Crate training a dog may come a little difficult if he is introducing to the crate for the first time. However if you be patient and do it the right way he is going to love and associate the kennel as a place like his own home-based place for him.
Dog crate training actually is house training your dog not to destroy things, chew, make messes in your house.
“Crate train your dog until you can trust them not to destroy your house. After that it should be a place to go voluntarily.”
With that being said…
Step 1- Introducing Your Dog to the Crate
Don’t force your dog to the crate. Forcing will only make the training longer.
Have you seen dogs who goes to their crate voluntarily to sleep, rest may be playing alone with their favorite toy. And the crate is not even closed.
Kennel is their own homebase place!
1.Find a Permanent Place for the Crate.
Place your dog’s crate in a certain permanent place in your home. It is better to use a place that you spend the most time. So that he won’t feel isolated.
Living room or home office would be a great fit.
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2.Make it Plush and Comfortable
Make the crate comfortable for your dog. Use a towel or a blanket inside or use a pet bed.
3.Use an Incentive
Lure your dog to the crate with an incentive. Use a treat. Drop the treat inside the crate to get him inside the kennel.
If he hesitate to go inside drop the treat close to the door of the crate and then go deep.
- Use a strong incentive-Use delicious treats(5 Easy homemade dog treats)These bacon-taste treats will be irresistible.
- Don’t close the crate door at first. Have patience, let him get used to the crate.
- If you think you’re overfeeding your dog with the treats, his favorite toy will be great alternative.
- tire him out before training. Obviously it is going to be hard training him to crate with all that energy.
Step 2-Always give meals in the crate
Place his meal at the crate door at first. Go deeper with each meal until he is having meal inside the crate.
Close the crate gate when your dog is distracted with his meal. Wait until he finishes and open the door as soon as he finish his meal.
Next time keep the door closed for a little while after he finishes his meal(a few minutes) Repeat this with each meal leaving him a bit longer in the crate until he learns to stay in crate 10-20 mins after his meal without whining or crying.
Now your dog is properly introduced to the crate.
Call your dog near the crate and give him a treat or command(example “kennel”) make sure to say it authoritatively.
Step 3-Train Your Dog in Crate Alone(Without Your Presence)
A simple activity you can do:-
Sit over near the crate quietly for 5-10 mins and then go to another room for a few mins.
Then come back to the crate and sit quietly near crate and let him him out.
Repeat this process several time a day gradually leaving him longer in the crate without your presence.
Once your dog sit quietly in crate for 30 mins you can leave him crated when you go outside for short periods of time.
Leaving Him Crated
Keep it brief and quiet. Don’t make it emotional when you leave the house.
just praise him briefly and give him the incentive(or command) to get him in the crate, then leave quickly and quietly.
You might want to leave him with his favorite toy or toys with him.
Avoid crating for longer periods before leaving the house. 5-10 mins prior or not crated is a good practice.
You have done great until now. But don’t ruin all the training by rewarding him by greeting him in a enthusiastic way when you return home.
Crating Your Dog at Night
It will be a good idea to place the crate in your bedroom initially. Once he is trained to sleep in the crate without whining or barking place the crate in its original place.
Dealing With Bad Behaviours
Crying, whining, barking or biting the bars are bad behaviors that you will have to encounter.
Bad behaviours like crying, whining, barking or biting the bars means 2 things.
1.He is trying to get out
- Ignore them. It is normal for dogs to cry, whine when they are not yet trained for crate.
- Try verbal commands like ‘No’ firmly. But most of the time this may not work because some think of this as attention(which they want)If it doesn’t work try these other tips.
- Put something else they can chew on a toy, bone or treat dispensers
2.He wants to eliminate.
If the crying, whining doesn’t stop after ignoring for a while, he may be crying to eliminate. Use your ‘go out’ command. If he respond and become excited take him outside.
Don’t reward him going outside as he will misunderstand this.
Biting the Bars
Chewing on the bars is very normal for a dog since he wants to get out. But it can unhealthy and might even hurt his teeth while doing so.
Spraying ‘bitter apple‘ spray on the bars. This is the most effective option. Your dog will stop chewing because of its’ unpleasant taste. It is not harmful for dogs in any way. Just the taste they don’t like.
Important Tips for Crate Training Your Dog
It’s important to take notes of these tips when training your dog for crate.
- Don’t indulge in playtime while in crate training.
- Never punish even lightly. Never hit or kick, shake the crate, yell at them. Never!
- Don’t reward crying, whining by giving a treat. This will encourage the bad behavior.
- Tire out your dog before training. This will make the training a lot easier as he’s already tired and in a resting mode.
- Progress at their own individual level. Don’t force, be patient, let him progress on his own pace.
Crate training is for house training your dog. A great way to teach him not to be destructive and a good, obedient dog!
More Suggestions for Crate Training
- Use Chew toys
- Effective aids to calm your dog in the crate.
- Petcube bites