House Training

Crate Training Your Dog

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What is Crate Training?

Crate training is basically a method used to house-train your dog or puppy. The crate is employed to confine your pet when you are not around to supervise him. Because almost all dogs won’t go to the bathroom in the same place they sleep, your pet will most likely try to hold it when he is in the crate. This, fortunately, will keep him from getting into the bad habit of having accidents inside the home.

How to Crate-train Your Dog

A. Choosing the Crate

There are numerous types of crates that owners can choose from. These include the plastic pet carrier, wire cage, and the nylon crate or the soft-sided canvas. The plastic pet carrier is a good option as it is the kind that is commonly seen for airline travel. However, it is enclosed on 3 sides, thereby, giving inadequate lighting. Besides, it is also a lot harder to clean. The wire crate, on the other hand, is the most commonly used cage. It allows your pet to see everything that goes on around him, and its size can be adjusted depending on the dog’s size. It is collapsible and has a sliding tray that makes it easier to clean. The soft-sided cage is specifically great for dogs that are not big chewers. The crate is light, making it very easy to carry along during travel. But because the sides are soft, young puppies who like to chew and scratch it can easily break out.

Be sure to choose a crate that is adequately sized for your dog. It should not be too large, but he should have plenty of time to stand up and turn around comfortably. If he can’t stand and turn around, the crate is too small and it is inhumane to lock your dog up inside.

B. Introducing Your Dog to the Crate

Crate training needs to be kept positive by introducing your pet to the cage slowly. Improve the pleasant experience of having a crate by putting something soft on the cage floor along with a few of his toys. You can also throw treats inside. Let your dog explore the crate at his own pace. Praise him and offer treats when he gets inside without your command. Until he appears to be comfortable with the crate, keep it open and allow your pet to freely wander in or out of it.

C. Confining your Pet

As soon as your dog seems to be comfortable with the crate, the next step would be to let him get used to being confined. Throw a handful of treats inside the cage, and once your pet gets inside, close the door. Wait for a minute or two, and so long as he has remained quiet, allow the dog to get out. Gradually extend the amount of time you leave your dog in the crate until he becomes comfortable with being locked up in the crate for an hour or so. When he has already become at ease with being locked up, start to get him used to being left alone while he is in the crate. At the time that your pet is calm inside, step out of the room for a while and step back in. Slowly build up the time you spend out of the room until your pet has become comfortable about being left alone in the cage for an hour or so.

Now, you and your dog will be comfortable leaving the dog at home alone, in his crate, for short periods of time knowing that you won’t return to an unwanted puddle or pile. Remember, though, the crate should be a safe, comfortable place for your dog. Don’t lock him up as punishment, or you’ll find that it’s hard to get him to go inside when you need him to – and it’s confusing to him if he thinks he’s being punished and doesn’t know why.

If you intend to leave your dog in his crate for more than a few minutes, make sure he has access to fresh water.

Do you have any other crate training tips for our readers? Please, share them with us below!

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