If you have a puppy or younger adult dog, consider crate training as soon as your dog is ready. Crate training confers many benefits to you and your dog, but it takes time to crate train a dog properly. Our training experts at Canine By Design are happy to help pet owners with crate training for dogs and other types of training in Lehi, UT.
Is Your Dog a Good Candidate for Crate Training?
You can start crate training when your puppy is ten months old. Keep in mind that puppies and young dogs might not be able to hold their bladders for long periods of time, so be sure to only leave your dog in the crate for short periods.
The purpose of crate training for dogs is to get them used to the crate as a safe space and a refuge. If your dog becomes anxious or fearful in a crate, it might not be possible to form the essential positive associations that you need to establish before crate training can start.
Older dogs might not respond as well to crate training either because their brains are less flexible or because prior learning interferes with new associations.
The Process of Crate Training
Before you start crate training for dogs, choose a crate or kennel that is large and comfortable enough for your dog. The crate should measure two to four inches longer and taller than your dog’s measurements, not including the tail.
Additionally, find a location for the crate that gives your dog the ability to remain connected to the activity in your house. The crate’s location should not be too remote or quiet.
The first step in crate training is to encourage the dog to spend time in the crate. It is crucial that the dog not experience distress or perceive being in the crate as punishment.
Do not force the dog to enter the crate or try to push it inside. If the dog does not voluntarily enter the crate, it might not be ready to start crate training. Let it acclimate at its own pace.
Once the dog is comfortable in the crate, you can close the door. Initially, close the door for brief periods.
The Advantages of Crate Training
While many dog owners hate to see their beloved pets confined, crate training can be liberating. Allowing a dog to acclimate to being in a crate or other enclosure makes it possible to bring your animal on trips, gives your dog a familiar place to retreat to when the need arises, and makes it easier to keep your furry friend calm if you have to move it out of your home in an emergency.
Challenges in Crate Training
Crate training for dogs can sometimes be frustrating for you as well as your dog. Remember that going slow in the face of setbacks doesn’t mean giving up. The dog might be unwilling to crate train at the pace you have in mind.
For instance, your dog might develop claustrophobia or dislike the crate despite your attempts to take things slow.
Crate Training Advice for Dog Owners
Use toys and blankets to make the crate more pleasant and welcoming environment. Ensure the dog has gone to the bathroom before you leave it in the crate, and be alert for behavior that indicates it needs to go to the bathroom again.
Leave food in the crate so that the dog associates being in the crate with having the satisfaction of basic needs.
Preparing Your Dog for a Trip
Once you crate-train your dog, you can bring it with you in the crate when going on a trip. Be sure to bring adequate food and water as well as familiar toys and other objects. Many sights, sounds, and smells in the car are likely to be unfamiliar and can be overwhelming’ anything familiar can help.
Let Canine By Design Help You with Crate Training
If your efforts to crate train your dog aren’t going as planned or you need guidance and support as you plan for crate training, call our team at Canine By Design at 801-210-0987 for help. We have experience with crate training for dogs as well as many other different types of dog training for dogs of all ages.