Crate training a puppy or an adult dog can seem like a daunting task, especially when your dogs do not want to cooperate. For puppies, being locked up in a crate can be frustrating at first, and they often whine until they are let out. Adult dogs may not like the idea of being locked up in a cage either, especially if they have never been crated before. Even though they may not enjoy it at first, they will eventually.
There are several benefits to successfully crate training your dogs. The first, is it provides them with their own space. Somewhere that they can go when they want to relax, away from everyone. Crate training also helps housebreaking puppies. A puppy does not want to sleep in a wet bed, so it teaches them to not go to the bathroom in their house. It can even reduce the separation anxiety that dogs experience when they are away from their owners. Their crates become their safe places, and they feel comfortable in them, even when they are in an uncomfortable position.
There are a few tips that you should consider when you are starting to crate train. It is very important to place your dogs crate in a place that is close to you. For example, next to the couch or somewhere in the living room is the best. This way your dog does not feel isolated when they are in their kennel. They will also go into their crates to relax more if they are still near their owners. It is also important to put some comfy blankets in there for them to lay on. Chances are they do not want to always lay on cold plastic, and will not be happy to go into their kennels. Food is another important consideration. You do not want to feed your dogs in their kennel. It is important to feed them outside of their kennels, that way they will not begin to think that every time they go in their kennel they are going to be fed. Treats are a different story, it is alright to give them a treat when you tell them to get in their kennels, and they listen!
When introducing a kennel to a puppy or an adult dog that isn’t kennel trained, it is important to not just lock them in their and leave them. Becoming comfortable in their kennel is a process, and you do not want them to hate being in a kennel. Start with small time periods, and even put a treat in the back so they go find it. Giving their kennel a name helps. For my dogs, it’s “go to your room” not “go to your kennel.” They absolutely love their kennels! It’s also okay to put their toys in their for them! I keep my dogs toys in their kennels and they will bring them out and even put them back.
It is definitely a process crate training your dogs, but in the long run it is well worth it. It becomes their safe place and your dogs will love their kennels, in time.
If you are new to crate training check out http://pets.webmd.com/dogs/guide/why-crate-train-dog and http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/dogs/tips/crate_training.html for some great tips and tricks to crate training!
Does anyone else have any tips? Please leave them in a comment if you do!