Basic Dog Training
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December 02, 2022
Choosing A Crate
January 19, 2018
Despite any horror stories you might have heard, crate training a dog can be a fairly straightforward and rewarding process. Like all worthwhile things, it takes some work, consistency, and dedication. Understanding what crate will be best for your dog, how to begin training, and the problems to watch out for are all helpful in making crate training a dog successful.
The most important step in the training process will be making sure you choose the proper crate for your pet. You can often find them in two varieties: Collapsible metal pens, or plastic ‘kennels’ that are more commonly used for traveling.
When you choose the size of your crate, you are going to want to keep a couple of things in mind. The ideal size will be something your dog can stand up and turn around in, but not too much larger than that.
If your dog is very young or is a puppy, then you’ll have to make the decision of whether you want to buy something that will fit their needs now and upgrade later, or just buy the one you’ll need once the puppy reaches full size and let them grow into it.
If you let them grow into it, most metal, collapsible crates offer a divider that can be inserted to make the space smaller while crate training.
Now that you’ve got your crate picked out, it’s time to get your dog acclimated to it in order to begin training. They may be wary of it at first, which is fine. The key is not to rush, or they will end up associating the crate with bad things, and that can lead to destructive behaviors and issues.
Ideally, you’ll want to start by placing the crate in an area that can be designated as their space. It should be free of distractions and commotion.
Place a favorite toy, piece of bedding, or small treats in the crate. Make it a positive experience by not forcing them into the crate before they are comfortable.
To help get your dog used to the crate would be to feed them near the crate, even going so far as to put the food inside and letting them eat IN the crate.
If they are comfortable, you can take it a step further and close the door while they eat, then let them out when they’ve finished. This can help them associate the crate with good things, instead of punishment and reprimands.
Once your pet is more comfortable being in the crate with the door closed. You can now start leaving them in it for a short while without the food. Ten minutes is usually a good starting point.
Once they have become fairly acclimated to the crate. Leave toys and mentally stimulating treats in their crate to help occupy their time.
With these tips in mind, crate training a dog can be an enjoyable process for both you AND your pet!