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How To Crate Train Your Puppy In 5 Easy Steps

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Crate training your dog takes most benefit of his natural behavior as a den animal. For most dogs out there, the den is their home, a place where they feel comfortable, raise a family, and stay safe from danger. Buying a high-quality crate can become your pet’s den, where they can look for isolation and comfort while staying safe at all times.

The primary use of having a dog crate is to housetrain the pet. It can limit dog movement within the house to learn rules like other members and not chew on everything in sight. These crates are also the safest means to transport your dog in the car or during your travel trips.

Benefits Of Crate Training

dogcrate | dog crate

Dog crates are not just beneficial for the dogs but also for the dog owners. You can not only use them to keep your pup relax and protected but have your peace of mind and relaxation. Some of the most common benefits of dog crate are:

  • A dog kennel offers a safe space for your pet to calm down and relax; it can serve as a retreat for your dog during anxious times like thunderstorms, parties, holiday dinners, and other possibly stressful occasions that occur daily.
  • With a dog crate, you can transport your dog from one place to another with ease, convenience, and safety.
  • Crate training helps you keep your furniture and other household items safe while you are out running errands. 
  • A crate can also prevent poisoning and injuries to the dog when you leave them behind alone while going to work. 
  • When a dog is properly crate conditioned, he will be more comfortable and relaxed while visiting the groomer or vet. 
  • With crate training, your pet is more likely to be safe, happy with fewer chances of surgical failure or any other medical complications that need post-operative restrictions.

Steps To Choose A Dog Crate

Petmate Vari Kennel |

Start the process of crate training by purchasing a product for your dog that is big enough for him to comfortably stand up, lie down, and turn around with outstretched legs. Learn about measuring the size of your dog so you can purchase the right-sized model.

If you have puppies, always follow the given size guide to ensure the comfort and safety of the dog. It can be a bit expensive because you might have to get another when your dog starts to grow.  However, many crates are now available in the market with adjustable and removable partitions to let the crate grow simultaneously with your puppy.

Crate’s material is also critical. You can get a plastic crate with a metal door or metal wire-type model for a puppy or dog just starting with his crate training. Such materials are usually the strongest and easy to maintain than other options in the market. Once your dog is used to being in the crate, you can purchase a cloth crate(for convenient transportation) or a wooden one (to match the interior decoration of your house).

The Crate Training Process

dogscratetraining | dogs crate training

1. Introduce The Crate

First, put the crate in your house where every member of your family seems to spend most of their time. Place a very soft and warm towel over the crate‘s floor. Take off the door and allow your dog to sniff around it for some time. Many dogs are active and curious, so they might start sleeping in the crate right away, but if your pet is not one of them, try to bring him close to the crate and talk in a joyful tone.  Ensure that the door is secure and fixed firmly, so it doesn’t hit your dog or make him more anxious.

Suppose you want to encourage your dog just to place some dog food or treats near it, some near the door, and come into the container. Try not to be too pushy. Never force your dog to enter the crate. Keep tossing the treats until your pup is ready to walk into the kennel to get his food. 

2. Feeding Meals In The Crate

Once You introduced the crate to the dog appropriately, start feeding him his regular meals inside or near the crate. It will help your dog create a pleasant bond with it. If your dog is not hesitant to go all the way inside the crate, push his food tray at the complete back of the floor; otherwise, keep it as far as the dog can go without becoming nervous.

Once the dog is comfortably standing in the crate to have his meal, close the door as he eats away his food. At first, open the door as soon as he is done with food. With every consecutive feeding, leave the door closed for a few more minutes until he gets used to it. Never increase the time quickly, try to leave him inside the crate for short periods, and then gradually increase it until the shining and crying stops.

3. Conditioning The Dog For Longer Periods

Once the dog is having all of his meals inside the crate only without showing any fear or anxiety, you can keep him confined within the crate for a short duration when you are in the house. Bring him near the crate and give him a treat, then command to enter the kennel. Encourage the dog by pointing towards the crate with a treat in your hand. When he enters the crate, praise him, give him the treat, and close the door.

Sit with him near the crate for a good 10-15 minutes and then head to another room for a few minutes. Come back, sit again for a short amount of time, and open the door to let him out. Repeat this process every day and gradually increase the duration of time you are away from his sight. Soon your dog will start to stay quietly in the crate for half an hour, which means that you can leave him crated when you have to go out for short periods.

4. Crating The Dog When Left Alone

To create your dog when you leave the house, try to put them into the kennel using your regular command and treat. Also, try leaving them behind with a safe and fun toy to play around and stay amused when there is no one around. Keep changing the time of your “getting ready to go” routine while putting the dog in the crate. Though you should never crate them for a long time before leaving the house, it is still ok to put them inside only 5-10 minutes before leaving.

Never make your parting prolonged or emotional; instead, praise your dog momentarily and give the treat to enter the kennel and then leave without making any noise. Do not reward your dog for their excited behavior after coming. Keep your arrival discreet to prevent them from feeling fearful over your return.

5. Crating The Dog At Night

Night-time crating should include the same old command and treat ritual you have been following for days now.

You can initially put the crate in your room or the hallway so you can hear them whine about being let outside to eliminate. This step is mainly useful for crate training if you own a puppy. However, if you have an older dog, you should also keep him nearby in the beginning so that crating doesn’t become linked with social isolation.

Once the dog starts to sleep well through the night in his cage, you can move the crate to another preferred location. Always spend some quality time with your dog before going to bed, as it is a chance to toughen the bond between you and your furry friend.

Do’s And Don’ts Of Crate Training

Do’s

  • Give training in the form of short training sessions, and keep the training speed according to your dog’s pace. 
  • Use lots and lots of treats, praises, and patience while crate training the animal. 
  • Consider using dog calming diffuser kits and soothing music to assist the training procedure. 
  • Ensure that you are giving enough time to your dog to have fun playtime and outdoor, eliminating opportunity before starting each training session. 
  • Keep the excitement level low when you come back home, while training, and when you start leaving your dog in the crate during the day.

Don’ts

  • Never use crating for the sake of punishment. Don’t rebuke the pet while they are in the crate; otherwise, they can link the crating with stress or fearfulness.
  • Do not leave your puppy in the crate all day long. Being in the crate at all times can lead to depression and anxiety. If you are away from home a lot, consider hiring a pet sitter or walker so the dog can get some physical activity done. 
  • Do not leave small puppies n the crate for more than 2-3 hours as they need more frequent potty breaks.

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