Step-by-Step To Crate Training Your Dog

Crate training your dog is a practical and efficient way to housetrain your dog and protect the home at the same time.

Why Crate Training?

The purpose of crate training your dog is to teach your dog to go into its crate (a rectangular enclosure which acts as a substitute for a den) on command for safety, obedience and general behavior control. Dogs like crates, the same way dogs like going under tables, sofas, or beds. The crate also provides your dog a place where it is comfortable and secure.

Dogs generally do not like to soil their resting area therefore crate is highly effective in housebreaking your dog. Crate training your dog is also useful when you travel with your dog and the crate can be use to transport your pet dog safely.

Overall, it is an effective training method used successfully by many dog owners and trainers alike.

Choosing A Crate:

Select a crate made of plastic or wire from a specialized pet store and make sure that it provides enough space and comfort for your dog. Size of the crate should be big enough for your dog to stand up and move around, however not too big that it might use one corner to "eliminate".

If you have a puppy, it is more logical and economical to buy an adjustable wire crate that will accommodate him later as an adult dog.

Also please see: Cages and Crates from PetSmart.com

Up to 30% Off Dog Crates & Carriers at PETCO.com!

Crate Training Your Dog:

Before proceeding with crate training your dog, place a crate pad, a bowl of water and your dog’s favorite toy in it. Secure the crate's door open so it won't hit and frighten him/her accidentally.

Dogs are social animals. Place the crate where your dog can still see you or the family members frequently and not somewhere isolated.

Introducing Your Dog To The Crate:

Start by playing with your dog near the crate. Entice your dog into the crate by placing its favorite snack or toy in the crate. When your dog enters the crate, be sure to reward it further with praise and gentle patting. This will help associate positive feelings towards the crate. Repeat the process for the next few days till it is accustom and uses the crate without any prompting.

Key To Successful Crate Training A Dog:

Successfully crate training a dog is to associate it with all things positive with the crate, even when it is alone in it. Never send a dog back to its crate as a form of punishment for any misbehavior. A dog's attitude to its crate must always be positive.

Benefits Of Crate Training Your Dog:

  • The crate offers your dog a sense of security, privacy and comfort.

  • With a successful crate-trained dog, you can be quite reassure that your dog won't destroy items from your house, cause any accidents or develop bad habits while you are out.

  • Housebreaking your dog will be much easier and more quickly by using the crate to motivate your dog to wait until being taken outside, since all canines naturally avoid soiling their own den.

  • Traveling with your dog will also be much easier and safer without him/her interfering while you are driving.

Potential Problems To Avoid When Crate Training:

  • If use incorrectly, your dog might become anxious and fearful if you put it in the crate for long periods of time. Crate your dog no longer than five hours at a time. (See also Crate Training For Puppies)

  • Your dog might whine during the night, as he might feel alone, scared or ignored. Move your dog's crate into your bedroom where he/she can see you. You can also hear your dog if he/she needs to go out.

  • You have to make sure that your dog doesn’t get weak and bored – you have to combine the crate training with long walks, running and other physical activities.

While it takes time, dedication and patience in order to follow through the crate training process to make sure that your dog completely understands the meaning and usage of the crate, it will conditions your dog to have the behaviors that you desire.

Crate Training Your Dog FAQs

Is Crate Training Cruel?

When done properly, crate training your dog is not cruel.

However some dog owners use the crate as a form of punishment or when they are too annoyed to deal with their dog. This kind of training is a definite no-no and is not what the crate is use for.

Proper crate training is humane and enjoyable for your dog. Your dog learns that the crate is a safe zone, or an area that he can always feel comfortable and secure. All dogs can be properly crate trained and learn to enjoy their crate.

Why Does Crate Training Your Dog Work?

Crate training your dog works because it provides a system for supervising your dog when you are not around to prevent other behavior problems such as chewing, separation anxiety, soiling and getting on the furniture.

Is crate Training Just For Puppies?

No, in fact an adult dog who has never been inside a crate can be quickly crate trained.

What Type Of Crate Should I Use For My Dog?

There are usually the two main varieties, the all wire crate and the plastic crate. The plastic crate is usually more popular because it is enclosed and better mimics a den.

However it would be more logical and economical to buy an adjustable wire crate if you are crate training a puppy that will accommodate him later as an adult dog.

How Long Do I Have To Use The Crate?

Depending on your dog and your diligence in training, crate training your dog can span many different lenghts of time. A crate is a dog training tool that can either be used for the life of the dog or phased out gradually.




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