One of the first things many pet parents do when they get a new puppy is crate training and this is because it is effective. Crate training is teaching your dog that their crate is a good safe place to be while utilizing positive reinforcement. Dogs are natural den animals and so the addition of a crate to the house can be a great thing for their comfort. In this post, we will be covering some of the techniques used to crate train, some of the things to avoid while training and why it is such a positive training method.
First let's cover the basics, crates or kennels are a cage made out of metal (wire crates) or plastic sometimes with cloth covering the entire shelter. These act as dens for our furry friends giving them a place to hide away and be comfortable when need be. Oftentimes these crates should be paired with a crate bed or a dog crate pad that they love. Dog crate beds are the part of the crate that the dogs sleep and relax on making it one of the more important parts of the overall concept. If it is not comfortable your dog will not be as happy!
Like I've said before dogs are den creatures by nature and thus love having their own little den where they can feel protected. When paired with the proper training crates can become an effective behavioral tool to help you keep you and your dog happy. For younger dogs, it can help out with potty training and house behavioral learning. While adult dogs are slower to pick up on these things they can utilize the crate in similar ways and also have a little space of their own. No matter what this is an extremely positive experience for both the owner and the dog if done correctly. Not only can utilizing crate training make you worry less throughout the day but it can help your furry friend feel more comfortable even if you are away.
Now that you know what crates are and why people utilize crate training for puppies lets dive into some of the actual methods used and what you should be doing properly.
To begin you are going to want to make sure whatever crate you are using is just big enough for your dog to stand up and turn around, any bigger and it could cause problems while training.
Once you have a properly sized crate you are suddenly faced with the toughest part of the entire training method, Getting your dog to get inside! This can be intimidating for a dog if it is forced so what you need to do is open the door to the crate in a familiar area until your dog goes in on its own. Some people suggest placing treats (ours loved these chicken breast bites) or a favorite toy just inside to hurry up the process but this could take anywhere from minutes to a couple days.
Once your puppy can enter the crate on their own comfortably it is now the right moment to increase the length of time. This can be one of the more important moments of crate training a puppy and needs to be done correctly. For the first couple of sessions, you will want to get your dog in their kennel in a positive fashion then give them their meals while they sit quietly. After a couple times doing this you should be closing the door with no reactions from your puppy. To start, keep this in short periods and slowly begin to increase the time they are left in their kennel.
s you increase the crate time you should regularly make sure they are viewing crate time as a good positive thing. This will assure they both enjoy and behave while they are in their crate. Once you are able to go whole work days with them being crated they should be fully trained.
There are certain things that can set back crate training your dog including treating it as a punishment. If you get mad at your dogs and make them go to their kennel it is all of a sudden associated as a bad thing and they may reverse on their initial training. Another thing to note is that young puppies will not be as responsive to the bladder control side of crate training and will sometimes wet the crate bed. This is expected and by punishing it you could create a negative emotion towards the crates. If the crate is not the right size they will be able to use one corner to relieve themselves and the other to rest this is why it is important to have the right size crate as well.
Crate Training for puppies can be a great option for everyone involved and may even become your dog's safe spot in the house. There are many benefits to crate training a dog if it is done right. Make sure to check out our crate beds that are made to be comfortable and healthy for your dog's joints.
BuddyRest was founded on the idea of supporting older dogs and based our first products on helping joint pains in dogs. We know dog sleep science and hope this blog helped you out.
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