Crate Training for Dogs

September 18, 2017
As a dog owner with over 25 years of experience, I can attest that having a dog is one of the most wonderful things that has ever happened in my life. The companionship and joy they bring is incomparable.

Dog training is the use of certain actions to condition a dog to behave in a particular way. There are many stimulants that can be used to modify the behavior of dogs. They can be environmental or they can be introduced separately. The behaviors taught to the dogs can be any form of simple tasks that the dog can perform. They can be elicited using certain directives that a dog recognizes thanks to his conditioning. There can be many uses of dog training from helping them learn to do new things, preventing them from harming themselves or causing a nuisance so that you can all live happily under one roof.

What is Crate Training?

Crate training is a form of training which helps the dog familiarize itself with the crate or cage designed to keep him. It is a way to prevent the dog from fearing the area that is meant to keep him safe and protected. Dogs are naturally inclined to have some space for themselves where they feel secure, and  can come and go whenever they like; the crate can be this place for the dog. This is also a useful skill to teach your dog for when you need to travel, as the dog will not be afraid having a crate-like environment to stay in.

Tips That Help in Crate Training

Crate training begins about as soon as you decide to buy a certain crate. Size can be very important so be mindful when purchasing the crate. There are a few different things you can do to make the crate a place that the dog does not fear. This helps in the overall crate training you plan on doing. Making the crate a place of good encounters and experience for the dog will help him associate it with a positive sentiment.

The crate should be nice and comfortable. Try to lay down some blankets in there with a few of the objects that the dog likes to play with. If the dog has been out playing for a while or just looks a little tired and you think that he might want to nap or rest soon, take him to the crate to do that. In the beginning this might be limited to around ten minutes but slowly try to increase the amount of time the dog spends in the crate. Positive reinforcement might be necessary to get the dog to go in, supply it if necessary.

Another useful tip is to take the dog for a walk after time is spent in the crate so that he can relieve himself. It will help the dog understand that after a while of rest in the crate, he will go out and be relieved without any issues. When the dog is taken out, give some elated reaction to encourage your canine friend.

Some puppies can be left overnight in crates after they get used to them, which can take some time (so you have to be patient.) This is useful as it shows that the dog has become completely comfortable and familiar with being inside the crate. Be careful never to force your dog to remain inside the crate all night though as it can alter the good experiences that the crate should be associated with. The first couple of times keep the dog near you so that if he needs to relieve himself, you can take him.

Crate Training Methods

So, these were some tips for helping your dog get accustomed to crate training and the crate. Now let’s discuss the way for getting your dog crate trained. For those of you who are introducing the idea of the crate to your dog for the first time, remember to bring it about carefully and make the dog comfortable with the crate. Do not force the dog inside the cage as it will not make the task of getting him used to the cage any easier. Put the crate somewhere the dog can find it and explore it if he wants to. This requires that you remain calm and patient with the dog. By having made the crate as comfortable as possible, you have made it easier for the dog to examine it himself.

After the dog feels alright with going inside of the crate, try bringing his meals inside regularly so that he can feel comfortable spending longer lengths of time inside of it. Some dogs may not be able to eat inside of the crate easily so the best course of action would be to place his food at the foot of the entrance to the cage and slowly taking it inside as the numbers of meals progresses.

When the dog can remain entirely inside the crate for his meal, close the crate door. The first time you do this, be sure to open the door as soon as the dog is done eating. With every meal try leaving the dog in the crate for longer and longer periods of time. Do not open the door when the dog starts whining as that encourages the whining and makes him think that he can be released whenever he whines. Try waiting till he is done and then open the door for him.

As the dog seems more and more inclined to stay in the crate without creating a problem out of it, allow him more time inside with the closed door. Try going outside of the room the crate is placed in for a while and see whether the dog can adapt to it. As you reappear in front of the dog, do not open the door to the crate. Wait for a while lingering near the dog and then open it to release him. Trying increasing the lengths of time you leave the room for to get the dog used to being in the crate without you.

Try making the process as normal and stress free as possible by keeping the dog and yourself calm. Do not draw attention to what needs to be done and use subtle tactics to keep the dog happy while training him. The more the dog can associate the crate with his normal routine, the better it is for both of you.

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