How to Soundproof a Dog Crate and Stop Dog Barking in Kennels

So, you just added a brand new member to your pack. Your new dog is cute as can be and if you could spend all day with him, you would. Unfortunately, you have to go to work and leave your best friend by himself for hours at a time. To avoid your dog making a mess inside your house, you place him in a crate and leave for the day. You know you will see him shortly. But your dog is new to this routine and has no idea when he will be out of this confined space or when you will be back. Your tiny, anxious puppy starts barking loud enough to annoy the whole neighborhood. This is a situation most people face whenever they welcome a new dog into their lives. And while teaching the basic commands or adapting to a new routine is difficult enough, crate-training is possibly even more difficult as you are physically away from your dog during most of it. If you are feeling frustrated about crate-training your dog, do not worry! There are countless options such as crate equipment or training tricks to try.
Stop Dog Barking

Pimp My Crib…er, Crate!

A sound proof crate
Investing in a sound-proof crate might be worthwhile for some dog owners. These crates are specifically designed to quiet sounds internally and externally. This means not only will you not hear Fido barking, but sounds that might freak him out like thunderstorms won’t penetrate the crate. There are many dog crates available on pet supply store sites or stores such as Chewy.com or PetCo. When purchasing a kennel, make sure your dog has enough room to stand up and lie down.

Of course, if you don’t wish to buy a whole new crate, there are some DIY sound-proofing products you can use.

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Cover the crate
There are many noise-absorbing covers available. Or, you can simply pull a heavy blanket over the sides of the crate to help block out noise. Be sure to leave some of it uncovered so the dog can breathe through the gaps in the crate.

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Add a bed
If you yourself had to choose between laying on a hard, cold or a soft, warm blanket you would pick the coziest option without a doubt. Adding a cushioned dog bed to the bottom of the kennel will not only keep your dog cozy, but the extra padding will help absorb the sound. Look for one that is slightly larger than the bottom of the kennel so that the cushion can curl up against the sides of the crate to provide extra padding.

Place the crate in a carpeted room
A room with wooden or tiled floors is more echo-y than carpet rooms. It’s science. Have you ever pulled a pillow over your head to block out your neighbor’s party at 1 a.m.? The same trick can be applied to your dog’s crate when they are trying to sleep. Having soft materials surrounding the crate will prevent sound waves from hitting hard surfaces. If you don’t have carpeted rooms in your house or apartment, you can purchase big area rugs to pad the room with. Avoid locking your dog in the bathroom all day as most echo.

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Sound panels
Hook yourself up with some acoustic sound panels. These foam squares are quite customizable, come in a variety of sizes, colors and price ranges. You can put some around the outside of the kennel. Or you can adhere some panels to the walls around the room in which the crate is in. These panels may not be one hundred per cent sound proof, but they will definitely absorb much of the noise. This will block some of the outside noise that might be startling your pupper, causing him to bark. And it might be doubly beneficial as it could dull the noise of the dog barking so that other people do not hear it.

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Training Tricks

Why is your dog barking?
Acknowledging why your dog is barking will help you solve the root of the problem. Some dogs bark because they are bored. Some dogs bark because they are anxious to be away from their owners, who they view as pack members. They know that if they bark, their owners will come into the room. Barking is a way to get attention. Sometimes a dog will bark merely because they need to do their business. A bark to go outside is fine as it alerts you to take your dog outside before he makes a mess in a small, confined space.

Allow time for your dog to get used to the crate

A lot of the times when a dog is acting up, the owner will send the dog on a “time out” by telling the dog to go (or worse, dragging the dog) to its kennel. This makes the dog associate the crate with punishment. And the next time you tell your dog to go to its crate, your dog will think it is being punished even if it isn’t. This will make your dog apprehensive and even fearful of its crate. The dog will resist your commands to be crated and may even run away or hide from you. You want the crate to be a neutral territory for your pupper.

