Crate Training Basics

Considering crate training?  If you have ever tried crate training a puppy or older dog, you might be afraid it could be a rather daunting task.  When crate trained appropriately however, the crate can become a comforting place in the house for your puppy to sleep, a place to enjoy treats or meals, and a place to retreat into if he needs a safe place. Crating your puppy can also keep the rest of the home safe while a new puppy is still learning household rules.

Choosing the right crate is important.  You'll want a crate just large enough for the dog to stand, turn, and lay down in.  Consider how large your dog will be when full grown and choose a crate he will fit in.  Many larger crates come with dividers to limit the space in the crate until your dog needs it.  Crates are generally made of plastic, metal, or fabric, so choose a crate that will be durable enough for your lifestyle.

Introduce your dog to the crate slowly, allowing him to become comfortable with the idea of the crate.  Do not try to force your dog into the crate too quickly if he is not yet ready.  Place the crate in a room you also spend time in, and allow the dog to wander in and out while you are nearby to keep him company.  Line it with a blanket or bed to make it welcoming.  Try placing treats near to the crate, and then inside of the crate if your dog is reluctant to enter.  

 

Your dog may whine or cry at first, but stay strong! They will soon become accustomed to staying in their crate.

Your dog may whine or cry at first, but stay strong! They will soon become accustomed to staying in their crate.

Gradually introduce being shut in the crate.  Try beginning with meal times in the crate- first allow the dog to eat inside the crate with the door open, and later with the door shut.  Lengthen the stay in the crate gradually.  The hardest part will be listening to your baby cry, but he will adjust quickly!  If he is crying because he needs to potty, let him out, but if you're sure he's fine, continue! 

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