Crate training for dogs is great for dogs and their owners! The advantages are many. Transporting your dog becomes simple, not a chore if your dog is used to a crate. Trips to the vet or most anywhere are simple with a crate-trained dog.
Also, you can easily confine your pet when necessary with little stress or damage to your home. You can include the dog in what’s going on without requiring constant attention from you. Also, house training if necessary is much simpler.
The negatives of crate training for dogs are few. Some dogs just can’t handle confinement, maybe because of their background. Dogs from a shelter for example. Some people may leave the dogs in the crates too long. And it does take time and patience to train a dog to a crate.
You need a crate with no sharp edges. Pick a size large enough for your dog to sit, stand and turn around but not much larger. If the crate is too large house training is more difficult. Crate training for dogs is usually easier with puppies but it can certainly work with older dogs too!
Pick a convenient location for you, since you’ll be keeping a close eye on your dog until he is comfortable with his crate and maybe it’s a good idea to at the same time, train your dog with a remote collar.
At first, tie the crate door open and give your dog a chance to become accustomed to the crate.
Gradually over time make the crate more fun with treats or toys. Throw treats in the crate and talk positively to your dog as he enters the crate. Pet him in the crate. Feed him in the crate at times.
Start closing the door with the dog inside for a few minutes at a time. Gradually work up to 15 or 20 minute periods. Each time you want him to go into the crate, say, “Rover – Kennel, boy!”. Make it seem like a good thing (nice, upbeat voice, as if you’re a little excited for him). Let him know he’s a “Good boy!” when he does!
Do not rush crate training. Pay attention to your dog’s reaction to the crate. Back off if the stress level rises, but do not let your dog out simply because he is whining. Do leave the room for a few minutes to let the dog learn to be alone. Gradually lengthen the time you are gone.
If you are house training your dog, the dog must have ample chances to relieve himself. and watch also this post and video on how to handle aggressive behavior.
- Never use the crate as punishment. Your dog should view his crate like a bedroom, not a prison.
- Don’t start with a large crate or the dog will start to relieve himself in the crate.
- Leave toys or treats in the crate all the time as that helps prevent boredom.
- As your dog grows, make sure he gets plenty of exercise. Exercise solves many problems.
- Keep a close watch on your puppy while he is in the crate for any signs of real trouble or frustration. Read here more about how to choose a puppy.
- Remember break times! A rule of thumb is to provide breaks 1 hour per month of age up to a max of 12 hours for any age dog.
- Be firm and patient and your dog will usually adjust to his crate.
- Is your dog making you want to pull your hair out? I know exactly what you’re going through. Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?