Crate train your dogs easily

Crate train your dogs easily

For a well-behaved dog that respects your home and routines, dog crate training is indispensable. It establishes a secure haven for your pet, fostering a sense of belonging and providing them with a safe space of their own.

Contrary to human perceptions, dogs naturally seek shelter in confined spaces, akin to dens in the wild. By acclimating them to crates early on, you help alleviate anxiety and promote feelings of security.

We consulted Anna Flayton, esteemed senior dog trainer at PUPS Pet Club in Chicago, for expert guidance on mastering crate training.

Step 1: Choose the Right Crate for Your Dog: Selecting the appropriate crate is paramount. "Opt for one that's sturdy, cozy, and adaptable to your training needs," advises Flayton. Consider kennel or airline-style crates for dogs preferring dim sleeping quarters, while wire crates suit others. Ensure the crate matches your dog's adult size, and utilize dividers to adjust space accordingly.

Step 2: Establish the Proper Mindset for Crate Training: Encourage a serene association with the crate. "The more your dog links the crate with relaxation, the more they'll embrace it," notes Flayton. Introduce short crate sessions during calm periods, gradually extending their duration over time.

Step 3: Determine Your Dog's Crate Comfort: Experiment with bedding options, considering your dog's preferences and tendencies. "Some dogs may destroy bedding or use it as a restroom," Flayton warns. Opting for a bare crate mat may align better with their natural inclinations.

Step 4: Reward Crate Entry: Reward positive crate interactions. Flayton suggests enticing your dog with a frozen peanut butter-filled KONG toy, promoting extended crate stays paired with enjoyable activities.

Step 5: Monitor Crate Time: Ensure adequate outside-the-crate time for play, meals, and bathroom breaks. Prolonged crate occupancy without relief may lead to accidents.

Step 6: Engage in Crate Games: Integrate the crate into enjoyable activities. Flayton recommends incorporating crate games, such as hiding treats or tossing toys inside, to foster positive associations.

Step 7: Remove Collars in the Crate: Minimize risks by removing collars or tags inside the crate. This precaution prevents potential entanglement hazards.

Step 8: Gradually Increase Crate Time: Progressively extend crate periods, beginning with short absences. Utilize remote monitoring devices to observe your dog's behavior in your absence and reward desirable conduct upon your return.

Step 9: Exercise Patience: Crate training requires time and consistency. Anticipate a learning curve, but remain steadfast in your approach. Flayton assures that perseverance yields rewards, as your dog learns to seek out positive reinforcement, paving the way for successful crate training.

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