Crate Training 101: 8 Tips For Crate Training Your Dog

  • 19/12/2018
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Crate training is an art form, but it goes a long way toward living a happy life with your pup. If you're new to the game, try these crate training tips.

There are over 89.7 million dogs in US households - for great reason. They make fantastic companions. They are loyal and fun furry friends who always know how to put a smile on your face.

But when you get a new pup, there's a lot of training to do. Making sure they don't poop all over the floor or rip up your couch is an important part of training. Another important step in your pup's life is crate training.

Vets and breeders recommend crate training and most dogs enjoy their crates. If you're about to start crate training your dog, read on for 8 useful tips.

What Is Crate Training?

Crate training gives your dog a safe and secure place to call their own and feel safe. This means that instead of feeling anxious in a big space, they have their own spot to go to. It prevents them from soiling other rooms of the house or destroying things.

It's not only for small dogs either. Lots of big dogs also enjoy the security of a crate too. When they grow out of the puppy stage they will still love their crate so you can upgrade to a large dog crate too.

1. Introduce them to the Crate

When you have the crate, make sure you introduce it to them slowly. Don't force them into the crate or close the door on them.

Instead, put the crate into a room that everyone uses a lot. Open the door or take it off altogether. Then, let your pup investigate and inspect it at their own pace. They may not be interested right away but they will come back to it.

If you display it as another part of the furniture, your pup will be more open to exploring it.

2. Make It Familiar

The next step for crate training your puppy is to make the crate familiar and friendly to him. Put his favourite blanket and toys inside to get him to go in and spend time there.

Treats are the best when it comes to training, so make sure to use them. When he goes inside the crate, reward him with some treats. Or you can use treats to coax them inside to explore some more.

The important thing is to make the crate into their own personal den that is especially for them. Soon they will learn that this is their personal space they can go to at any time without interruption.

3. Take them for a Walk

After they've spent some time in their crate, it's time to take them for a walk. Not only do puppies love going on walks, but it encourages them to use the bathroom outside.

When you keep doing this, your pup learns that bathroom time comes after crate time. This way they learn not to go potty in their crate.

It's also important to note that if your dog does use the bathroom in the house, don't use the crate as punishment. They need their crate to be a safe space, otherwise, the training may fail.

4. Feed them in the Crate

When your puppy has become used to sitting and playing in the crate try to feed them in there. Food is a great motivator for dogs, so use it. They will learn to associate their crate with something they enjoy.

If they aren't super comfortable with the crate yet, place the food by the door of it. This way they don't feel a lot of pressure by being there. If they are comfortable, place it further to the back.

When they get comfortable, try closing the door while they eat. See how long they will sit there afterwards. If they start to whine at this stage, it may be too early, and you should revert back to stage 2.

5. Spend More Time in the Crate

When your dog gets used to spending more time in the crate, try to take it a little further. Use treats to get them to sit inside it and close the door when they look comfortable.

Start by sitting next to their crate with them inside with the door closed for ten minutes. Once they are okay with that, start to leave the room for short periods of time.

As they get more comfortable, increase the time you're out of the room before they start to whine. They will soon become very comfortable with being in their crate without you around.

6. Teach Them Tolerance

If they still whine and start to paw at the door when you leave them in the crate, it's time to teach them tolerance.

Instead of giving a treat as a reward like you would if they were good in the crate, leave it inside. Take the pup outside of the crate and show them the treat. Then, lock it inside the crate.

This will teach your puppy that the things they like go inside the crate. They'll learn that the crate is a rewarding place to be and encourage them to stay in longer.

7. Start to Crate at Night

Once they're comfortable being in their crate for longer periods, it's time to start to crate a night. You may want to consider putting the crate in your bedroom or by the hallway.

You want to be near them to let them use the bathroom at night so you need to hear them whine. Your dog may not like to be isolated at night, and it may cause them to be anxious.

After a while, you can move the crate to a permanent location once your dog is better at sleeping in it at night.

8. Start Leaving the House with them in the Crate

The final step in the crate training process is to leave them in the crate while you leave the house. When they're comfortable spending up to 30 minutes in the crate, you can start leaving them there when you go out

Leave them with toys and a blanket as well as a couple of treats. Make sure to let them out to use the bathroom before you leave. Also don't keep them in there too long before you go out.

Praise your dog before you leave with a treat and a pet. When you come back, keep your demeanour calm so your dog won't freak out whenever you return. Never leave your dog in the crate for over 5 hours when you're out of the house.

It's Time to Start Crate Training Your Puppy

Crate training is great for your puppy. It helps to house train them and it gives them somewhere safe to call their own. Before long, they will love their crate and wonder how they ever did without it!

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