Why does my dog take everything out of his crate? (7 reasons)

In this article, we will answer the following question: Why does my dog take everything out of his crate? We will give you 8 reasons for why it happens and advice on how to handle them. We will explain everything about dog cages and the correct way of using them.

Why does my dog take everything out of his crate?

The reasons why your dog takes everything out of his crate are various. First of all, what you need to do is follow his behaviour carefully. After removing the objects from the crate, what does he do with them? Maybe he hides them in a certain place (primary instinct), leaves his mark on them (again a primary instinct), tries to destroy them (maybe it’s a discomfort for him) and so on.

Below we will give you 8 possible causes for why your dog takes everything out of his crate. The list is not exhaustive, but it can guide you to better understand your pet’s behaviour.

  • Your dog wants a nest  – Your dog may want to build a nest in which he can feel safe and comfortable. Thus the blanket or toys that are in the crate are either too many or uncomfortable. Pregnant females want to make a nest for their young (humans do too). Hence, they seek to make a small burrow or hole to accommodate their babies using the objects in the crate.
  • For convenience – Just as you arrange your pillows before going to bed, dogs rearrange their blankets and toys and the padding of their beds or the bed where they sleep to be more comfortable. Dogs that sleep outdoors, adjust the earth or leaves to make a bed and this behaviour also when they are on a mat or on the floor to try to make it more comfortable.
  • It is too warm – Dogs have many techniques to regulate their temperature. One of them is scratching the place where they sleep. In the case of hot weather, they move the earth to find what is cooler and when it is cold, they do it to try to warm it. This is a behaviour that comes from their wild times and that they still do. If there is a blanket inside the crate, it may be too hot for your dog.
  • His primary instincts –  Dogs like to dig so they scratch their bed for fun too. In nature, dogs dig to find food, to explore and to hide food and it is something they love, that is why their beds are also their treasure caves and that is why they scratch them uncontrollably to have a good time. 
  • The blanket or pillows used inside the crate are uncomfortable – This would explain why your dog is throwing them out. Try to change the blanket for a new one and see how your dog reacts.
  • There is not enough space inside the crate – It would make sense then for the dog to take everything out of his crate. A lot of things may make him feel uncomfortable. 
  • Territorial reason –  Peeing is not the only way dogs use tags. They also have glands on their legs that they use to release their scent, which is why they sometimes kick the dirt after peeing. When your dog scratches his bed with his paws, he is saying that the bed is his. Maybe when he takes everything out of the crate, he also wants to leave his scent on the objects.
  • Your dog may want new toys – Or he needs your attention and wants to play. Your dog may be taking out a toy from his crate and this a clear sign that he wants to play with it. 

Dog cages – how to use them?

Although at first glance it may seem outrageous to have a cage for dogs, the truth is that if we get our dog used to them since puppyhood it will be a home for it. As long as we know how to use it correctly.

Dog cages are not a means of restraint or a punishment area, but a home. Surprised? When you finish reading you will understand that it is that real. Dogs are den animals, meaning they love to seek a cave-like shelter to hide in.

This instinct comes from their ancestors, the wolves. And this does not mean by any means that we should leave our dog all day in a cage … in fact, the ideal is to leave it open and let him enter whenever he wants.

Dog cages or carriers?

We must not confuse these two words, a cage for dogs is a cage that we can place inside our home and that will become the resting area of ​​our dog. A carrier is a cage to transport our dog from one place to another, for example when we travel by car.

There are cages of different sizes, for small, medium and large dogs. Choosing the right size is essential so that our dog can feel comfortable in it. There are even cages open at the top (without a roof) that are usually foldable so that we can use them only when necessary.

Collapsible cages are not actually used as a den for dogs, but rather their function is more by way of retention. When there are many puppies or when we want our dog not to leave a certain area.

A cage will be a place where the dog can enter, lie down and rest, a kind of den or cave for him. In fact, the most recommended thing is that the cage is covered with a cloth or blanket on all sides except for the entrance so that there is darkness inside.

A carrier, on the other hand, is just a travel cage, usually made of plastic, which is used to carry our dog around by car, train or plane, for example.

How to make my dog ​​use his cage?

Obviously the idea is to start using the cage since they are puppies, in this way they get used to it without fear. Although adult dogs can learn to use it too, with a little more patience.

The first thing we must do is condition the cage, put it in a fixed place and insert a blanket or bed for a dog in it, so that the floor is comfortable and our dog can lie down comfortably.

For our dog to enter it, we will simply place a little food inside, something that she likes a lot like a bit of sausage or some treat for dogs. Once between and eat, we will congratulate you very much.

We must never force the dog to enter the cage, much less lock it up, he must be free to come and go whenever he wants. We will repeat this action for several days until finally we finish always putting their food inside the cage.

The dog will associate the cage with the place where it eats and, having a bed, a place where it can lie down quietly. When you are completely familiar with the cage, we can begin to close it for short periods of time.

We will start by closing it for five minutes, if the dog cries or complains, we will simply scold him with a resounding “no” and a gentle blow on the cage. Then we will open it and we will not repeat the exercise until the next day.

The trick is to progressively lengthen the time so that he knows that you will end up opening it and that nothing happens to be inside the cage. The cage will be their home within your home, a place to go to sleep, eat, relax or nibble on a toy.

How NOT to use a dog cage

A crate is not a place of containment where you can leave your dog all day while you work to prevent it from messing around. If you can’t care for a dog, don’t have it. Keeping a dog locked in a cage for many hours is torture and reportable.

Do not force your dog to enter his cage ever, he must enter whenever he wants and he wants. Otherwise, they will get scared and they will never want to enter, do not make that mistake.

If you are scolding your dog because he did a trick and he runs to hide in his cage, do not take him out or lock him up, just let him be. He will feel that his cage is a safe place, a place that you should always respect.

Do not buy a cage of small size for your dog, the dog must be able to move inside the cage, turn around and lie down without a problem. Otherwise, it will be a small and uncomfortable cage that will cause stress and anxiety.

The cage is not a jail, it is only their lair, don’t forget this. It is not a place to lock up the dog when it bothers you, it is a place where the dog can rest and hide when she wants.


In this article, we answered the following question: Why does my dog take everything out of his crate? We gave you 8 reasons for why it happens and advice on how to handle them. We explained everything about dog cages and the correct way of using them.

Remember that when your dog takes everything out of his crate, you have to follow it and understand why he does this. Most of the time it is just his instinct coming to the surface. However, it can also mean that your dog is highly uncomfortable in his den, and he needs your help to improve things.

If you have any questions or comments on the content, please let us know!

FAQ on Why does my dog take everything out of his crate

Why does my dog take his blanket out of his crate?

There are several reasons why your dog may be taking his blanket out of his crate. Maybe your dog is trying to build a nest, or he doesn’t like the smell of the blanket. Maybe he is too hot, or maybe he just wants your attention. 

When should I stop putting my dog in his crate?

You should stop putting your dog in his crate for more than 4 hours at a time when they are puppies since they cannot control their bladder for so long. Also, when they are adults – dogs can learn how to move in the house without destroying everything. 

Should you cover a dog crate with a blanket?

Yes, you should cover a dog crate with a blanket. It is recommended that the cage is covered with a cloth or blanket on all sides except for the entrance so that there is darkness inside.

Is it cruel to crate a dog at night?

No, it is not cruel to crate a dog at night. Crates are safe spaces for dogs, such as dens are for their ancestors the wolves. If your dog doesn’t mind staying in a cage during the day, there would be no problem sleeping in it during the night. 






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