Crates are great for dogs and owners with a number of uses including;
- When toilet training
- For confining a dog in the house keeping them safe
- When travelling (in car or plane)
- Allowing the dog to have their own space
- Separating them from other pets or people
- For confining when injured or sick
Dogs will often need to be trained to use, like and understand their crate, particularly if they have never been in one before. Teaching them to be happy and feel safe in the crate is important and can take some time. Here are some tips to keep in mind on how to crate train your dog;
- Introduce the crate slowly. Don’t bring a new puppy or dog home and lock them in a crate right away as this might scare them and make them feel trapped.
- Put the crate in a place that they would frequent on their own, this will encourage them to investigate the crate on their own.
- Make it safe, comfortable and cosy with bedding, toys and treats to encourage them to enter.
- Use commands like crate or bed when encouraging and teaching them to go in.
Start by feeding them in the crate, leaving it open to start with and once they seem comfortable you can close the door.
- Once they are settled being locked in for feed time start leaving them in their for a short period afterwards, 10-15 minutes, and then gradually increase the time.
- Start by staying around the crate, in same room and then move to another room so they are on their own.
- Vary the time that they spend in the crate before coming out so that they don’t get use to a set time frame.
- If they are whining let them whine for a little while and see if they settle on their own then open after a little, you don’t want them thinking whining means the door will open.
- Once they are ok increase the time, half hour while not there, work up to having them sleep overnight in the crate.
- Some dogs will need toilet breaks overnight, especially puppies, so have them close enough that you can hear them whine for the toilet.
- Some dogs will take longer than others to be comfortable using the crate so be patient but persistent.
To view the full range of dog crates and other equipment available at vet-n-pet DIRECT click here.
Originally published in My Pet Magazine Issue 14.
To view all issues of My Pet Magazine click here.