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Odd Cairn behavior - Any theories?


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We adopted a non-Cairn brother for Buffy (2 yo Cairn female)about a month ago. The rescue folks recommended we get a crate for Ziggy because he was used to it, so we did. We hadn't previously used a crate for Buffy - just restricted her access to the main rooms of the house until house training was complete. She seemed to love the freedom - ran around the house, played with toys, then slept in bed with us at night.

Enter Ziggy. We've been allowing him more and more time out of the crate since he arrived and now he's only restricted to the crate if both of us are out of the house for more than 30 minutes. He still gets fed in the crate because he really wolfs the food down fast and once or twice has tried to get Buffy to share hers. (She did NOT agree to share, as you can imagine.) Ziggy and Buffy both sleep with us at night and they seem to be accepting each other very well.

Just in the past week Buffy has started going into Ziggy's crate, lying down and taking naps. She only does this when he's clearly not interested in using the crate and the dogs aren't "fighting" over who gets the crate. It's just odd. I suppose Buffy may have been crate trained when she was a pup (she's adopted from a shelter). Do you think the addition of Ziggy has made Buffy feel insecure? Maybe the crate is her "safe place"? Or could it be a dominance thing - "I'm top dog and I'm claiming this crate!"?

I'm interested to see if anyone else has had similar experiences with their dogs.

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I know with my dogs they lay in each other crates all the time. It doesn't seem to bother them at all. Sometimes they both go in the same crate and sleep together. It really cute. But the both have fleece blankets and beds in their crates {their spoiled}. Now if I leave the house and put the dogs in the crates and leave the doors open angel will not come out of her crate until I come home. I think its just her safe place. I don't think it's buffy's safe place since she never had a crate. It could be that she's just interested in what in there, or it might be comfortable I don't think it's anything to worry about at all.


Dogs' lives are too short. Their only fault, really." - Carlotta Monterey O'Neill

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Bailey's & Sophie's crates are both at the foot of our bed, and the doors are only closed at night. During the day, Bailey never goes into his crate, but Sophie uses both her own crate and, quite often, Bailey's. Their crates are exactly the same size, and the crate pads are identical, so I think the smell of the other dog is an attraction for the "crate-robber". Bailey will often go in the bedroom during the day, and lie next to Sophie while she is in her crate, but he never goes into either crate, except for bedtime, when he runs into his and eagerly awaits his bedtime-treat. It is really interesting to see how these wonderful dogs interact with one another. All day long they do subtle things that define their relationship with each other. Gotta luvem!! :wub:


Jim, Connie, Bailey & Sophie


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We got Louie as a puppy and started to crate train him. That lasted about 8 months and he was miserable. Even with treats, he would never be happy about going in it. He would yowl as soon as the door closed. We eventually put it away. He actually "crates" himself when we leave. He sleeps on the landing and rarely moves from that spot until we get back. We always catch him mid stretch as we walk in the door.

We got it out for Cuddle's arrival and the look in his eyes said it all. He steered clear of it. He's never found it his "safe" place ever. Cuddles though, she has been crate trained and she does find it comforting. She has willingly gone in it to rest and imagine my surprise when I said "Cuddles, go in the crate" and she did! Turned around, sat down and looked at me like "Ok close it up. I'm good to go" :lol: For her, yes it is a comfort. Louie has only gone in it once to steal the treat she didn't eat. :lol:

Maybe Buffy just thinks "Oh hey, THAT looks comfy." and is giving it a go?

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Thanks for your responses. I wasn't really worried about it, just curious why Buffy suddenly took an interest in the crate. If she wants to be in it and Ziggy doesn't mind, then it's fine with me! They still have yet to cuddle together, though. Too much sibling rivalry I guess, and Buffy is still getting used to the idea of having another dog in the house. Right now they're both upset because I'm still awake and their daddy is in bed. I suppose it's time to gather up the pack and head for the bedroom. Goodnight, all!

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I laughed out loud when I saw your post as we have had the same issue with Gracie, our black lab, and Murphy, our Cairn. Every now and again, usually when Murphy is lying like a sleepy toddler across my husband's lap, we will hear an odd noise. That noise is Gracie squeezing her 65 pound frame into a crate for a 22 pound Cairn! We have come to the realization that Gracie is a little bit jealous and a little bit dominant when she does that. As soon as one of us walks over and shows her some affection, she gradually extricates herself (which is no easy feat, as one would imagine!).

Awwww, dogs. Aren't they wonderful? :wub:

How boring and gray our lives would be without them!

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