If your dog barks while confined in a kennel or crate, correct his behavior so you don't end up with angry neighbors and sleepless nights. Just like young children, your pet companion might respond well to a set routine. Reinforcing good behavior and setting regular times to eat, play, go potty and nap can do wonders. It teaches your dog that there's a time to be noisy and a time to be quiet. With consistency and lots of praise and dog treats, you can teach your dog to be quiet in his kennel in no time.
Give your dog daily workouts to prevent boredom, burn energy and to spend quality time with him. If your dog is bored, craves attention and has pent-up energy, he might start barking when confined. Take walks with your dog or take him along on your jog. Play fetch and tug-of-war with him, and make sure he has chew toys and food-stuffed dog toys to keep him busy. Tire your dog out so when it's time to confine him he's too tired to go on a barking rant and takes a nap instead.
Introduce your pet companion gradually to the kennel. Avoid just putting him in the kennel and closing the door -- allow him to acclimate slowly. Put dog treats near the entrance and inside of the kennel to entice your dog to explore it. Allow your dog to go in and out of the kennel and start feeding his meals in the kennel, leaving the door open. Over time, close the door while your furry friend is in the kennel and gradually lengthen the time you keep the door closed.
Feed and walk your dog before putting him in a kennel, because he might resort to barking if he has to go potty. Feed him about 90 minutes before confining him and take him to go potty right before putting him in the kennel.
Modify your dog's environment if you think his barking is triggered by something he sees or hears. Cover Fido's crate with a blanket so he can't see potential triggers, such as outdoor cats or other dogs passing by the window. Turn on the radio or television to mask any sounds that might trigger your dog's barking.
Teach your dog the "quiet" command. When your dog starts barking, shake a can of coins and calmly say "quiet." The sudden noise breaks your dog's concentration and stops his barking. When he's quiet, praise him and give him dog treats to reinforce his behavior. With consistency your dog learns the meaning of "quiet," and over time you can just use the command to get him to stop barking.
Ignore your dog if he's barking to get your attention. Pretend you don't hear him -- don't look at him, don't talk to him and don't take him out of the crate. If you do, you're teaching him that he gets your attention by barking. Wait till your dog stops barking and then lavish him with praise and treats for being quiet. If he starts barking again, turn your back and ignore him.