Crate training is a great way to manage your dog’s behavior. You will know he is safely confined during those times you are not actively supervising or training. The crate can also be your dog’s favorite safe place to get away from the noise and activity of family life. A crate is also the safest way to transport your dog in a car or SUV.
Here’s how you can train your dog to love being in the crate.
- Leave the door to your dog’s crate off or open.
- Tell your dog “go in you crate.”
- Then, toss a morsel of treat in the crate.
- Your dog should peek in the crate to get the treat.
- Say “Yes” before your dog eats the treat.
- In time stop throwing a treat. Instead say “go in your crate” and then gesture as if you were tossing a treat in. Yes and treat when your dog complies.
- Practice short trial periods with your dog in the crate before trying long durations.
- Always leave a yummy chew toy (stuffed Kong) in the crate with your dog.
- Never open the crate when your dog is barking, crying or scratching. Wait for that behavior to stop even for a moment, then release your dog.
- Never leave your dog in the crate for over 8 hours. This time period will be significantly shorter for puppies (see potty training)
- Watch this video on making the crate a favorite place.
Feeding your dog exclusively in the crate using a fully stuffed Kong Toy will help make the crate extra special. Keep these crate sessions to a minute or less at first, picking up the Kong before it is fully finished.