Crate training has many useful benefits. It helps prevent separation anxiety as well as assist in potty training and overall management of new dogs and puppies. Proper crate training is easy, yet it is usually overlooked and not done properly or effectively. Today I am going to share with you some easy steps to ensure proper crate training.
It is important to remember that dogs are den animals by nature, and the crate should represent their den. It should be a safe place for them to go either when you need them put up or they need a break from the world. In order to accomplish this we must make sure we teach our dogs that the crate is their den and not a scary place that their owners put them in. Follow these simple rules and you will have success:
- Never use a crate as a punishment, if your dog is being bad and needs to have a time out make sure you make going into the crate a happy and friendly venture
- Throw treats in the crate so your dog will go into it willingly
- When in the crate, give your dog a good value reward for being in it, and this will also give them something to focus on
- Start giving regular meals inside the crate without shutting your dog in it
- Do not allow your dog to be taunted or bothered while in the crate
- Never open the crate to let your dog out if they are barking, whining, or being unruly
These steps are the basics of crate training. Obviously there are dogs that have special circumstances with crates and it is a good idea to seek the help of a trainer to address these. Another thing to keep in mind is the type and location of the crate. These two aspects can set you and your dog up for success or failure before you even start training. When choosing a type of crate, remember that you want it to be den-like. Crates with solid sides or sides with small windows will help them feel more comfortable. However if you have a wire crate your can simply place a blanket over the crate to get the same closed in affect. When choosing a location, remember that it should be somewhere that can be a quite place that isn’t in direct sight main entry ways. This will keep initial excitement lower than if its right by the front door. These decisions of crate type and location will help ensure success.
The size of the crate is really only important when using it to potty train dogs. The crates should be just big enough for them to stand up, turn around, and lay down, no bigger. Once they have been potty trained you can increase the size to give them more room. If you buy a large crate to begin with simply use boxes or something similar to block off access to the back of the crate until potty training is complete. I hope these simples rules and tips have helped and if you have any questions please get in touch with a trainer near you.