Crate Training
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A dog’s crate is his or her own special place. For it to be most effective, it should not seem like a punishment. It should be large enough for your dog to stand comfortably, with room to lie down and stretch out. Get a crate mat designed to fit on the floor of the crate to make a nice cozy bed. For even more security, a crate cover will help make it feel more like a secluded den.

As with any kind of training, rewards work very well when getting your dog accustomed to a crate. If you can make it fun, your dog will learn to go happily, and you won’t feel as guilty about leaving him or her alone in there. When passing out treats, give it to your dog in the crate-and don’t forget to use your “happy voice”! (Remember: ALWAYS supervise your dog while he or she is enjoying a treat or chew.)

During the training stage, you will want to leave the crate door unlocked and open, but you can encourage your dog to stay there long with a favorite chew toy. Another option to keep your dog busy is rawhide chews, but you can also find much safer options right here at dog-com. The KONG Classic Rubber Dog Toy, enhanced with KONG Easy Treat is great for crate training, as it provides your dog with something to do while you are away. For the best results, freeze it first to make it last longer.

When first training your dog, don’t leave him or her alone in the crate for extended periods. Safety is the main reason, but also consider a young dog’s delicate bladder. If he or she can’t hold it, and do “business” in the crate, it will no longer be seen as a safe sanctuary. Also, never leave a collar with any type of chain on your dog will in the crate, as the chain could get caught and hurt or choke your dog.

Training takes time and patience, but if you put in plenty of both, the better chance that your dog will come to love the crate. Good luck!

Dog Crate Basics

  • Published:
  • Updated: 8/15/2018: 10:21:49 AM ET