Crate Training Basics

Jul 16, 2012
To a dog, a crate can be like his own special home inside your home. A safe place, a den of sorts, that your dog can go to when he wants to feel secure. Some people think that putting your dog in a crate is cruel, but it is only cruel if you do it in an abusive manner such as leaving your dog in there for more than a few hours. In fact, crate training your dog properly has many advantages for both you and your pet and should be something that you incorporate into your dog training plans.

While some dogs might take to a crate right away, others might be a little leery of this strange object that you want them to step inside of. The most important aspect of crate training is that you must never force your dog into the crate. Instead, you must make your dog want to enter it of his own volition. If done properly, you will find that your dog actually loves the crate and goes there on his own to sleep and “get awayâ€.

Introducing Your Dog To The Crate

The first thing you need to do is “introduce†your dog to the crate. Take one of his favorite toys or a treat and “hand out†by the crate so that he simply gets used to the crate being in the room. Play with him hear the crate, repeating this for several days. You should start off with the crate in the spot you want to keep it in and this should be somewhere that is away from the traffic areas of the home but in a room that the family spends time in. You don’t want your pet to feel isolated and lonely in a crate that is way off somewhere where no one ever goes!

Getting Your Dog Into The Crate

Next, you want to get the dog to go into the crate on his own. One way to do that is to “bribe†him by putting his favorite toy or a treat inside. Don’t put it too far in to begin with, just enough so he has to stick his head in to get it.

You’ll probably find that he pokes his head in and then backs our right away. That’s OK, just be sure to pet and praise him so he feels good about the whole thing.

You want to keep at this exercise every day, gradually putting the toy or treat in further and further. You also might want to be sure that you have a comfortable dog bed in there just in case Fido wants to try it out for a short nap.

Eventually, your dog will get used to going in the crate. When you see him in there, sit beside the crate and pet your dog while he is inside. This will let him know that being in the crate is “goodâ€. Always keep the door open wide at this point.

Getting Your Dog To Stay In The Crate

Keep repeating the above steps while trying to get your dog to spend more and more time in the crate. When he seems quite comfortable with it, close the door but do not latch it. Leave it unlocked so that he can nose his way out if he feels uncomfortable.

Eventually, your dog will come to love his crate and will probably retreat there if he is feeling insecure as well as to sleep. If you are going to close the door, be sure you provide him with fresh water at all times and never leave your dog locked in the crate for extended amounts of time.

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