Sudden kennel aggression

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Hunterc711
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Tell us about yourself: I have a year old Dutch shepherd/malinois mix

Sudden kennel aggression

Post by Hunterc711 »

Howdy all!
My year old dutch shepherd has recently developed a kennel aggression. He was crate trained at a young age and has never had issues with it in the past. He also still goes into his crate on command- just instantly starts guarding it(barking, snarling sometimes). He is an extremely friendly dog who has never displayed any signs of aggression towards other animals or strangers. He is a very anxious dog and has bit me several times.

Currently he is sent to his crate(with the door open)in a seperate bedroom. He still guards the crate with the door open.

This behavior began about a month ago. He woke me up in the middle of the night with growling and barking. Because i am not accustomed to him acting this way in the kennel i let him out to make sure he was okay. Upon putting him back in he nipped me. The next night the same thing occurred(minus the bite).
Initially i thought he might be hearing me snore and misinterpreted it. So he was moved into his own bedroom sonce the walk in closet in my bedroom wasnt working for him. At this point he had not developed into guarding his crate unless it was late at night and we were in the same room. For a couple of weeks he was okay going to his crate in his own bedroom with the kennel door shut. Now his switch flips the second he gets in the crate.

He gets tons of exercise(i regularly go over 30k steps a day-at least half of those are with the dog) and was socialized a lot at a young age. We play fetch, he herds a group of balls around the house, i hide treats in empty boxes for him to find etc.. He is pretty well trained(very well trained when compared to your average dog). He isnt even destructive in the bedroom on his own-he has done some minor chewing but it isnt every day. In between activities during the day he has no problem lounging around very calmly.
I know in the scheme of things this may seem like a silly problem but i cannot have that kind of noise every night/have to worry about him triggering when he goes to bed.
Many online sources show you ways to acclimate a dog to his kennel-but when my dogs switch flips no amount of treats are going to convince him his kennel is a nice place...he just ignores them.
Tim91118
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Tell us about yourself: Enjoying my Dutch Shepherd and my Malinois

Re: Sudden kennel aggression

Post by Tim91118 »

Why does he have to be in that kennel at night ?
Can he sleep on an open dog bed ?
Tim
TimL_168
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Tell us about yourself: I am: a father of 2 boys, a carpenter, hunter, runner. We have extensive experience with sled dogs, shepherd mixes, a wolf hybrid, and our current dog a 95# long haired Shiloh Shepherd. We added Endeavor in April 2016. She was not working out in HRD. I train for game recovery and general utility.
Location: central MD

Re: Sudden kennel aggression

Post by TimL_168 »

I wonder if this is related to leash reactivity. You might do well looking at the discussions and solutions to that problem and trying to apply that information to your situation.
When Endeavor is in heat, she resource guards. She gathers all her toys into her crate and is fairly assertive in protecting them. Both my son and I will sit across the room from her open crate and offer food rewards for compliance and focus on us. I've had her retrieve toys from the crate and bring them to me in an effort to prevent her behavior from escalating. This has worked well for us.
Tim L.
Aurora(Shiloh) Endeavor
ladyjubilee
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Tell us about yourself: Sharing life with Bramble Dutch Shepherd mix (?) and Casper Whippet/Pit Bull (????) mix

Re: Sudden kennel aggression

Post by ladyjubilee »

Well, I'm a terrible trainer/handler, my first step would be a cheap one....swap to a different type of kennel to break the pattern and change up the senario.
Pack: Peanuts-terrier mix, 16-18 years old, Bramble-Dutch Shepherd, 3 yrs
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Tim91118
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Tell us about yourself: Enjoying my Dutch Shepherd and my Malinois

Re: Sudden kennel aggression

Post by Tim91118 »

I agree. Keep doing the same thing and you’ll get the same. Change things up. That’s why I suggested the dog bed.
Tim
Hunterc711
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Tell us about yourself: I have a year old Dutch shepherd/malinois mix

Re: Sudden kennel aggression

Post by Hunterc711 »

I would love if he could have just a dog bed. Unfortunately my primary residence is an apartment. Several times a year apartments are inspected and he needs to be in his crate when this occurs. Additionally, id like to have him kennel compliant for certain occasions like holidays when i have family over or in the rare case of natural disasters. I live in a hurricane/flood prone area(texas). This coupled with an unreliable power grid means there are emergency situations when i will need him to be in a more restrained environment. He has the largest kennel i could buy online-i do wonder if buying him a different one would change the situation any... it would almost certainly be a smaller kennel.
His kennel at the house appears identical to the one at the apartment even though it is technically different. He has an appointment with a behavioral doctor Monday and ill report back what her prognosis of the situation is
ladyjubilee
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Re: Sudden kennel aggression

Post by ladyjubilee »

So, I'm a TERRIBLE dog handler, but I know behavior modification (like with autism :) ). Sometimes a parameters change isn't s retreat, it is a side step to re introduce a step forward.

