I think that it is very important to crate train your dog.You never know when your dog might have to go into a create – for travel, vetrinary visit, etc, so it's best to have them used to it already to avoid added stress and anxiety. The best time to start crate
training is when they are still a puppy, but that doesn't mean that you can't do it later.
The first thing to remember is that the crate must never be used for punishment. The crate should be your dog's safe and quiet spot where they feel happy and secure.
Get the right size for you dog
It should be large enough for the dog to comfortably stand up, turn around, and lie down. If the crate is too big, there is a chance that the dog could use a portion of it as a bathroom area.
For growing puppies, you can buy a larger crate with a divider and then adjust it to the size that you need.
Step One - Entice your dog into the crate
Feed all of your dog's meals at the BACK of the crate. You want the dog to go willingly into the crate and find a reward waiting for them when they get there.
You can add a verbal command such as, "Fluffy, Crate" as your pet enters the crate to eat its meal.
You can guide and coax the dog but don't force them inside.
Leave the door open and let your dog finish its meal quietly inside.
Special treats can also be tossed to the back of the crate in addition to meals.
Make it comfy
If your dog won't destroy it, you can put a dog bed, blanket, or a towel into the crate.
Place in an area that is close to the action of your house like your family room or kitchen.
Keep the door to the crate open allowing your dog to go in and out freely.
Closing the door
Close it only for a very short time at first and remain nearby then open and call the dog to you. Give it a treat and praise it right away.
Gradually build up the time with the door closed, but stay nearby to monitor.
A Kong toy filled with peanut butter is a good pacifier when your dog is crated.
Never open the door to release the dog when it is whining or barking
You may only have a second or two of quiet if you have an anxious dog, so be quick to get the door open and have your dog sit quiety while you give it a treat.
Leaving the house
Don't make a big fuss – calmly get your dog in the crate.
Don't stay away for long. A few minutes if plenty the first few times. Gradually increase the tme that you are away.
Remember not to open the crate if your dog is whining or barking – wait until it's quiet!
Remove all collars. You don't want to risk your dog having a serious injury should the collar get caught on something.
Remove all toys – a Kong toy is a safe toy to leave with your dog. You can fill it with a bit of peanut butter or even some canned dog food.
Make sure that there isn't something close by that the dog can get at through the crate, like a drapes, or a dog bed – that's what happened in the picture!
Check your dog's mouth when you get home to make sure it is not chewing and the crate or the metal bars and damaging it's gums and/or teeth.
If you are not sure how your dog is handling being crated, invest in a nanny cam and keep an eye on your pet while you are away.
There is much more that can be covered in this topic - please contact us if you have questions or need to book a consult. Don't guess at what you think you should do – if you're not sure, contact an expert.