Why crate train your dog?
Because a crate is a terrific training and management tool. It is useful for house-training, brief alone-time, settling, and any form of travel. Most importantly, a crate teaches your dog to hold it when he has to go to the bathroom. A crate helps your dogs in many ways—and saves your carpets.
Is using a crate cruel?
Absolutely not. A crate can be your dog’s favorite place in the world. Use treats, praise, and toys to make your dog love his crate.
Just remember never to use the crate for more than 3-4 hours at a time, except for bedtime.
Getting your dog used to the crate.
Step 1. Begin crate training right away—preferably the first day your dog is in your home.
Step 2. Throw small tasty treats into the crate one at a time. Praise your dog when he goes in to get the treat.
Step 3. When your dog is comfortable going into the crate, practice closing the door for 1-2 seconds, then treat him through the door. Let him back out. Repeat this step many times, gradually building to 10 seconds.
Step 4. Stuff a Kong with something very yummy or use a special bone that will take a lot of time to chew. Put the treats in the crate. Shut the door. Move about the house normally. Let your dog back out after 5 minutes or when he finishes his treat. Don’t make a fuss over him. Repeat this step several times, varying the length of your absences from 1 to 20 minutes.
Step 5. Next, leave your dog in the crate with something delicious while you leave the house for short errands, like getting the mail or watering the garden. Gradually build your absences.
Training Tip: When you plan to crate your dog for longer than an hour, make sure he is well exercised and ready for a nap.
Troubleshooting: If your dog is going to the bathroom in his crate, remove any bedding and make sure he has been pottied before you put him in the crate, and that he is not being left for too long. Make sure you are following the rules for good potty training. If all else fails, call us.