Dog Kennel

Allow your dog time to become fully comfortable in the kennel. Have dog spend increasing amounts of time in crate with breaks in-between. For example, place your dog in the kennel for 5 minutes, and then take him out and play with him for 10 minutes. Or put your dog in the crate when you leave the house for a 15 minute walk. Work your way up to being gone longer and your dog being crated for longer amounts of time. If your dog accepts being crated for as part of its daily routine, then it will be less anxious and less likely to bark.

Make the crate feel comfortable
This goes along with not making the kennel feel like a punishment. Placing various items in the kennel will help your precious puppy feel more at ease.

Put a blanket you sleep with or a shirt you’ve recently worn in the crate. Your scent will be on it. Sometimes dogs bark in crates because they miss their owners. The dog will be comforted by your scent.

Put a favorite toy in the crate. Consider buying a puzzle toy such as a Kong toy. This will stimulate your puppy’s brain and help them develop problem-solving skills.

Give a handful of dry dog food or a treat in the crate. Walk away as the dog is eating. The dog will be too distracted by food to notice you are leaving.

Ignore, ignore, ignore

dog barking

Resist the urge to soothe your crying dog through the crate. As a dog parent, it’s natural to want to comfort your pet when it is visibly stressed out to make him stop barking. But giving your dog attention while he is barking will have the opposite effect.

Any new dog owner should brush up on the concept of conditioning. Conditioning consists of two major things – rewards and punishments. The idea is to have your dog associate good behavior with rewards and to associate misbehavior with punishments. 

Although, most scientists will argue that rewards are more effective than punishments. It is best to train beloved dogs with rewards such as verbal praise, treats or ear scratches. If you do these things while your dog is barking, he will associate barking with rewards. Instead, crate-trainers should focus on associating quiet with rewards.

Place your dog in the kennel. Leave the room and wait until your dog has stopped crying. Only return when it is quiet. If you appear when the dog is still making noise, he will know that barking will result in your attention. Something called an extinction burst might happen here. In conditioning, an extinction burst basically means that the barking will get worse momentarily before it gets better. In a last-ditch, desperate attempt to get attention, your dog will throw one final temper tantrum, crying louder than ever before. Once your dog realizes that barking will not earn him attention, he will quiet down.

Have calm energy
If your dog parks as soon as you get home, your dog might be barking because it is excited to see you. Do not feed into this energy by talking to the dog in an excited voice, babying the dog, clapping, stamping, or shouting. Coming home should be as unceremonious as possibly. Wait for your puppy to calm down before letting him out of the kennel. Once he is out, then you can cuddle and play all you want.

This also works for when you are leaving for the day. Having long, drawn-out goodbyes, especially while your dog is in the crate, will alert your anxious dog to the fact that you are leaving. Pat your dog goodbye, put him in the crate and leave. If you don’t make it a big deal, it won’t become a big deal to your dog.

Background noise
If you constantly have the TV on or music playing when you’re at home, your dog is probably used to having that background noise on. Once you leave, the house can become pretty quiet. Leaving the TV or radio on when you leave the house may comfort your dog.

Exercise
Wear your dog out beforehand by taking him on a walk or playing with him for at least 15 minutes before putting him in the crate. 

Your dog may be so tired from the exercise that he might fall asleep as soon as he lays down in the kennel. 

Or, at least he’ll be burnt out enough to not bark as much.

dog exercise

Basic commands
Teach your dog to be quiet outside the kennel. Practice the “be quiet” or “no barking” command on your dog. Keep your voice firm when you give this command, and praise your dog with a friendly voice when he is quiet. Training may take a few hours or a few weeks. But once your dog has it down outside of the kennel, the command should easily transfer to when the dog is inside the kennel.

Give your dog Benadryl
This is not recommended as something you should do every day. But if you are going on a long road trip with your dog who will be riding in a crate, sliping half a Benadryl tablet inside a bit of cheese will do the trick. This is a temporary solution, so if your dog needs to be in a crate daily, look for ways to permanently train your dog to not bark.

Take to a trainer
If all else fails, take your dog to a professional trainer. Dog trainers or obedience schools are great tools that any dog owner should take advantage of. They will work with your dog and may give you tips on how to continue training yourself in the home. Look for some reputable ones in your area within your price range.

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