Don’t worry if you think crate training your dog to conform to your views seems cruel. It is a common, safe, humane and effective tool for setting his behavior. Learn why you should crate train a dog, what to do, and how to do it.
Why You Should Crate Train
Crate training has been successful for millions of dog owners in controlling their pets’ potty issues. The dog will quickly find out that the best way to deal with his natural instincts is to exercise self-control, since it is against his natural instincts to soil his own personal space.
Crate training can also be necessary for dogs experiencing separation anxiety or those that cannot be trusted alone in the house. The crate may be the best place for him to learn to behave while you’re away.
Also, a dog’s crate is needed when it must be transported somewhere, such as to the vet or when moving across the country.
What Type Of Crate Should You Get?
The crate should be large enough to allow your dog to stand and turn without hitting the sides. This gives him plenty of room to do what he needs to do without feeling cramped.
Plastic, metal, and cloth are all available for crates. If you are choosing a crate for your dog, consider his size, strength, and behavior.
You could put a few old blankets in there or buy a dog bed, but as long as he has a soft place to lie down, it shouldn’t matter. For dogs who are confined for extended periods, invest in a sturdy water dish. Finally, consider leaving something with your scent on it, like a scarf or t-shirt. This is especially helpful when crate training a dog for mild separation anxiety.
How Should You Approach Crate Training?
It is okay for your dog to dislike the crate at first, however, it should not be used as a punishment. If you do that, your dog will associate it with negative behavior and ultimately, this will confuse your dog.
The half-year mark is a good time to introduce dogs to crates, and it’s important to note that dogs should never be left in crates for too long.
The crate should be left in a common area, but it should not be opened. Having it in a common area and around the family members lets him adjust and lose his fear.
You can open the door after a day or two, but do not command him to enter. See if he goes in on his own.
If he doesn’t go in, you can throw a treat and let him enter the crate to get the treat. Just let him come out on his own.
After a few days of getting him acclimated to going into the crate, give him a full meal in the crate, preferably breakfast. You should feed him when he is most hungry and after he has gone outside for a walk. Repeat this step every day while training.
After a few weeks, start putting him in his crate while you are home. Start with just 15 minutes, then work up to an hour, then longer if you wish.
After this, you should be able to crate the dog overnight or while you are at work.
Consult a trainer or talk to your vet if your pet is suffering from separation anxiety. You may need some extra help and advice depending on how bad the dog’s anxiety is. While he will not eat your sofa while inside his crate, he could harm himself by trying to escape from the crate.
If you would only like to use the crate to travel once you have trained him, you will need to occasionally refresh his memory. Before going on a trip, reacquaint him with the crate by putting him inside it for a couple of hours a day before the date of departure.
It may be challenging to crate train a dog, but if you decide on a plan, select a comfortable crate, and remain patient, you will have no trouble. You’ll see pretty quickly that all the time and effort was worth it.