5 Ways To Make Crate Training Easier

 Crate Training

For those that are bringing in a new pet to the family, you want to make sure that they’re as happy and healthy as possible, but you also need to make sure they’re not scratching at the doors and peeing everywhere. One of the best ways to start training your dog is by introducing them to a crate.

This will not only help mitigate the chances of them having accidents while you’re away, but it will give them a safe place to stay when they get anxious and will help make the next steps in training that much easier. If you just introduced a new addition to your family, adhere to these five strategies to make crate training as easy as possible.

 

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 Take It Easy

Imagine this: you’re in a brand-new area and your “parents” get home with a big box and simply lock you inside it the second you arrive. Doesn’t sound fun? Consider that when introducing a crate to your dog. For both your sanity and the comfort of your dog, slowly and casually introduce a crate. You want the crate to be considered something they can enjoy.

Try taking the crate to an area of the home your dog already spends a lot of time in and allow them to explore it on their own. If they’re a little hesitant, gently encourage them to go inside by putting some of their favorite toys or treats in there. According to House Method, you should leave warm blankets or a cosy bed in the crate to make your pup feel more comfortable when you’re away. While some dogs may immediately take to the crate, don’t push your dog if they aren’t immediately into it. This may take a couple of days, and even weeks, but patience is key.

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Try Crate Training During Meal Times

One of the best ways to use positive reinforcement is through food. Piggybacking off the notion of taking crate training easy, try putting your dog’s meals in the back of the crate in order to gently encourage them to enter the crate. Dogs are very food-driven, so they’re bound to enter the crate at some point. If your dog is still unwilling to go all the way into the crate, try putting the food right next to the crate, then in the very front of the crate, and gradually move it further back.

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Be Sure To Close The Crate

When your dog is able to enter the crate completely to eat their meal, now is the time to close the gate. Remember, the point of putting the food in the crate in the first place is to get them comfortable in the crate, and the door is meant to be shut. Once your dog is done eating with the door closed for the first time, open the door immediately to let them out. Gradually increase the amount of time it takes to open the door back up after eating. If your dog starts to whine during, try waiting until he stops whining to let him out. Continuously opening the door when your dog starts whining could result in him learning that whining equals being let out of the crate.

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Gradually Extend Crate Time

Once your dog is comfortable staying in their crate with the door shut, begin extending the time they’re in their crate. Start by staying near them when they’re in the crate, followed by moving to other parts of the home, outside of their vision. When you come back, don’t immediately let them out of the crate. Continue to be near them for a few more minutes, and then open the door.

Gradually increase the amount of time you’re in another room until your dog is in their crate for half an hour. At that point, they should be ready to be alone for short periods of time and may be ready to sleep in their crate overnight. According to the Humane Society, puppies cannot hold their pee as long as older dogs and may not be able to stay in their kennel the entire night without having to be let out to go to the bathroom. So, you may want to keep the crate close to let them out at night if needed.

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Use Praise When Leaving & Returning

When it’s time to leave your dog in their crate while you leave the house, be sure to keep the crating as casual as possible while also using gentle praise when they enter and leave the crate. Avoid extreme excitement when you come home and let them out of the crate. Gently praise them when they enter the crate so you can leave, and when you come home, try to not match their excitement when you let them out.

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About the author

Kay Carter is a writer who covers a variety of topics including health and wellness and home improvement.

When she's not writing, she enjoys reading, travelling, and practising photography.

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Hi there! My name is Kay Carter and I'm a recent graduate from UNC. I'm currently a freelance writer and love writing about all things real estate, health and wellness, and home improvement. So far, I've enjoyed reviewing household products, writing about making our homes healthier and more functional, and blogging about personal experiences.

When I'm not writing, you can find me reading (my goal this year is to read two books a month), practising photography, or travelling (I'm a BIG weekend traveller). I also love to journal and go to the gym whenever I can. In the meantime, please check back as I continue adding published writing pieces to my portfolio. If you're looking for a freelance writer, please feel free to reach out!

 

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