Reasons And Tips For Crate Training Your Dog


Some dog owners feel that crating a dog is cruel, but if your dog has insecurity issues, the crate can actually be comforting to them. If you travel with your dog a crate is a safe and secure way for them to go in the car as well.

Dogs are naturally drawn to their den, and it's this instinct that is recreated when you use a crate. The crate becomes their den, their place of safety. Using a crate can benefit the owners too, especially if you have a dog who likes to chew things when you're not around.

Tips to training your dog to use a crate

  • First, start by placing the crate with the door off or open, in the same room as you are. This is often when you are sitting watching TV at night. Put one of their blankets inside and they may go in straight away. If not put some treats in and they should eventually go in to get them. This may take a little while so be patient with them. Ideally they should go in to their crate freely, but still don't close the door.
  • Once they get used to going in the crate, move it closer to their food bowl. That way they start to associate it with their den area. Once they are going in, move the food bowl inside.
  • Once your dog starts to eat his food inside the crate, close the door. Open it again as soon as they have finished eating. Gradually increase the amount of time you leave the door closed, but stay in the room with them. if you leave the door too long they may start to whine, so decrease it and start building up the time again.
  • If the dog continues to whine after you have decreased the time with the door closed, leave the it closed and stay with them. When they stop whining, reward them with a treat.
  • Then start to encourage your dog to go in the crate, only this time, close the door and go in to the other room. Again, slowly build up the amount of time you  are out of the room with the door closed.
  • Once they are happy to stay in the crate with you in another room, start to leave the house. Go for a few minutes at first, and build up the time. When they are comfortable being left, they can sleep in the crate and be left while you go out, but they should never be left for several hours.

Never use the crate for punishing your dog. This will only make them afraid to use it. Be positive and calm when putting your dog in and taking them out, that way they know the crate is meant as a happy, safe place.

Once they feel comfortable in their new den, they may start using it if they want to feel safe and they may well take some toys in their too. Dogs won't soil their den, but you will need to make sure that the crate is the right size for your dog.

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