For most dog owners, crate training isn’t always their first option for taming their dogs. At first, most people are conflicted with the thought that doing this might come off as being cruel. Don’t worry, crate training is not against the law, and it certainly isn’t a punishment. Although dogs are not denning animals, they can take to the idea of sheltering in a crate.
Like any other new habit, you try to incorporate into your day, the beginning is always difficult. But that’s the whole point of training. You first make it a goal, and once you start doing it unconsciously, you applaud yourself.
Within no time, the new habit becomes a regular habit. Crate training, when done properly, can be one of the best decisions you make as far as dog training is concerned.
How to Choose the Right Crate
Before you choose the right crate for your dog, here are some essential things you should consider.
While choosing a crate, the first thing to consider is its size. Their measurements should slightly exceed the dog’s size. Ensure that the crate is pleasant for your dog.
The space should be large enough to stand in, play in, roll in, and sleep in with stretched legs. However, a space that is too large for your dog will make him want to pee or poo in there.
Big crates are more expensive than smaller crates. This may be a concern since the dog is growing. Well, the best solution to this is buying partitioned crates. They literally grow with your dog as you can resize the partitions into a conversely smaller and larger size.
The best material to start with is either metal or airplane. They are easy to clean, flexible, and easy to work with. The air movement is consistent, making the environment perfect.
There are also other materials, such as fabric and wood. This is commonly used for matching the house’s interior design. You can use it during the post-training period.
How to Choose the Right Location
The best location is basically quiet and safe.
- Do not put the crate in a noisy area such as the hallway or close to the bus traffic noise.
- Put the crate away from cooling vents, radiators, direct sunlight, and in-floor heating surfaces.
- Make sure that the crate is distanced from electric cords and power cables. Additionally, poisonous house plants such as Sago’s palms could also pose a risk to the dog’s safety.
- Some of the best locations are below the staircase, dining table, and raised surface. This a space-saving solution as you won’t have to bump into the crate while walking randomly.
How to Train theDog
a) Start with a doggy break.
The same way we go to relieve ourselves before jumping to bed, you should take your dog before entering the crate. Also, your dog should have had a good time when playing before coming to rest.
b) Create a positive environment.
- Put in cozy blankets and your dog’s favorite toys so that he can occasionally go into the crate without compulsion.
- When you find them going into the crate, click with your clicker as a way of approving the action. You can also give them a treat afterward.
- Begin feeding them inside the crate. You can start by placing the food closer to the crate while progressing toward the crate.
c) Work on time.
While working on time, you should begin with an attainable goal. For example, leaving your dog in a closed crate for 15 minutes.
- Put your dog in the closed crate for about 10 seconds with their favorite play item. After that, take them out and give them treats. During this time, hang around the crate so that he can feel relaxed.
- You will know when your dog is opening up to the idea when he is cheerful and engaged.
- After monitoring his reaction, move the time up to about 20 seconds and do what you did the previous time.
- If your dog is troubled, try finding a better play toy or food puzzle. Moreover, you can slightly open the crate door and stay around him.
d) Extend your interval with the crate.
You can now start moving further from the crate for the same time you were leaving him. Do this until your dog gets used to it.
e) Increase time and distance.
As you hang out further from the crate, expand the amount of time until your dog is relaxed.
f) Try without the toy.
This is usually the final stage after achieving your time and distance goal. This time, try putting your dog inside the crate without his play items. I don’t think this will be hard after completing the steps above.
Crate Training Don’t s
Understandably, you may have a hard time crate training your dog. Mostly it’s because of the balance between rest time and playtime. Having achieved crate training may make you complacent and neglect the discipline of balance. There are lines you should not cross all the same, so ensure that you do not do the below.
- Do not allow your dog to enter the crate with their harnesses or collars. These items can easily get tangled with the crate rails and end up hurting your dog.
- Do not leave your dog in the crate all day. Your dog can take it to heart and fell depressed and unwanted. The maximum time you can leave a 17-week old dog is 5 hours. Being busy should never come first because that would neglect your dog’s needs. You should leave your dog in the care of someone trustworthy. Instruct them on how often they need to play with the dog or take him for potty breaks.
- Do not leave young puppies at the rate for more than an hour. Younger puppies (9-10 weeks old) can only stay for that long because of more frequent doggy breaks.
Without a doubt, I concur that crate training is good for any dog as long as it’s done properly. It’s all about getting your way around it. From purchasing the crate, coaxing your dog to try it, encouraging him, and being consistent. I hope that this information will go a long way in offering your dog the best crate training.
Crate training saves you a lot of space and energy. Your dog will also love the idea of having their own safe space and comfort. I honestly think raising a dog is similar to raising your own child. More so on the training bit.
If you need to learn “how to” dog-related subjects, feel free to take classes at SpiritDog training. The courses are engaging and easy to put into practice.
Steffi Trott is a dog trainer , blogger and Founder at SpiritDog Training. we seek to help all dog lovers have the happiest life possible.