Crate Training Dogs

More on PawNation: Behavior, Crate Training, Dogs, Lifestyle, Training

Sometimes life, both in and outside of the home, gets overwhelming. There are times when each of us wishes to find a place of solitude where we can relax away from the stresses of the world.

Pets transportation

Credit: Getty Creative

In this respect, we are very much like dogs. Even the friendliest, most social of dogs, needs a place to "get away from it all." Crate training a puppy or dog, when done correctly, provides them with just such a place.

RELATED: Dog Collars: The Hidden Cause Behind Many Injuries

Selecting A Crate

The first step in crate training is purchasing an appropriate crate for your dog. Here are the dos and don'ts of crate buying:

DO: Select a crate that is big enough for your dog to enter standing, turn around in comfortably, and lie down in.

DON'T: Buy a crate that is too large for your dog if you are using the crate for house training. If you have a puppy and want to purchase a crate that will be an appropriate size when he is an adult, DO purchase a crate that has dividers so you can adjust crate space.

DO: Consider future uses of the crate when purchasing. Plan on flying with your dog? Purchase an airline-approved crate. If you plan on using your crate when you go camping, a collapsible, soft-sided crate may be preferable.

DON'T: Buy a soft-sided crate if your dog likes to chew on fabric!

RELATED: 5 Home Remedies to Cure Kennel Cough

Kennel/Crate Training

The goal of crate training is to create a dog that is relaxed and happy while in the crate. Here are the dos and don'ts of crating your dog.

DO: Acclimate your dog to the crate slowly and make experiences with the crate very positive for the dog. Start out with very short periods of time in the crate.

DON'T: Put a dog with destructive separation anxiety in a crate. Please consult a behavior professional for assistance, as dogs with severe separation anxiety can harm themselves if crating is done inappropriately.

DO: Practice crate training when you are home.

DON'T: Make the crate a predictor of your absence (dog is only crated when you are leaving).

DO: Give your dog something to do in the crate. Items that should only be given supervised: marrow bones (not for powerchewers!), stuffed toys, chew ropes, Nina Ottosson toys, bully sticks, pressed rawhide, etc. Depending on your dog and how he handles toys, you may be able to leave stuffed Kongs or nylabones with your dog in your absence.

DO: Play with your dog in his crate. Train in and around the crate to make positive experiences for him. Teach the dog to go into the crate on cue, and practice from all distances and with distractions.

DON'T: Let your dog out of his crate when he is whining or barking, as this will reinforce the behavior. Wait for quiet before letting your dog out of his crate.

DO: Consider feeding your dog in his crate.

DON'T: Use the crate for long-term confinement. If your dog cannot hold it for as long as they will be alone for, you must provide some opportunity for him to relieve himself using potty pads, a dog door, or a dog walker/pet sitter. Crating him for longer than he can hold it is cruel and does not set your dog up for success.

DO: Generalize to other crates, environments.

DON'T: Put bedding in the crate until your dog is reliably house trained or if your dog will chew/ingest bedding.

DO: Make sure to wash bedding frequently and thoroughly when your dog has earned the privilege of a soft bed or blanket, especially during flea season!

DO: Leave the crate door open and reward him whenever he chooses to relax in his crate.

DO: Keep the crate in a living area where the dog will not feel lonely.

DO: Consider getting an extra crate for the bedroom, if you prefer not to share your bed with the dog!

RELATED: Prepare to Costume Your Dog 2014: Highlights from PetSmart's 2014 Halloween Collection

While it is true that crates can be useful house training aids, it is advisable that even house-trained dogs are taught to enjoy time in the crate. At any point in his life, your dog could fall ill or require emergency veterinary care, which may require crate time. Since illness and injury are already very stressful to dogs, it is better if they are acclimated to enjoying being crated to avoid additional stress during times of trauma.

Also, if you travel with your dog or think you ever may, or that you might ever need to board your dog, it is also helpful to crate train them in advance. Like illness and injury, travel or being separated from the owner are both stressful events - training now can prevent undue stress on your dog later.

Follow the dos and don'ts of crate training to give your dog a sanctuary - every dog deserves a happy place to relax.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum


Filter by:
Buddys Best

Hi everyone ... my pet dog Buddy , as I name her ... :-) we all have struggles on dealing with her to a lot of things especially at home .. I did talk to some of my friends and they gave me insights but I feel there are a lot of things that I need to know about raising pet dog at home and to my surprise upon checking around the web ... I really need a lot to learned for me and for Buddy as well ... as I want to share with you what it has been working for us and Buddy .. :-)

December 04 2014 at 10:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think that the best way to traing a dog is with possitive reforcement. I will teach my dog to be quiet in the crate when it is necessary for travelling or going in the car, but not for a general training. I think that the punishing a dog is not an effective way of training, on the other hand, if you train your dog having a prize when it does right things, the dog will learn faster, and also your relationship will be stronger and better. You are not only working on it's behaviour, but also in your relationship.
I talk a lot about this topic in my blog: you are welcome!

August 15 2014 at 9:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Around The Web

Who is Cutest?