If you asked me if I'd rather sleep in a crate
than in my bed, I would most likely stare blankly back at you in confusion. But for a well trained dog, this can be a safe haven and a place of refuge. Crate training is actually a very useful and adaptable form of dog training to aid in controlling and managing their behavior.
When you provide your canine companion a confined domain he can become familiar with and grow attached to, you will ultimately supply him with a safe place to learn the rules of the house before letting him roam free while you're away or asleep. One item to implant in your head early on is, your dog's crate should NEVER be his permanent place of residence. Crates and cages should be used as a great tool to create and instill better behavior and to grant him a location to go when you can't watch over him.
Where to start? Well, when you begin to crate train, you will definitely need to begin with a few essential pet supplies. The most crucial to this process, of course, is the crate. Obviously the size of your dig will regulate the size of your crate and should be large enough for them to grow into, unless you enjoy buying new crates. Also, since a portion of the crate training will inevitably involve house training, the idea of using this crate, naturally your dog will not do his business where he will sleeps. With the above in mind, this crate should be big enough for your dog to lie down, stand straight up, turn around, but not much larger than that. If your dog can easily sleep on one side of his crate and can use the other side as a bathroom, the crate may be to large.
The other pet supplies you will need are designed to create a more appealing and enjoyable environment for your dog. Placing a blanket on the bottom of the crate or a towel to provide more comfort along with your dog's favorite toys to give him a reason to use the cage or crate is suggested.
Prior to the start of your dogs crate training, practicing patience is vital to your success. Some, mine for example, may take to the crate immediately. Others... will be more reluctant to use it, this just means the process can take longer than others, possibly a few days to a few weeks.
Now to begin. Once you acquire your crate, put it in a location that is busy with foot traffic and is easily accessible to house. Allow your pooch to become familiar with the crate. May be even enticing him with some doggy treats or his favorite toys. Make sure the crate door is either removed or is propped open.
Now I know, most will wonder how you crate train when the door is open. Well, to keep them inside the crate, begin feeding them their meals there; make sure he goes all the way inside by placing his food bowl in the back. After he begins to eat you can close the door behind him and keeping it closed until he is finished. Each meal that proves successful, attempt to keep the door closed for longer and longer period of time.
Once this is accomplished, begin crating on command. After your dog has been eating inside the crate, attempt to command him into the crate, using an order accompanied by treats and guiding him towards the entrance of the crate. Following him entering the crate, close the door behind him and let him stay there for 15 minutes or so, gradually lengthening the time he stays inside. Make sure he is comfortable and unafraid. Your do not want to create a scary environment for him.
Once the crate command is effective and your dog is definitely comfortable being inside the crate for a half hour or longer, you can start to leave him there for much longer periods of time..
Now that you've got your dog using his crate without fear or fuss, you need to keep in mind how the crate should be used.
Don't crate too long. Your dog can last in the crate overnight, but during the day, he should only be in there for five hours or less. This time period is lower for puppies, as well, who should not be crated for much longer than an hour or so until they are a few months old.
Crating should never be used to punish your dog. This will hinder the crating process.
If your dog shows signs of separation anxiety, crating should be used infrequently and only when absolutely necessary.
Once your dog has become well-mannered enough to roam the house when you're gone, ordering him to the crate should be unnecessary, and he will use it at his leisure.
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