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Canine Behavior/Aggression at night with halter removing and sometimes going in crate


I have a 15 month old Pembroke welsh corgi. She has been crate trained since I got her at 18 weeks old. She goes willing to her crate to eat her meals and will go up on command for a treat sometimes. In the last month she has become aggressive at night when I try to remove her halter and put her in the crate. I have tried treats but she still growls and snaps as I take her halter over her head. After she is in the crate she settles down and goes off to sleep. She does bark at our Lab if she is in the crate. In the morning she lets me put her halter on with no problems and is so happy. Would like any help you could offer before it gets worse.

Thank you for your question. I'm trying to create a clear image in my head of what your nighttime experience is with your dog. But I need a bit of clarification so that I an better respond to your issue. I'm going to rattle off some questions below. If you could reply with an answer for each, that would be a great help.

1. When you reference a 'halter' are you referring to a head halter like a Gentle Leader or Snoot Loop that fits around her muzzle like a horse bridle? Or are you referring to a harness that fits over her body?

2. Why does she need to wear this piece of equipment all day - on in the morning and not off until bedtime?

3. What is your typical nighty routine surrounding bedtime. Walk me through literally each step of the process: turn off TV, get into PJs, declare "Bed time!", get stern when she stays on the couch... whatever your routine is, walk me through it as if you're describing the actions in a film to a blind person so that I can get a clear image of the nightly routine.

4. Please include a link to an image of the 'halter' you mentioned so I know definitively what it is you're talking about.

5. Describe the bark she gives to your lab if she's in her crate. Is it playful, defensive, frightened?

6. Where is the Lab when your Corgi is barking at him? Where does the Lab spend his night?

7. Describe to me in detail the first time she growled and/or snapped at you during this nighttime ritual.

8. What was happening in her world in the days leading up to that first incident - change in human work schedule? Change of house, someone move in or out, animal move in or out, did you have a fight with someone close to you, remodeling or construction at your home, construction on your street or in your neighborhood? Was there a change in weather - warmer or colder, storms, etc. Did a car backfire while driving down the street just as you were taking off that piece of equipment?

I need you think back and try to remember any little detail, even if it seems irrelevant to you, about the events during that first incident as well as any life situations that were occurring during that time as these could have triggered a behavioral response that has perpetuated. The more we can determine about why it happened the first time, the easier and more specific it will be to help her get past this issue.

I look forward to your prompt reply, and I reserve the right to ask a few more followup questions based on your answers if I need them.

Los Angeles Behaviorist

Canine Behavior

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Jody Epstein, MS, CPDT-KA


IF YOU BELIEVE YOUR DOG IS ILL OR INJURED, PLEASE CONTACT YOUR LOCAL VETERINARIAN IMMEDIATELY. THIS IS NOT THE FORUM TO ADDRESS URGENT MEDICAL ISSUES. I AM NOT A LICENSED VET AND HAVE NO DIAGNOSTIC SKILLS. ***I have been answering questions on All Experts for over 8 years now. I enjoy being able to offer assistance in this forum. I do need to be clear, though. If you’re looking for free advice about a specific behavior question, you MUST submit your question to me via All Experts. If you bypass All Experts and write to me directly through my website, I will ask you to submit via All Experts. On the flip side, if you’re local to Los Angeles and you wish to speak to me privately about an in person consultation, please go through my website. I appreciate your assistance in keeping my volunteer work on the volunteer site.*** I can answer questions about the following canine behavior issues: obedience, timid/fearful & fear-based aggression, nuisance behaviors, families that are expanding with either new human or new animal members and many other issues. If you have potty training questions please first read my trio of blogs at If you still have questions after reading the blogs you can post your specific questions here. PLEASE be as specific as possible when asking a question. Give me a detailed example of the situation - dog's behavior, body language, circumstances surrounding the issue, what the consequences are (another dog's response, your response), etc. I can only provide insight if I can get a picture of the whole scenario. If I ask for further details, please provide them. In person I would normally observe for at least 90 minutes to assess the situation and the dynamics before offering tools and suggestions to modify it. In writing it is ever so much more difficult. Thank you for your participation in the process.


I have been a professional obedience trainer for 9 years, and specializing in behavior modification for 8 years. I have owned dogs my entire life. I own my own dog training and behavior modification business called Nutz About Mutz.

I am a Certified Profession Dog Trainer - Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA), #2133301 ; I am a member in good standing with the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT), #77763 ; I am an AKC certified Canine Good Citizen evaluator (CGC), #71253

Publications ; ; Multiple articles in the local pet magazine Pet Press (found across Southern California)

I have a masters degree (MS) in Animals and Public Policy, with a minor in Animal Behavior, from Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. I also have 3 years of graduate education in Animal Behavior and Learning from UM-Missoula and UL-Lafayette. I continue to educate myself to canine-specific behavior through extensive reading, online interactive workshops, vidoes and attending canine behavior conferences, workshops and seminars. Beginning in March, 2017, I will be the Behavior & Training Manager at Second Chance Center for Animals in Flagstaff, AZ.

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