…

You’ll be dealing with these problematic behaviors:

Moreover, your pup will also give out steady barks and whines in his crate. That means his vocalization has a constant tune in it. 

#2: He’s lonely in there

Your Dog Suddenly Whines In His Crate Because He's Lonely There

Have you been spending more time with your pooch lately?

Maybe your schedule changed a little, and you’ve got lots of free time now…

Or you’re on leave of some sort.

Regardless of what it is, it gave you more time to be with Fido.

And when you put him back into his crate…

Here come the whines of loneliness.

Yep, his crate is a sad place now.

All he wants is to continue spending time with you. 

Or he’s confused about the sudden attention and the lack of it. 

So, he makes his feelings known through whining. 

Now, he’ll eventually stop when he tires himself. 

However, he might hit the restart button and cry again. That’s once he sees you moving around without him.

Read also: 7 Reasons Why Your Dog Barks, Howls Or Cries When You Leave

#3: He has a fear of being confined

Dogs are complex creatures…

One moment they feel this way toward a particular object…

But by their next encounter, they’re no longer a fan of it.

That’s what happened in this sudden fear of being confined.

And according to many vets:

There aren’t lots of accurate information regarding containment phobia in dogs.

But it could be due to a negative experience involving an enclosed space. 

Remember that dogs associate incidents with things.

So it doesn’t have to involve the crate…

Rather, the feeling he got from a small area will have him thinking it’s all the same. Whether you put him in his crate, a room, or a box.

#4: He needs to get out of there

Most of the reasons point to your dog wanting to get out of his crate…

For this one, he needs to be free from there.

Unfortunately, Fido can no longer hold their pee or poop. So, he whines to get your attention, and hopefully, you let them out.

Now, your pooch is trying to be a considerate one here. 

Because he doesn’t want to do number 1 or 2 in his crate.

You trained him not to, right? 

Moreover, some dogs don’t want their pee or poop around their area. Especially in a spot where they’re supposed to sleep or rest.

#5: Your dog’s not sleepy

In that limited space, he doesn’t have much to do.

That’s why when dogs are in their crate, they’ll usually just sleep in it.

However, your dog whines in there because he’s not feeling drowsy.

Now, this can be due to boredom as well. 

As I mentioned, your pup’s lack of exercise leaves him with so much energy. That’s why he can’t doze off.

Another reason for this is aging

You might’ve crate-trained your canine during their puppyhood…

And when dogs are in that stage, vets say they sleep 90% of the time.

Oh, to live that life.

Anyway, as your puppy grows older…

He needs less sleep, so his schedule changes.

That said, if you put him in his crate when he prefers to be awake…

He’s going to whine you to annoyance. 

#6: You moved his crate, and he doesn’t like that

Your dog doesn’t do well with changes.

He’s a creature of habit. 

And any sudden shift in his life will also result in abrupt behavior changes.

That’s why it confused Fido when you moved his crate to another place.

Moreover, you might’ve placed it somewhere disruptive.

Maybe it’s near a window now. With that, your doggo can hear the distracting noises outside.

Or the new crate placement could be a center of foot traffic. That means you put it somewhere many people in your house pass by.

All of that leads your pooch suddenly hating his crate. So, he whines like he never did back then.

#7: You changed his crate

If before you only altered the spot of his little space…

Now, you totally changed it.

And it might be too small for them, or they simply don’t like it.

Moreover, as I mentioned, dogs aren’t big fans of any changes.

If only Fido could talk, he’ll be straightforward with you. For example, he might say something like:

“New crate, hooman?

I don’t like it.”

But since your dog talking to you is an unlikely thing to happen…

He’ll whine instead.

#8: The crate is scary

If #3 is about the fear of being in a confined space…

This time, Fido is scared of the crate itself.

Now, he might’ve behaved well in a crate before. However, a frightening event changed that.

For example, there was a thunderstorm.

And as you know, dogs are afraid of thunder. 

As for your pooch, he’s inside the crate, enduring the loud bangs and calming himself. With no way to get out…

With that, Fido relates the crate to that feeling of fear and anxiety.

So the next time you put him in there…

He whines to let you know he wants to get out.

#9: He wants you to hand him something

As I said, the crate can be a lonely and boring place.

Now, that’s something that Fido can sometimes tolerate.

But now, he’s whining because he wants something from you.

And that’s to put his favorite toy with him in there…

Or he can also be asking for a treat. 

#10: He’s not feeling well

He's Not Feeling Well

Sudden behavior changes in dogs are alarming. 

And if your pupper has always behaved in his crate before…

His sudden whining, while he’s in it, can mean he’s sick.

When that’s the case, he’d rather hang out with you outside his crate. That’s because your presence will comfort him.

Let me tell you how to figure out if your dog is sick or in pain. 

