When Rescue Dog Won’t Leave Crate/Room [7 Causes+ Do These]

Rescue Dog Won't Leave Crate/Room

Got a rescue dog who doesn’t prefer to leave its crate or room? This is a head-spinning problem to deal with. We gonna look into the 7 main causes for this behavior with 7 possible approaches to solve the issue.

A rescue dog won’t leave its crate or room due to learned helplessness, change in the environment, past experiences, feels safe, psychological issues, fear of medication, health issues. Positive reinforcement, building confidence, forming a strong bond with her, hiring a dog trainer are solutions.

Especially Depending on the nature and condition of the dog, reasons can be both normal and abnormal. However, identifying the exact cause paves the way to success. So, let’s get started.

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Reasons why a rescue dog doesn’t like to leave the crate or room.

It’s an honor to discuss with such a good human being like you. So, thank you for adopting a canine, and congratulations!!!.

Here are 7 common causes for this to happen. Please note that one or multiple reasons may affect this behavior.

1. Learned helplessness.

Rescued and rehomed dogs spend months on months in shelters waiting for the refuge of a kind human being.

Many dogs develop the condition called learned helplessness as they live in shelters.

This problem happens when a canine observes that nothing he can do to escape the frightening situation. Usually, rescue dogs have faced such horrible situations at enough times in their lives.

So, they decide to stay in their cages without trying to escape or be destructive. So, this can be why some adopted dogs won’t prefer to leave their rooms, crates.

Suggested Reading: Why do some dogs afraid of shadows, light reflections?

2. The change in the environment.

Suddenly a new home! A new environment! What luck for that poor boy/girl.

Even though canines are smart, their cognitive level is way less compared to humans. So, it requires some time to adjust to a new environment. It takes time to adapt to the new environment so the rescue dog might be depressed.

All you have to do is provide good attention, affection, care, kind words, and patience. It will adjust pretty much quickly. However, this method can be speeded up with several tactics which we gonna discuss under solutions.

3. Past experiences or see it as another shelter.

Can you find any information, history, the lifestyle of the previous owner? Chances are this rescue dog’s previous owner has kept the dog inside a crate or in a room pretty much all the time apart from potty breaks.

Moreover, the dog might think of your place as another shelter; obviously, it can see your kind heart, but at least, the rescued dog may be suspicious of you, resulting in won’t prefer to leave the crate or room.

4. It feels safe and comfortable.

If the newly adopted dog doesn’t like to leave its crate or room, chances are it feels safe and extremely comfortable inside.

Actually, they have gone through a horrible life inside shelters. So, there is nothing more than being inside a comfortable room, crate with water and food.

So, if she doesn’t exhibit a cowardly nature, you’re doing a great job. Give it more time to adapt to the new environment. However, there are some tactics to accelerate this adjusting time which we gonna discuss under solutions.

5. Due to anxiety and other psychological issues.

In general, rescue and newly adopted dogs are more inclined prone to psychological issues, especially anxiety, stress, fear.

So, if you want to see this dog come out of the crate or room and enjoy your company, you need to take action to resolve these psychological issues.

Suggested Reading: Why do some dogs scared of musical instruments?

6. Fear of medication. 

Newly adopted dogs are usually given veterinary tests, medications, and sometimes vaccinations to make sure the dog is well.

Therefore, the reason could be fear of medications and being around your vet.

7. Health issues.

Newly rescued dogs are generally weaker and more prone to health problems. Therefore, that can be the reason why she doesn’t like to leave her room or crate.

If the dog seems unwell, consider consulting your vet as soon as possible.

What to do if a rescue dog doesn’t like to leave the crate or room?

It is good to see that you now know the possible reasons for this behavior. So, it’s time to observe what are the best approaches to address this issue.

Let’s walk through 7 possible approaches that are worth considering. Without any further ado, let’s dive right in.

1. First, introduce yourself as a friend.

I’d like to advise you to lay on your back and read a book. It will make you way less threatening but more like the same position as the dog.

It is good to talk nicely with the dog while laying like that, making it somewhat comfortable being around you.

Pro tip: Put one of your old dresses into her crate or room, and let her get used to your smell

2. Use treats.

If a rescue dog won’t leave her crate or room, luring her out with some yummy treats and attractive toys is the best thing to do at this stage.