I totally understand the need for the kennel. Bramble also HAS to be fully kennel trained, not just for her work, but for a safe retreat. I totally get the goal. She also has a pillow. But the humans make the choice.

That is the element I think changing up the kennel option, even temporarily, might help. Teach that the human makes the choice.
Pack: Peanuts-terrier mix, 16-18 years old, Bramble-Dutch Shepherd, 3 yrs
Location: NC
Mark77
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Re: Sudden kennel aggression

Post by Mark77 »

My dogs have both their crates and their dog beds.They love their crates because it's like a little cave but the crates are not used for punishment, ever. I do lock them up for liability reasons if I have someone is over working on the house. Otherwise, they are out of their crate pretty much all the time and then might sleep in their crate after eating or whatever.
Tim91118
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Re: Sudden kennel aggression

Post by Tim91118 »

Hunterc711, how’d he do in his kennel last night ?
Tim
TheVII
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Tell us about yourself: Grew up with dogs, but none as a particular as the dutch shepherds. We decided to get a Dutch shepherd pup, but before we commit more feedback would be appreciated.

Re: Sudden kennel aggression

Post by TheVII »

About crate. Bigger, isn't always better. I'm not saying smaller crate will fix anything. Moxie is just 4 months old, and we are in training. We purposely got a smaller crate, and will be getting a bigger one soon as she'll outgrow this one.

From what I gather the crate should be big enough for the dog to stand up and turn around. Dutch Shepherd aren't the biggest dogs, so most liked your biggest possible crate is a bit of an overkill, but I read someone here has 95 lb boy, I don't know how big your guy is.

Just in case you're considering switching crates as others have suggested.

As for how to actually deal with aggression, I believe that's slightly above my pay grade to give advice.

We didn't even realized we had an issue with Mox until trainer saw her, she would bite. I though it was just what herder and especially Dutch Shepherd would do. But, the trainer pointed out she's way beyond just mouthing, and needed immediate attention. (Even for a dog who's potentially going into psa training. Pointed out by the guy who trains psa, French ring, and protection)

So, yeah, I'm not the definitive authority here.
With that said, I'll just brainstorm:

Maybe the crate is actually to big and he's not associated with a safe cave, but like a bigger space? Not sure if that's a thing though.

Maybe its his hormones?

We have an elevated dog bed and a crate in an apartment. She's a pup and still hates been locked in the crate while we are home. But, we are trying to make her understand that she gets to play and roam around on our terms. Hopefully she's going to spend a lot more time out of crate as she becomes more and more trustworthy. For now she goes from crate to bed, and bed to crate, unless she needs to do her business, we are playing, or training.

Might be an underlying issue like what Mox had(has) where he is showing attitude, and you used to redirect it instead of working on eliminating it? And now he doesn't care about something and the issue surfaces? Take this one with the biggest grain of salt. A trainer who gets to observe your dog would be able to tell you if that's the case. I'd go furthermore, most people on this forum would be more qualified to make that assessment that me.
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centrop67
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Tell us about yourself: Accidentally adopting a Dutch Shepherd when I had no idea about the breed led me to research and act on all of his needs. This site was a key component to making things right for Radar, so when the original owner was calling it quits, I stepped in to keep the site running.
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Re: Sudden kennel aggression

Post by centrop67 »

We kind of went through similar situation with Mustang when we first rescued him.

He would rush in and turn around real quickly - more defensive than aggressive. It took a lot of positive reinforcement training to get him to kennel on command and without the defensive posture. I think he spent a lot of time in the kennel at the foster home, because they lacked any trust in him.

For the first month, we worked him in the kennel a lot - with really high value treats when he went in, and fun-time when he came out.
Michael
Location - Cutler Bay, FL USA
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If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went. - Will Rogers
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