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Crate Training Your Dog

 by lucy on 16 Jun 2016 |
2 Comment(s)
Your dog’s decision to nap under the table or behind the sofa may seem odd, but to him it is perfectly natural. That’s because dogs seek out safe spaces to sleep, where predators cannot easily attack. More often than not, these are small, enclosed areas, which is why crates make an easy fit for most pets. Though some pet owners are put off by crates’ cage-like appearance, your dog’s crate can become his personal den, providing him with a safe space to rest once the legwork of training is over.
 
Crate training doesn’t just give your dog security, but can help speed up house training, protect your home from chewing, and give your dog a familiar carrier during trips to the vet or family holidays. Once your canine companion feels safe in his crate, he can stay there during short periods when you are out or busy. And, although you should never use the crate as punishment, it can be a valuable time-out spot when a puppy is feeling overly excited or tired.
 
Dogs that are simply placed in a crate and left there will associate the space with an unpleasant experience and be reluctant to enter again. That’s why introducing your dog to his crate slowly and carefully is crucial to successful training. As is often the case, it is best to begin crate training with a puppy. Size matters when choosing a crate, and the dimensions should be big enough for your full-grown pet to stand up, turn around, and stretch out when lying down. After picking the right crate, make it comfortable by equipping it with soft bedding, fresh water and toys or long-lasting treats, such as a stuffed Kong. To create a cozy, den-like feeling, you can also cover the crate with a blanket or sheet and place it is in a quiet corner of the house where your dog can see what’s going on, but won’t be disturbed. At the start of training, leave the door open so your pet can come and go as he pleases and praise any voluntary exploration. Encourage your pet to check out his new digs with treats and food. As you work up to asking your dog to go fully inside the crate, use a simple associative command such as “Crate” or “Bed.”
 
Eventually, your dog will be comfortable entering his crate and you can begin to close the door for a second or two and work up to longer spans. At this stage, you can begin feeding your dog meals inside his crate, reinforcing positive associations. Remember to remain in the room with your puppy in the beginning, but don’t acknowledge any whining or barking, as this is a cue that the closed door is cause for alarm. Instead, wait until your dog is quiet to let him out, immediately visiting the bathroom afterwards. Remember, never leave your dog in his crate for more than a few hours, except overnight once training is complete.

Comment(s)2

 Cathy - Comment
Cathy24 Jun 2016Reply
Very good article on crate training...yes...very important about being a happy and secure area...short periods of time.
One thing I wanted to say....please remove collar when inside.... To prevent pup from getting caught possibly.
Lyn - Comment
Lyn22 Jul 2016Reply
Top idea, I am going to use this, on my boy, and we hoping to get to the stage where he is confident. And I agree about the collar always remove, puppies and dogs always find a way to hook up and hurt themselves

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