It’s good for you if she is responding well to basic commands. However, you cannot expect that much from a newly adopted canine. Therefore, reinforcing such a dog is somewhat difficult.

Try to figure out what her comfort zone is. Extend your hand towards the dog with a treat and try to identify what distance her comfort threshold is.

Maybe she’ll back off in fear. So, leave treats on the floor by maintaining that specific distance.

Gradually minimize the distance, so she doesn’t understand, and offer so many treats whenever she gets closer to you.

3. Let her guide you for interaction.

As a whole, newly adopted canines are extremely fearful for pretty much everything.

If you do the above couple of methods correctly, she may be a little bit comfortable with your presence around her. However, we cannot say it for sure.

So, if she still displaces signs of fear, stop approaching her to cuddle her, or at least offer treats. Instead, stick with method number 1 and let her come to you on her terms.

Whenever she came to you, start talking nicely while offering treats. Pet the less sensitive areas like the side or back. More importantly, consider avoiding areas like ears, tail, paws, and head.

If the response is positive from the dog’s side, your doing a great job! Continue to do whatever the thing you’re doing. However, being hurry will increase her anxiety level dramatically.

So, stay away from attempting to hug her, get her closer to your body, or anything scary, or something you cannot predict about her response.

4. Build her confidence.

A rescue dog may doesn’t wanna leave its crate or room due to a lack of confidence. Therefore, building her confidence is the best thing to do at the movement.

The number of activities that can be done to improve her confidence is minimal because she is rescued, which means a lack of socialization, obedience.

However, here are a handful of things that are worth considering.

  • Feed her with puzzle toys.
  • Start training her basic obedience commands.
  • Teach her new tricks.
  • Clicker training.
  • Gradually introduce to new things, challenges, people, and other creatures.
  • Give short walks.
  • Stick her to a daily routine.
  • Provide other forms of exercise.
  • Play nose games and other inside games.

5. Form a strong bond with the rescue dog.

Establishing a strong bond with your newly adopted dog is the best way to help her leave her crate or room and be comfortable around you and other householders.

However, that doesn’t gonna happen overnight. You gotta do some works in the first place.

Here are some methods to form a good bond with your dog.

  • If your feel the dog is super gentle with eating, try some hand feeding.
  • Pet her. But leaver sensitive areas like ears, mouth, paws, tail, initially.
  • Try Hanging out in the same room as her. Maybe reading a book, watching TV,
  • Bath and groom her by your own.
  • Play with her.
  • Teach new tricks.
  • Making a good bond through regular brushing an excellent way.
  • Cuddle her.

6. Introduce her to another dog.

Canines are smart enough to learn new things from other dogs. She was surrounded by dozens of other scary dogs when she was in the shelter.

So, introducing her to another well-socialized, calm, and well-trained dog will make her feel comfortable. This process will be much easier if you have another dog.

However, taking her to a dog park is something you shouldn’t do at the movement. Instead, inviting one of your friends for a doggy date is a good idea.

7. Hire a dog trainer.

If you feel this is something beyond your control, consider getting help from a professional dog trainer or a behaviorist.

It is well worth time and money because these professionals specialize in solving such issues with years of experience. So, don’t hesitate to do that.

Things to be aware of.

After discussing why some rescue dogs don’t prefer to leave their crates or rooms and possible solutions for them, you need to be aware of a few more things for the well-being of your dog.

Don’t encourage fear: Positive reinforcement is a powerful tool. However, you gotta be extremely careful when using those techniques. So, ensure not to encourage, appreciate unwanted behaviors, including fear.

Be patient: As I mentioned earlier, it takes time to adjust. Just trust the process and execute it with super patience. In fact, NEVER, EVER attempt to punish or yell at her.

Don’t drag her out: If the rescue dog doesn’t leave its crate or room, ensure not to drag her out and inform other family members too. Instead, let her come out by on her terms. (As we discussed earlier solutions.) Moreover, keeping the crate door open is also suitable.


Thanks for being a good human being. I appreciate your service in rescuing a dog. Most rescue dogs don’t prefer to leave their crates or rooms due to many different reasons. However, we’ve discussed 7 different approaches to solve this issue. Hope you found this helpful.


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