Crate Training Tips For Your Puppy Or Older Dog
Crate training is a great way to housetrain puppies (and older dogs too) and provide them with a safe and secure environment that they will be happy to spend time in. Use the crate training tips below to train you dog to love and stay in his crate.
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What Is Crate Training And Why Is It Important?
Many dogs feel comfortable in a den like enclosure. They feel safe and secure and feel that they can even raise a family there. It is also a very good way to housetrain puppies as dogs are unlikely to soil the place where they sleep.
In time, your dog will happily retire to their crate when you have company and to sleep at night. By using the best dog crates and the right puppy crate training tips and dog crate training tips that you will find in this article, your dog will be very happy with their crate.
It is a fairly new concept and is seen as a very humane way to housetrain your dog. With the right training, time and patience, your dog will learn to love his new home and you will feel a deep sense of satisfaction from this.
Although crate training is used mainly for housetraining puppies, it is never too late to crate train an adult dog. With the tips that are provided below, it is possible to break the bad habits of a dog of any age so let’s get started.
Choose The Right Size Crate
Make sure that the crate is big enough for your dog to stand up, stretch out and sleep in comfort. If you have a puppy, think about the future when choosing your crate. Your puppy will grow and you need to know what size he is likely to be fully grown.
Don’t go for a crate that is too big. If you do this you increase the chance of your dog finding a space in the crate to either urinate of defecate. With this in mind it is a good idea to go for two crates.
You can choose a smaller crate for when your puppy is small and growing, and a larger one for when he is full size. You can buy the second crate later of course.
Alternatively you could block off part of a large crate for your puppy and remove this once he has grown.
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What Is The Best Type Of Crate?
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There are several types of dog crates available at a range of prices. The best dog crates are described below.
You can even buy crates that blend in with your furniture and some are adaptable as a side table as well as a crate. If you want your dog to have his crate in the living room then this is OK, but this should not be a major consideration when choosing a crate.
A kennel style crate is a good choice. These are made of hard plastic and should have ventilation holes. A wire door is normally provided. If you have travel plans then check that the crate is airline compliant. These crates are good for carrying your dog and for car journeys.
Wire mesh crates are also available but these are not recommended as your dog can chew through the wire, and hurt himself in the process. The main reason for avoiding wire mesh is that they do not provide the “den feeling” that more enclosed crates do.
There are collapsible crates available as well but the hard plastic, enclosed crate is the recommended choice.
Make The Crate Feel Like Home
Making your crate appealing to your dog is an essential crate training tip. You want your dog to feel as comfortable as possible and to want to sleep in his crate. This can be achieved by making a comfortable bed inside the crate by using either a blanket or a towel.
Don’t put newspaper in the crate. For some reason dogs seem to think that newspaper means toilet. You have been warned!
To entice them into the crate you can place their favorite toys and treats at the far end. Water dispensers can also be fixed to the crate so that your dog can enjoy a nice drink while he is at home.
Locate The Crate In The Right Place
You do not want your dog or puppy to feel lonely so a good location for their crate could be in your living room or other high trafficked area of your home. You also need to consider your dog’s need for peace and quiet at night, so once everyone has retired to bed this will be achieved.
Adult Dog Crate Training Preparation
If you have an adult dog then you need to get him prepared for crate training. It is a good tip to take him for a long walk beforehand so that there will not be an excess of energy when it comes to training. Make sure that your dog relieves himself outside first before you begin the training.
Time To Train Your Dog Will Vary
Every dog is different and you need to understand that crate training time will differ from dog to dog. You need to be patient with your puppy or dog to get the best results. Make crate training pleasant for your dog and be prepared to move at his pace.
It is a good tip to vary the time that your dog will spend in the crate. By doing this, you can avoid problems such as scratching the crate door and whining because your dog believes that his time in the crate is up.
Slowly Introduce Your Dog To The Crate
Always remember that the idea of a crate is new to your puppy or dog. It is likely that they will be naturally curious and investigate the crate. You can put small pieces of food or high quality dog treats inside the crate to entice your dog to venture inside. Click here to see how to choose only healthy dog training treats.
When your dog does go inside, praise him and pat him on the back. Show your love for him here. Never try to push or force your dog into a crate. The exception here is sleeping at night. Extra encouragement may be needed to get your dog to retire in his crate.
Feed Your Dog In The Crate
You can further encourage your dog to stay in his crate by providing his meals to him while he is in there. Over time your dog should become more comfortable with this and you can even try closing the door while he is eating his meal.
Gradually build on this eating in the crate and closing the door. You will find that your dog will happily remain inside the crate once he has finished his meal. When your dog is calm and happy in his crate reward him with love and treats from time to time to reinforce this behavior.
When you are satisfied that your dog is happy with his crate you can start training your dog to sleep in his crate at night. Make sure that toys are available in the crate. A treat dispenser is also a good idea. The crate should remain in a central area so that your dog feels comfortable.
Patience and time is also required here. Puppies or older dogs may require regular toilet trips at night. The key thing is to make the crate fun and enjoyable for your dog so that the transition to sleeping there during the night is an easy one for them.
While these crate training tips are great on their own, consistency is the key with crate training. By being consistent and patient, your dog will learn to love being in his crate and will know that it is not a place to relieve himself.
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out our reviews of the best dog crates and the best dog playpens!
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