Tips for crate training a dog

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Why crate train your dog

One of the most common reasons that a dog loses it's home is because the dog has bad habits that make it difficult to live with.

Taking the time to train your dog is an important way to form good habits that will allow you and your dog to enjoy living together for many years. 

It may take some time for your dog to get things all figured out as; in the long run, however, it is easier to teach your dog the right way to do things as opposed to later trying to correct and undo bad behaviors. When done properly, your dog will think of the crate as his own personal safe space.

 

Crate training is good for puppies and adult dogs

It may take a little longer to crate train an adult dog, but it is definitely possible and beneficial. Here are a few of the reasons that we recommend crate training for your new addition, regardless of age:

  1. Anxiety: Whether your dog is nervous when alone or uncomfortable when there is company, a crate will give him a safe place to relax.
  2. Housetraining: This method of training limits your pup's access of the house while he is learning the rules - like what is okay to chew and where should he go potty.
  3. Injuries: Even the sweetest dogs can cause damage to your home and themselves when they are left alone. A crate prevents mischief and injury when you can't directly supervise your pup. 
crate training

Tip # 1 - Be patient

Not all dogs are the same. Crate training may take days for some dogs and weeks for others. Much depends on the dog's age, personality and past experiences. Like all training, this is a process, so don't try to rush it. Also, you should never force your adult dog into a crate; this can make your dog very uncomfortable and set your training backwards. 

Your dog may whine or cry to get out of the crate; it is important that you consistently teach the pup that calm behavior is the key to getting out. This can be particularly difficult in the beginning, but your pup will learn.

Tip #2 - Make the experience a positive one

For most dogs, food is the right motivation to make them do just about anything - even go into their crate! Teach your dog to love his crate, not hate it; make it a place where he enjoys The crate can be treated like your dog's bedroom - a place where he can go, stay out of trouble and not be bothered. The crate can also be the place where your pup enjoys all of his favorite meals, treats, chew toys and bones.

Tip #3 - What not to do

While some dogs take naturally to the crate, some will take some time to warm up to the idea. In any case, it is important that you avoid doing things that will make your dog fear or hate his crate. 

  • Don't lose your patience - regardless of how long the process may take.
  • Don't use the crate as a punishment - make your dog's space his "happy place"
  • Don't leave your dog in the crate too long - long durations can lead to anxiety
  • Don't use collars or harnesses in the crate - this is a strangulation risk
A crate may be your dog’s den, but just as you would not spend your entire life in one room of your home, your dog should not spend most of their time in their crate.
— The Humane Society

Do you have any questions about crate training? Please let us know in the comments.