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Dogs are considered our best friend for a reason. Their incredible capacity for love and loyalty make it clear that we are learning more from them!
That being said, we can still teach our dogs a thing or two. We have identified the best way to train your dog for a dog crate so both you and your four-legged friend will be calm and happy!
Find the Right Dog Crate
The first step to crate training is to find the right dog crate for your breed. You can buy dog crates online or in most pet stores.
There are a few things to take into consideration when choosing a crate such as:
- Type (Plastic, Fabric, Collapsible)
Dog crates take advantage of your dog’s innate instincts. Gray wolves, dog’s descendants, are den animals by nature. This is a place they can retreat for rest, safety, and security.
Where to Put Your Dog Crate
Find the right place in your home to put the dog crate. Place your crate where you typically hang out or socialize. The living room, bedroom, or office are all great, social places.
The key is to associate the crate with social time, not isolation. Your dog should be gradually acclimated to their crate. Do not associate the crate with punishment or banishment.
One you find the best place for your dog crate, begin training them consistently. Your dog may whine and bark when you first start to close the crate. This is a natural part of training and one that will wane with time.
Training is Key
Diligent, consistent crate training is the key to dog crate success! The goal is to not just get your dog in the crate, but to get them to love the crate.
Begin training by keeping the crate door open. While your dog roams the house, they may show some interest in the crate and even lay inside on their own accord.
Have a treat hand and reward your dog with praise whenever they enter the crate.
Once your dog becomes comfortable, begin closing the door for a few minutes at a time, eventually closing the create for longer periods of time.
Acclimate Your Dog
Be prepared for an unhappy pup in the beginning. Dogs are social creatures and most don’t take kindly to being kept in a crate.
Be patient with your animal. Don’t shout or scold them. You don’t want to associate the crate with fear, as they’ll be less likely to go inside on their own.
- Using the crate as punishment
- Leaving your dog in the crate for prolonged periods of time
- Leaving puppies under 6 months in a crate for more than 4 hour periods
Patience, calm, and a positive, loving attitude will ensure that you and your dog will grow to love the crate!
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