Crate training is the process of getting your dog accustomed to spending time in a dog crate, so that they see it as a safe haven. It is excellent for helping with house training, as well as keeping puppies safe.
Isn’t crate training cruel?
When used correctly, crate training isn’t cruel. You should never leave your puppy or dog in his crate for long periods of time. The crate is a training tool which should be used responsibly, so spend a lot of time training your puppy to love being in the crate.
How do I get my puppy or dog used to the crate?
To begin with, don’t close the crate door or lock it. Place small treats inside the crate and let your dog go in on his own terms to retrieve it, giving them plenty of praise when they do go in. Practice this over and over again until they grow in confidence. You can then start closing the door, just for a second, when they enter the crate. The next step is to get a toy, chew or stuffed kong and place it in the crate for the puppy to enjoy. If he tries to remove the chew from the crate then calmly take it off him and put it back inside – he will soon learn he only gets to enjoy the chew from inside the crate. Again, close the crate door – slowly build up the time that the door is closed, then do the same with locking the door. Some dogs will adjust very quickly to this, others will require many training sessions over a number of days.
You can also feed your dog his meals inside the crate to further encourage the feel good factor.
How does crate training help with housebreaking dogs?
Dogs don’t like to go to the toilet in their own territory. As the crate is their bed and ‘safe zone’ they won’t want to soil it. When you let your dog or puppy out of the crate, take them immediately outside to relieve themselves – you may have to carry them if they are desperate! Give them plenty of love and encouragement.
What are the crate training rules?
Don’t use the crate as a way to punish your dog.
Don’t leave them in the crate for long periods of time.
Put in the initial effort to train them to enjoy the crate, and be consistent in your training.
Make sure that the crate is big enough and is well ventilated.