Dogs are known to possess natural instincts as den animals; hence making it easier to crate train them. A crate can be used to limit your dogs’ access to the rest of the house while they learn other rules. Below are the steps to so as to ensure that your dog has been successfully crate trained:
1. Choose a suitable crate for your dog
As easy as it may sound, choosing a crate requires a lot of caution since they come in different sizes and types. An ideal crate size should be large enough for your dog to enter, turn around and lie down. When it’s too large, it will encourage your dog to soil on one side of it and sleep on the other side. Also, keep in mind that your puppy will grow with time; hence you should take your puppy’s future into account. A lot of people prefer large crates that normally have partitions that allow for shrinking to the puppies’ size, and can be enlarged as the puppies grow. Alternatively, you can buy two crates, one for the size of the puppy and the other one for a grown-up dog.
2. Introduce your dog to the crate
To make this easier, ensure that you place the crate in a room where your dog loves spending most of its time. Put soft linen in the crate to make it comfortable and ensure that the door is left open to make the dog feel secure inside the crate. Keep encouraging the dog to enter the crate by sitting beside the crate and placing some food treats around it, and then later inside it. If she seems reluctant to enter, try to be patient with her by repeating this. Eventually, they will start to feel comfortable entering the crate.
3. Make it a feeding place
Once you notice that your dog is comfortable in the crate, it is now time to take the next step. Start feeding the dog inside the crate. You can place the food either at the back end of the crate or in the middle of the crate if the dog isn’t very comfortable. When she feels comfortable eating inside the crate, begin closing it when she’s feeding and immediately opening once she finishes. Later you can try leaving it closed for a few minutes and observe the behavior. If she starts whining, then reduce the time until she gets used to it.
4. Make it a short stay
If the dog spends a little time inside the crate without distress, then try lengthening the time by giving her a treat and spending sometime around the crate.
5. Crate the extended periods
If she comfortably stays in for longer periods, try leaving her in the crate for the rest of the night and watch how she reacts. This should be done with caution so that the crate doesn’t appear to your dog as a punishment place. Also, it helps when you give your dog praise whenever she shows any signs of improvement.