We all know that dogs are den animals, and enjoy dwelling in a private place of their own. However, this may lead some of us to believe that these furry fellows and dog crates go hand-in-hand. Well, no! If you are planning to keep a dog as a pet, it’s high time that you realize the importance of crate-training the pooch as it is very unlikely that the animal is going to arrive totally comfortable with the concept of being shoved inside a cage on and off.
There is not just one, but quite a number of reasons why you may need to crate train your dog. The den-like space can serve as an invaluable tool for potty-training the canine, or teaching it the rules of roaming inside your house without being destructive. After all, you wouldn’t want it to be eliminating right in the middle of your living room, chewing at the couch or shredding apart important paperwork, would you? Sometimes, the crate can also be used for carrying your four-legged partner along on long trips, or you may want to lock it inside for safety when you step outside to run some quick errands. All-in-all, a dog-crate can become the ultimate space for the pooch to retreat towards, when it wants to rest.
So, have you just recently brought home a new pet dog that you absolutely adore? Well, you must surely be aware that your furry friend will eventually have to be crate-trained, no matter how precious it may be to you, right? Worry not! Training your canine to get used to its crate might not be as difficult and heart-wrenching as it may sound now. Just give yourself a push and scroll through the following tips for guaranteed success at crate training your pup in an easy manner. Get set go!
1. Introduce the crate in a casual manner
You might be pretty excited after buying a good-looking crate for your pup, or it may also be possible that you are looking forward to just getting over with crate-training at the soonest. Whatever the reason, please be careful about introducing the kennel to the canine. Refrain from shoving the animal inside the cage as soon as you un-box it as your dog certainly won’t appreciate the feeling of being trapped all of a sudden. Instead, try to introduce the crate just like another piece of furniture in your home, one which your pet can enjoy without restrictions.
2. Make sure the space is comfortable
When preparing to train your pet for the cage, you have to make sure that the space offers it utmost comfort as this is where the animal will eventually seek refuge in. For this, what you can do is, set up the dog-cage in a specific part of the house where your pet frequently roams around. Also, add a blanket as an added layer of comfort inside, and place some toys which your pooch loves to play with or chew on. Keep the door open and step back in order to allow your dog to go inside and explore whether the new interesting area is nice enough for frequent visits.
3. Bribe your furry buddy with some treats
If you seem to find no luck in getting your dog inside its crate even after several days, the next thing you should try is to bribe it to go inside. Yes, your pets have a heart too, and they definitely enjoy treats as much as you do! Put some treats inside, some of its favorites, so as to encourage the smart creature to step in. Remember, your main aim to get the pooch to associate its kennel with positive feelings, and not something suspicious to run away from.
4. Use it for meal times
As soon as you notice even a little bit of success in getting your canine inside the crate without being pushy about it, your next task is to ensure that it gets comfortable with staying in for a longer time span. So what should you do? Try putting its food inside too! When it is mealtime, put your doggy’s favorite snack at the far end of the crate. This is bound to lead him towards making an effort to go all the way inside, enjoy the food peacefully, and eventually get used to it.
5. Shut the door briefly
As the training progresses, the most difficult task of shutting the crate door will finally arrive. Start by shutting the door for a few minutes. Be prepared to hear your dog whine, and immediately let him out the first time this happens. However, if this reoccurs almost every time you try to close it, wait until the whining fades off before opening the door as otherwise your pet will pick up that whining will ultimately let him escape. The tip is to ensure that your pup is calm in its space, and then distracting it with some treats or toys before cautiously shutting it in and staying visible.
6. Extend the time inside the crate
In the beginning, the time your dog spends inside the crate should be planned as intervals of around five minutes. All this while, you have to stay close by and monitor its behavior while letting the dog see that you haven’t left it alone in a new place. However, strive to increase the time duration bit by bit and leave the room occasionally once you feel the animal is showing lesser signs of stress when caged. Eventually, your furry buddy will come to understand the fact that the crate is its safe haven, and that it will be let out soon enough.
A word of caution: Don’t over-confine your beloved pet as this may lead to other issues due to lack of exercise, companionship and socialization.
7. Stay a little distant while training
Okay, so it is quite understandable that you are crazy about your friendly pet, and the affection is similar at both ends. Still, your key to effective crate training is to stay as normal as possible and avoid all sorts of excitement or stress when you are at it. You can surely encourage the pup to get inside and praise him when he obeys, but keep this brief. In fact, stay as low-key as possible around the furry guy until he gets fully crate trained. You will also have to ignore your pet’s excitement that is likely to occur when you come home from work. Keeping yourself distant for a while is necessary not only to break off your pet’s dependency on you, but also so that he doesn’t get too unmanageable while training.
8. Keep your patience level high
Dogs are never too keen to be confined to one place, so you have to make sure that your level of patience is quite high before you begin with the crate-training. The more you go about it without displaying anger, the lesser you will cause panic to the furry fellow, and the smoother the whole process will become. Try again after a few hours or the next day if the first try to get it inside fails, but don’t make the mistake of quitting. Your pooch will gradually learn to accept the crate only if you train the right way and not scare it with your frustration.
You know what? Puppies and even most adult dogs don’t really have preconceived assumptions about anything. All these friendly animals actually look for and need is a cozy home along with a loving owner. So, if you are still panicking about how to crate train your dog to stay apart from you occasionally, be assured that it is not so much of an issue. In fact, if you go about the process in the right manner, your canine family member might even begin to love its crate before you realize.
Moreover, don’t be too surprised if the pooch starts going inside the kennel willingly and on its own. This is highly possible, especially whenever it seeks some relaxation or personal space. Now, what are you waiting for? Set up the dog den and introduce your lovable pet to its safe haven, a place which your baby can call completely its own. Make the doggy familiar with it right now; you are not going to regret your decision of doing so!