There are many devices used to combat various dog problems. However, some pet owners use a shock collar for whining in crate.
While these devices offer instant results, there are divided opinions about their safety. Many argue that this is an inhumane way to discipline a pooch.
In this post, I will talk about the use of shock collars in crate training and the potential dangers it may bring. Read on to see alternatives you can try.
Why do dogs whine in a crate?
Whining is a common problem in dogs, especially for puppies who are being crate-trained. Since it’s an unfamiliar experience, canines will become anxious and whiny.
Overall, this is normal and something that can be fixed with various methods. But for you to find the best solution, you first have to find the root of the problem.
Here are the most common reasons why dogs whine in their crate:
1. Fear and anxiety
The crate can be a very scary place for dogs, especially small pups. Whining can happen within the first few days, especially at night when the doggo has to sleep alone.
Moreover, dogs that are accustomed to the presence of their owners are more susceptible to this problem. It’s important to address the anxiety instead of punishing your pet.
Boredom can cause endless whining in canines. Being left alone and with nothing to do inside the crate can lead to whining.
This is more common in naturally active canines that require a lot of attention. Also, this is more likely to happen if the doggo is crated for far too long.
3. Lack of stimulation
Lack of physical and mental stimulation will make your dog whiny inside the crate. It’s because your doggo has too much energy and no way to burn it.
High-activity breeds like Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds, and Border Collies are more prone to this problem.
4. In need of a potty break
Before you jump to conclusions, it’s important to check whether you’ve given your dog its much-needed potty break. Dogs need at least three potty breaks per day, depending on their size.
The rule of thumb is to give your dog a potty break before you put it inside the crate. Also, you should only crate your dog for a maximum of 8 hours.
For puppies, crating should be 1 hour for every month of age.
Lastly, you should consider the possibility that your dog’s crate is uncomfortable. It might be too small or too large for your pet.
Also, you should check whether the crate has sharp edges that could hurt your dog. Aside from that, you should place a bed or any padding inside, so your dog can sleep comfortably inside.
Lastly, you should mind the placement of your dog’s crate. You should keep it away from foot traffic and too much noise.
Is it cruel to use a shock collar for a whining dog?
Shock collars are widely used in training dogs outdoors. Most models come with three correction modes: beep sound, vibration, and shock.
Some pet owners use this same collar to stop their dogs from whining or crying inside the crate. This is much so for very vocal breeds.
However, there could be several issues here. Here are some of the possible problems that shock collars may cause when used to stop dog whining inside the crate.
It becomes a punishment.
The major problem with using a shock collar for whining is it becomes a form of punishment. Professional trainers will agree that this isn’t the best way to go.
Moreover, punishing your dog is unlikely to fix the problem. Also, it may lead to potential behavioral problems.
It may trigger aggressive tendencies.
As mentioned earlier, using shock collars to fix whining in the crate can trigger problems. The most common here is aggressive tendencies.
Also, your dog may throw tantrums inside the crate. This can be difficult to control, especially on large breeds.
Overall, your dog may become aggressive when given a static correction. Instead of becoming a solution, the shock collar may lead to more problems you have to fix.
It instills fear than correction.
Shock collars could make your dog aloof and scared of you. It’s because the pooch has associated your manner of putting the collar on with a negative experience.
A fearful dog may become defensive or aggressive. This will defeat the purpose of using a crate.
It doesn’t address the root of the problem.
Lastly, shock collars won’t address the root cause of whining. It may provide instant results, but your pet’s crying inside the crate will persist once you don’t use the device.
So instead of relying on a quick-fix like shock collars, you should opt for positive and long-term solutions. Below, I discussed some methods that you can try to address your pet’s negative reaction to the crate.
How to stop dog whining in the crate
If your dog is whining inside its crate, shock collars aren’t the only solution. You can try other methods such as the following:
1. Ignore the whining
Remember that whining is normal at first when crating your dog. It’s because your dog feels scared due to the unfamiliar environment.
Ignoring this will teach your dog that crying and whining for no reason won’t give him what he wants.
2. Burn excess energy
Another thing you can do is burn your dog’s excess energy. Take your dog for a long walk or have a tiring playtime to exhaust its mind and body.
Through this, your dog would be sleeping soundly inside the crate instead of whining. This is very helpful, especially if you’re leaving for work.
3. Switch to a new crate
Some dogs will whine because their crate is too cramped and uncomfortable. In this case, switching to a new crate can help fix the problem.
Make sure that the crate is 1.5 times the size of your dog. This is enough for your dog to move, sit, and lie down comfortably.
4. Train your pup
Crate training is crucial to make your pup comfortable inside the crate. This is a long and slow process, so patience is necessary to achieve good results.
Take note that you should never use the crate as a punishment. Instead, your pet must see it as a comfortable place for resting.
Depending on your dog, crate training may last for several weeks. Always remember that each dog is different and so is their response to training.
5. Make the crate attractive
You can speed up crate training by feeding your dog inside. You can also provide treats inside the crate, so your pet will associate it with a positive experience.
You should do this slowly and never lock or close the door if your dog isn’t comfortable. Over time, your pet will realize that a crate is a place for reward, thus solving the whining problem.
Aside from food, you can also place your dog’s favorite toy and bed inside the crate. Anything that will make the crate comfy will be a big help.
6. Don’t crate your dog for too long
Lastly, don’t put your dog inside the crate for too long or it will cause whining. For adult dogs, the maximum period must be 8 hours.
After that, the dog must be let out to have a potty break. Leaving your dog inside the crate can lead to endless whining and reluctance to enter the crate the next time.
Meanwhile, puppies shouldn’t be left inside the crate longer than four hours. After this period, the pup must be fed and taken out for a potty break.
Using a shock collar for whining in crate isn’t the only solution to the problem. There are other methods you can try without having to punish your dog.
Always remember that positive reinforcement is always the best way to go for crate training problems. When all else fails, don’t hesitate to consult a professional dog trainer.
Dave Bryan is an experienced editor with a passion for animals and writing. With a degree in journalism and years of experience in the publishing industry, he has honed his skills in crafting engaging content that informs and entertains readers. As an editor at Petcosset, Dave brings his expertise to ensure that the content produced is accurate, informative, and compelling. He has a keen eye for detail and is committed to maintaining high editorial standards. Dave is also a dedicated pet owner and loves spending time with his furry companions.