AKC reveals these common signs of illness in dogs:

  • Vomiting.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Lethargy.
  • Coughing.
  • Wheezing.
  • Scratching.
  • Pale gums.
  • Decreased activity.
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Sudden weight gain or loss.
  • Drinking more or less water.
  • Changes in urination frequency.
  • Increased or decreased appetite.

You might also want to know: Why Does My Dog Cry In The Morning? 9 Reasons + 7 Tips

#11: He has separation anxiety

Your dog has developed a hyper-attachment to you. Which led him to have separation anxiety.

Here are some causes that might’ve led to this:

  • Loss of a family member.
  • Abrupt adjustments to his routines.
  • Sudden changes in your schedule (that had you leaving him for a longer time).

And now, Fido knows that whenever you put him in his crate…

That means you’re going away for a while. And he can’t bear that fact.

However, he could also lose it, even when you’re not going anywhere.

So, Fido will still whine inside his crate.

Because he’d rather stay outside and velcro himself to you.

He wants to stay near you 24/7 and follow you around.

Aside from those, FETCH by WebMD says your pooch will also show these signs:

  • Pacing.
  • Barking.
  • Howling.
  • Digging.
  • Drooling.
  • Trying to escape.
  • Excessive panting.
  • Peeing or pooping inside the house (despite training).
  • Chew your belongings (blankets, socks, clothes, etc.).

Note: This research reveals that separation anxiety (SA) is more common in male dogs. And that 82.8% of the canines have other behavioral problems apart from SA.

Continue reading: How To Protect Your Dog From Separation Anxiety?

Should I ignore my dog while he’s whining in his crate?

You should ignore your dog while he’s whining in his crate, if he’s not showing symptoms of sickness. You can find those signs in the previous section.

If your dog’s healthy, he’ll eventually tire out and stop vocalizing. All you have to do is endure his cries until that happens.

How do I get my dog to like his crate again? 5 tips

#1: Go over his crate training again

It’s time to let Fido know that his crate is still a safe space. And one way to do that is to re-do their training.

That said, watch this video to know how to crate train your dog:

#2: Fix his schedule

This tip is best if your canine needs less sleep. Or his meal routine has shifted.

That said, you must adjust his schedule in the crate.

Ensure that he’s ready to sleep whenever he’s inside. And that he has pooped or peed already before staying there.

Once you find the perfect schedule for Fido…

The best one would be where he doesn’t whine, get bored, need to pee, or poop…

Moreover, maintain this newly fixed schedule. 

As I mentioned, any changes can affect his behavior. So, you must stick to this one for a long time.

#3: Ensure he’s comfortable in there

If you invest in a good mattress to get a good night’s sleep…

You must also put money and effort into making your dog’s crate comfortable.

For one, ensure that it’s big enough for him.

He must be able to stand without slouching inside. And assure that he can walk a few paces.

Moreover, adding a blanket or a bed that fits can help make it cozy.

Most of all, attach a water dispenser to the bars. 

#4: Don’t over-crate him

Your dog’s definitely going to hate the crate if he’s always there…

So, to avoid that, you must not keep him in there for a long time.

The rule of thumb for adult dogs is no more than 8 hours. 

#5: Provide enough exercise and mental stimulation

I’d like to say that dogs are born to be active.

That’s why adequate exercise is essential for them.

According to PDSA, the amount of required activity depends on these factors:

  • Age.
  • Size.
  • Breed.
  • Energy levels.
  • General health condition.

However, they advise a minimum of 1 hour to a maximum of 2 hours. 

Apart from that, lots of dog parents often forget about mental stimulation. Which is as important as physical exercise.

It also enriches your dog’s life. And it ensures that he has something meaningful to do at home.

That’s why you must provide at least 30 minutes of mental stimulation daily.

Now, one way to do that is to give him an interactive toy. That could keep him busy and thinking.

Pro tip: You can hand him the toy inside his crate. Instead of whining, he’ll be playing with the item. Thus, Fido will be behaved and be mentally nourished.

BONUS: Consult the vet

As I mentioned, illness can change your pup’s behavior. 

And if your crate-trained pup begins to whine in there…

It’s best to observe him if he’s showing other signs of sickness.

If he is, bring him to the vet for a check-up.

Frequently asked questions:

Why does my dog hate his crate?

Your dog hates his crate because he’s been in there for too long and he’s bored. Sometimes, he fears being confined, or the crate itself is scary. Other times, it could be due to the changes you made. In that case, that’s what he hates, not the crate itself.

Why has my dog suddenly started crying in his crate?

Your dog has suddenly started crying in his crate due to fear. He might’ve developed a phobia of small spaces. Or the crate has become a scary place after a fearful experience. 

If not, he might also have sudden separation anxiety. 

Lastly, he could be feeling sick, and he’s only trying to tell you.

Why does my dog refuse his crate?

Your dog refuses his crate because he gets bored in there. Another reason is a negative experience they recently had inside. So, he’s become fearful of the crate and the idea of being there.