Five Tips for Crate Training Your Dog

by PetCloud / Pet Owner Advice / 21 Sep 2020

sleepy crate trained dog

Ever wondered what crate training is, why people do crate training, and when to do it, then THIS is the article for YOU. Read on...

What is crate training? 

It is a training method that teaches a dog where a safe space is.

Why is crate training good for your dog?

1. For supervision: Crates keep playful puppies safely contained to their own 'safe place' when you're not able to supervise them. Particularly effective for using when staying at Caravan Parks too.  

2. For toilet training: Dogs instinctively try to keep their sleeping areas clean. Having a crate helps puppies learn to hold and strengthen their bladder and bowel muscles, making housebreaking less of a chore for you and your dog.

Here are five tips that will help you crate train your pup. 

1. Get a crate that will fit your dog. 

Buying the right crate is essential; you want to have one that will allow your dog to stand up and still be able to turn around while inside it. If you have a little puppy, buy a crate that will fit when it becomes an adult. Don't try to squeeze a pup into a small container; you'll have to start the training process over again.  

2. Introduce your dog to the crate. 

Place the crate in a familiar room. You want your dog to associate the space with positive things; try not to force them into it or use a harsh tone of voice when talking to or giving commands. Guide your dog to the crate with light, happy-sounding words; place a treat near the door, then just in front of the door, then inside the door, and finally at the back of the crate. That will help your dog make those positive associations. Repeat this for however long it takes for your dog to start walking into the container calmly and confidently. 

3. Time inside the crate 

Now, you can start to confine them there for periods of time. Do this by calling them over, and giving a command, like "kennel" or "crate." To encourage them further if they seem reluctant, point to the inside of the cage, holding a treat in your hand. Once your dog is in the crate, give them a pat and a treat, and then close the door. Once you've done this, you'll want to sit quietly next to the crate for a few minutes; don't talk to or touch your dog to this stage. After a few minutes, get up and leave the room. Then, come back to your dog and sit down quietly again. Wait another few minutes, and then open the door and let your dog out. Repeat this process for the next few days when you are home, but increase the waiting times each day.  

4. Crating while gone 

Once your dog can handle 30 minutes in the crate without you around, you can start leaving them crated while you are gone. Begin this by calling your dog to the cage, praising them and giving them a treat for getting inside, and then closing the door. Crate your dog maybe five to 15 minutes before you leave home. Try to keep your departure low-key and brief; smooching them and giving them heaps of love just before you go will create anxiety and provoke mischievous behavior. When you return home after your short time away, the same rule applies: slightly more professional hello, and minimal loving. Also, you should still be crating your dog while you are home; this will help them not associate crating with being left alone. 

5. Enjoy the freedom! 

Your dog is now crate trained! Feel free to take them anywhere you please without hassle or fuss.  These five tips should have helped you gain a greater knowledge of what crate training involves, and how to go about it. Go forth and exercise these tips in your own life, and enjoy!


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