Dismiss Notice
Hello Guest, Welcome to the new version of Sheltieforums.com. If you have any questions regarding the new software, please post in the following section: Forum Upgrade

crate aggression

Discussion in 'Behavior' started by trini, Feb 24, 2014.

  1. trini

    trini Premium Member

    2,108
    6
    95
    Nov 13, 2013
    upstate ny
    Our Faelee has started showing crate aggression toward our other dogs...never toward humans. The first signs came about 4 months ago when if she was crated with a chew and one of the other dogs walked near her crate she would growl. I took a bed sheet and covered her crate anytime she had a chew in her crate and for a while that seemed to solve the issue.

    Then a couple of weeks ago she started to growl and lunge anytime she was crated even without a chew and one of the other dogs wandered into the same room where her crate is located. I went to covering her crate anytime she was in it and when she can't see any other dog she didn't get upset.

    This weekend she escalated to growling and nipping twice at one of our other little ones who walked near her crate when she was NOT even in her crate. I can move her crate into our LR which is "dog-free" due to being gated off so Mickey can't get on the furniture and hurt his spine. But I would really like to get this issue solved because inter-dog aggression is not acceptable in a multiple dog home and I am concerned that this aggression may spill over into other areas if it isn't correctly addressed now.

    Besides the "separation fix", any suggestions from others who may have gone through something like this? Thanks ahead of time for any help...

    Trini
     
  2. labgirl

    labgirl Premium Member

    2,522
    1
    130
    Feb 22, 2009
    Suffolk, UK
    I don't have vast amounts of experience on this, but when Merlin hit about 6 months we had a couple of incidents of him being aggressive towards Cadbury.

    The first occasion was the worst. There were treats sitting on the side and Cadbury smelt them, he was sniffing the air. Now Merlin clearly decided these were his treats and reacted by snapping, growling and chasing Cadbury away from them. I WAS NOT going to tolerate that. I told Merlin off and sent him to the kitchen which has a stairgate. He went straight in and was not allowed out for a while. After that we had one less serious incident, a growl and a snap. Again I made Merlin leave the room and go into the kitchen.

    I later asked my trainer if I had done the right thing and she said, "yes, that was perfect." Anyway, we have never had an incident since.

    I would suggest removing the crate as it seems to be a trigger for her, perhaps she sees it as her territory or associates it with food which is why she is protective of it. These problems are fixable, but you need to be firm and nip it in the bud.
     
  3. trini

    trini Premium Member

    2,108
    6
    95
    Nov 13, 2013
    upstate ny
    Sophie, thank-you for having taken the time to respond. I have removed Faelee's crate to a far corner of the LR, so anytime she is in her crate she has no other dogs anywhere near her. Interestingly enough, and I guess I should say "thankfully", she is not showing any aggression around anything else...not food, toys, etc. I will be watching closely to catch immediately any hint of trouble in these other areas if it should start.

    Trini
     
  4. Caro

    Caro Moderator

    5,409
    55
    185
    Jan 14, 2009
    Canberra, Australia
    Interesting you should ask this. I've been crating Tully at home for the last week in prep for her surgery. All was fine until I started feeding her in her crate, then she started snarling and nipping at Deska when he was anywhere near the vicinity of her crate. So I stopped giving her food in the crate and the snapping stopped as well. She never snapped like that when we crated at comps so I figured it was adding the food that made the difference. I figure now I'll need to give her food outside the crate (going to still need to confine her though) as I don't want to be punishing her around the crates.
     
  5. labgirl

    labgirl Premium Member

    2,522
    1
    130
    Feb 22, 2009
    Suffolk, UK
    That's interesting Caro, as you would think they would feel safe in a crate and have less desire to guard food then when outside the crate. But from what you are saying it seems the reverse.
     
  6. Tagg

    Tagg Forums Enthusiast

    1,354
    0
    0
    Jan 4, 2012
    Brantford, On
    Maybe the problem is that one dog is able to come right over and challenge the dog in the crate for it's food.
     
  7. trini

    trini Premium Member

    2,108
    6
    95
    Nov 13, 2013
    upstate ny
    Yes...logically you would think they would feel safer eating in their crate.

    Mine are all fed in their crates because although they don't show aggression around food, they do wolf their food down much faster if not crated and I think it is less stressful for them to each feel they can eat at their own pace since my none of my non-shelties eat at warp speed like my shelties do! LOL

    But I hadn't had them all crated when some get chews...since 3 of my rescues have so few teeth that they can't handle chews they stay wandering around while the ones who can have a chew are crated. Faelee is the only one who has responded negatively to this routine.

    Trini
     
  8. Caro

    Caro Moderator

    5,409
    55
    185
    Jan 14, 2009
    Canberra, Australia
    I think the safety is a contributing factor to guarding. For an insecure dog they aren't going to snarl at another dog if they think the other dog will snap back. With the crate they pretty much know their crate (or their food) are safe from the other dog.

    You know when we used to talk about dominance and a lot of dogs that their owners said were 'dominant' or 'alpha' were actually the most insecure dogs. They would act the bully when it was safe to do so. I think this sort of behaviour is the act of an insecure dog.

    My only suggestion is that every time she has food in her crate you completely cover it up in the hope that she feels less need to guard it. Do you have a spare crate so you can switch it up - so she feel less need to guard that one crate?
     
  9. trini

    trini Premium Member

    2,108
    6
    95
    Nov 13, 2013
    upstate ny
    Caro...I think you have hit on something that I stupidly hadn't considered. Faelee is our most fearful dog...and, of course, insecurity goes hand in hand with a fearful personality. Never thought of this in relation to the crate guarding issue...thanks for bringing this up...I think you have answered what is going on in her head!

    Yes, I have several extra crates from fostering and can do switches for Faelee...also am always covering her crate/s with a bed sheet whenever she is crated. This covering works fine now, but won't be so good when we hit hot muggy summer weather and she needs full ventilation...so having put her crate totally away in a corner of the LR where the other dogs never go is the only good long term solution that I think will work for her.

    Thanks so much....Trini
     

Share This Page