Crate training takes advantage of your dog’s natural instincts as a den animal. A wild dog’s den is their home—a place to sleep, hide from danger and raise a family. Many people refuse to crate or kennel-train their dogs because they feel the confinement is cruel. However, a crate actually gives dogs a sense of security.
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Crate training, if done properly is a highly effective management system that can be a lifesaver for dog owners. If a dog is taught through positive reinforcement to love the crate, it becomes his own private, safe place, much like a bedroom for a child.
When choosing your dog’s crate make sure it is just large enough for them to stand up, turn around in and lay down comfortably. If your dog is still growing, choose a size that will accommodate their adult stature.
How Can It Help Me?
- Toilet training – Can help teach the dog bladder control and speed up the house training process.
- Prevention of destructive behaviour – Coming home to your favourite pair of shoes in 4 pieces is never a pleasant sight.
- Easing separation anxiety – Being in the crate makes them feel safe and secure so they won’t fret when you’re out of the house.
- Making travel much easier – Taking your dog’s crate along makes it much easier to plan a complete family vacation ensuring the safety and well-being of the dog and hassle free travel for the humans.
How Do I Do It?
- Introducing your dog to the crate – Put a soft blanket or towel in the crate and place the crate in an area of your house where people spend a lot of time.
- Feed your dog in the crate – Begin with regular meals near the crate to build a pleasant association, then place the dish inside the crate and push it further back every time as they become more and more comfortable being inside.
- Practice with longer crating periods – If your pup shows no sign of fear or anxiety, you can confine them there for short time periods while you’re home.
- Crate your dog when you leave – After your dog can spend about 30 minutes in the crate without becoming anxious or afraid, you can begin leaving them crated for short periods when you leave the house.
What Not to Do.
- Never use the crate as a punishment. Your dog will come to fear it and refuse to enter.
- A crate may be your dog’s den, but just as you wouldn’t spend your entire life in one room of your home, your dog should not spend most of their time in their crate.
- Puppies under six months of age shouldn’t stay in a crate for more than one or two hours at a time. They can’t control their bladders and bowels for that long