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Thread: How do I get my dog to stop forcing open his cage?

  1. #1

    How do I get my dog to stop forcing open his cage?

    Hello,
    One of my dogs has been fine in his cage for years at night. If he is left out of his cage he runs around outside and barks and keeps everybody up at night. If I try to keep him in his cage lately he does not stop until it is forced open. He often scrapes up and ies his head in the process. I was thinking of strengthening his cage but I do not want him to hurt himself, as he is 12 years old.
    How do I stop this behavior?
    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Waltham, MA, USA
    Posts
    35,923
    Has anything changed in terms of the family or anything else in his life recently that might be causing anxiety?

    Have you tried taking a long walk, or a long play session before bedtime to tire him out?

    How does he seem otherwise? Maybe a vet check is in order, just to make sure there's nothing going on medically that might make him restless ...

    Have you tried keeping him in the house at night?
    I've Been Frosted

  3. #3
    Hi Karen,
    No, there is nothing that I can think of lately that has changed in his life.

    He has 2 acres of land to run around all day long during the day, so he gets plenty of exercise. I also regularly play with him.

    He seems just like he always has, really no personality changes. If I leave him out at night, he usually tires himself out and he can be found in his cage out cold. The only problem is that when he is out barking everybody else is trying to go to sleep.

    Everybody in my family has dog allergies, so he really can't be kept in the house at night.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Waltham, MA, USA
    Posts
    35,923
    Can you cover his cage once he's in for the night so it's more cave-like? Try that? And maybe an extra walk before bed, and a peanut-butter filled Kong ... how long has this behavior been happening?

    Would it be possible to maybe keep him in the kitchen inside at night? A bed in a corner, and he'd be inside with less distractions, and may feel less anxious. If you could confine him to the kitchen, there's usually no carpet to catch dog dander, etc., ... and you could move his bed outside in the morning when he goes out, to keep the dander outdoors ...

    I just suggested a vet visit because of his age ... things can start going wrong with older dogs, and it might be worth a check.
    I've Been Frosted

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Rhode Island; USA
    Posts
    16,685
    Only thing which occurred to me is, does he usually "hold it" until the morning when he is released? Because at age 12, just like senior humans, he may not be able to "hold" it that long any more. And most dogs do NOT want to "go" in the cage.

  6. #6
    Thanks a lot for all the concerns.
    Yes, he does "hold it." He never goes in his cage. I don't know if that could be the reason, but it is worth checking.
    Something else that I didn't include that may help is that he S thunder or other loud noises (firecrackers). He used to break out when he heard those, but now he breaks out no matter what, he's been doing this for the last 3 weeks.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Waltham, MA, USA
    Posts
    35,923
    Okay, that makes sense that he may have a urinary tract infection or something that makes him need to go sooner than morning.
    I've Been Frosted

  8. #8

    Urinary tract infection

    That makes sense. Could very well be. BUt you mention that he has 2 acres of free running room. Do you live near woods and is it possible that a wild animal of some sort is trying to take up residence in what is otherwise your dog's "territory"? I know our Bob will go out before going to bed for night (he's an indoor dog) and will just stand on the porch and smell up into the air... and if there is a deer or rabbit or anything anywhere near, he goes crazy barking. We often can't see anything, but if I get a flashlight and shine way up on the hillside I can see some beady eyes.

    Just might be someone trying to hone in on his territory.

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