CRATE TRAINING

Crate Training

THE PROCESS: There are 2 things to keep in mind about crate training

      1.     Always associate the crate with something pleasant,  put his favorite toy and/or treat inside crate.

      2.     Training should take place in a series of small steps.

 

STEP ONE

 

Place the crate in an area of your home where the family spends most of it's time. 

 

Open the door, or even remove it at first, and place a towel or soft bedding inside along with a small treat just inside the door. 

 

Do not put your focus on the crate.  His curiosity will bring him to it. 

 

If he refuses to go near the crate,  you may sit next to the crate and talk in a happy tone, put a treat just inside the door and make a fun game out of it.  This process may take a couple of minutes to several hours.  Just remember do not  rush this process.

 

 

STEP TWO

 

When your puppy is comfortable with being inside the crate without fear or apprehension,  close the door for just a minute or two and then open and allow him out.

 

Do this when he is eating his treats or playing with his toy.  Small steps are important for a puppy, we do not want him to feel trapped.  Soon his anxiety, if any, will deminish and he will trust the process.

 

 

STEP THREE: LENGTHEN THE CRATE TIME

 

Call him over to the crate and give him a treat.

 

Give him a command to enter, such as "crate time" or "kennel".   Encourage him by pointing to the inside of the crate with a treat in your hand .

 

Sit quietly near the crate for five minutes, and then go into another room for a few minutes. Return, sit quietly for a minute, and then let him out of the crate.

 

Repeat this process several times a day, then gradually increase the length of time you leave him in the crate and the length time  you're out of his sight.

 

Once your dog is quiet in the crate for about 30 minutes with you out of sight, you can begin leaving him crated when you're gone for short time periods and/or letting him sleep there at night. This may take several days or several weeks.

 

*Remember that puppies cannot hold their bladders as long as adult dogs can*

 

 

STEP FOUR: CRATE YOUR PUPPY WHEN YOU LEAVE

 

After your dog can spend about 30 minutes in the crate without whining, you can begin leaving him crated for short periods  of time.

 

Use your command word to put him in his crate along with a treat. You might also want to leave him with a few safe toys in the crate. 

 

Do not prolong a departure by saying good bye's, this can lead to excitement—they should be matter-of-fact.  Just give him a quick praise, give him a treat for entering the crate, and then leave quietly .

 

Keep arrivals low key to avoid increasing his anxiety over when you will return.

 

When you return home, keep it low key, this will keep your dog balanced.  Never reward excited behavior with enthusiasm.

 

 Crate your dog for short periods of time when you're home so he doesn't associate crating with being left alone.

 

 

STEP FIVE: CRATE YOUR PUPPY AT NIGHT

 

Put your dog in the crate with your command and a treat. It may be a good idea to put the crate in your bedroom or nearby in a hallway, especially if you have a puppy.

 

Puppies often need to go outside to eliminate during the night, and you'll want to be able to hear your puppy when he whines to be let outside.

 

Once your dog is sleeping through the night with his crate near you, you can begin to gradually move it to the location you prefer, although time spent with your dog—even sleep time—is a chance to strengthen the bond between you and your pet.

 

If your puppy whines in the middle of the night, it is hard to determine if he needs to eliminate or just wants out of the crate.  With the previous steps above, your pet should know by now that he is not rewarded for whining by being let out.  So, take your puppy outside to eliminate, praise him, and put him back in until the next morning.