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Trouble with kennel training

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    We just got an 8-9 week old pit bull puppy named Boston, and he HATES his kennel. We can only have him in there for about ten minutes, sometimes up to twenty, without him crying. Night time is a nightmare. He goes from whimpering to barking, and he will not stop.

    When we got our mix puppy, she’s a year old now, we had very minimal issues with kennel training. Just like we do with Boston, we would praise her and give her treats when she entered into it, and she loves her kennel now.

    We have spoken with a couple people we know that own pit bulls, and they’ve told us it’s nearly impossible to kennel train one. Does anyone have any experience with this issue? Should we just let him sleep in the bed for now and give up on the kennel?


    I would wonder about the advice that it is impossible to kennel train your dog.

    I am not expert but our dog loves his kennel I built him one that is kennel as well as a peice of furniture these are readily avalible online.  he spends a lot of time in it with the door open of course so that he is free to come and go this is where he goes to rest relax and or get away from the children the at night or when we need to go out without him the door get closed the whinning is most likely speration anxiety you could always try put a peice of clothing of yours in the kennel ( just not something you are attached to just incase ) and be patient  pitbulls are extremely social animals and just want to be near the owners and once they realize that you are not abondoning them they will learn to love the kennel


    I have the same problem with our Huckleberry. He cried all night for several nights, so we gave up. Now he just stays in the mudroom at night and when we have to leave. He will sleep in his kennel with the door open, but still is not happy when we close it.

    H.M. Murdock

    I had a little bit of trouble with my 4-month-old pit mix, but I corrected it within a week. This is really the first dog I’ve “trained,” but is the second pit mix I’ve had.

    As far as being impossible to kennel train… this is just not true. I haven’t had trouble with the kennel at all since I figured out what little Uly’s problem was with the whole thing. If someone says it’s impossible to train a dog to _____, then they’re either expecting too much, or they’re doing it wrong.

    In my case, Uly viewed it as me “leaving” him (seperation anxiety), for a few reasons. First, I wasn’t rewarding him properly. I only rewarded him if he was in there for a little bit and started getting upset. Sort of like when a little child has a skinned knee and you can only make it better after the fact. This isn’t true with a dog; you have to create a positive situation from the start so that they not only know you expect it, they also begin to associate your expectations with happiness on their own part. When I started rewarding him (whether with his favorite toy, a treat, a chew, etc.) either as soon as he was in the kennel or while he was just going in, it became much easier from beginning to end. Second, I wasn’t keeping him entertained! This is a huge factor for such a high-energy dog. Puzzle toys are something I’m looking into, but as it stands, he stays pretty satisfied for short periods of time with a few toys. I’m waiting to have the spare money to provide him with some properly time-consuming things, and as his training progresses he is also spending more and more time outside the kennel which in turn minimizes some of the trouble. Third, I wasn’t creating a relaxing atmosphere. Even if he can have fun and is rewarded when he goes in while I can’t give him my full attention (a given when you have a 3-year-old boy who has all the same qualities of a pit when it comes to stubbornness and energy), he still needs to view it as a place he can go to any time. Every now and then dinner or breakfast time take place in the kennel with the door open, or I’ll just drop a treat or toy in when I walk by while he isn’t looking, etc.

    With that said, I will now say this based on observation with other dogs: with lower-energy breeds, it’s easier to kennel train them in some part perhaps because they have different traits. Perhaps they don’t crave as much attention as pits, or they don’t have the ability to run you into the ground on a leashed run and still have enough to bounce off the walls for a few hours. It’s like giving a kid a really caffeinated drink and then being confused when they drive you insane in the car afterwards. Pits have energy and they love expending that energy on and with their families. With my own pit, I’ve seen markedly better reactions to the kennel and kennel training when I get him a little worn out. Which works just fine for me; by the time I have a 4-month-old pit mix puppy and a 3-year-old boy tired out enough to chill, I’m ready for a nap. 😉


    Note: Being a newcomer to structured training, this post is happily subject to criticism. I’m learning too!


    Thanks for all the advice! He is still not 100% happy with his kennel, so he still sleeps in bed with us at night. We try to leave him in his own kennel as much as possible, but he is usually much more comfortable in the really big kennel with his big sister Shelby. But, we will keep trying!

    Christine Lindgren

    My female cries herself to sleep no matter how tired she is. All the trix that worked on my two German shepherds is not working on this little pit/gsd isn’t working. I’m really at my wits end at this point 🙁 any advice?

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