Dog Training Tips and Tricks 101: Understanding Crate Training
Crate training is primarily used for house training, taking advantage of your dog’s natural instincts as a den animal, wherein crate is a home for dogs to sleep, eat, hide from danger and a place to raise a family. A dog crate is a dog’s den, providing solitude and comfort in a crate, making it their own den, knowing they are safe and secure. The different types of crates are made of plastic called “flight kennels”, fabric on a rigid frame that is also collapsible, and metal pens. Dog crates come in different sizes, colors and can be bought at most pet supply catalogs and pet supply stores.
One of the things you need to know about crates is that it should never be used as a form of punishment, because eventually, your dog may refuse to enter because of fear. Always remember that it is not good for your dog to be confined in his crate for a long period, because it can result to anxiousness and depression due to lack of human interaction and lack of physical exercise. Changing your bonding schedule, hiring a pet sitter or taking your dog to a daycare facility decrease the amount of time they spend in their crates, making a fun environment and creating the eagerness for them to relax and sleep afterwards. Puppies should not stay in their crates for more than three to four hours at a time for those six months and below, because they can’t control their bowels and bladders for that long. Gradually crate your dog until you know that they won’t be panicking, until they can eventually just volunteer to enter the crate.
Usage of crate for dog training and management is an effective short-term tool. Training your dog to be in a crate, provides a cozy and safe place he can call his own, and it gives you a safe way to transport your dog and travel with him to friend’s homes, motels, when on vacation and other gatherings. Crate training is very helpful in introducing your new dog in your household, preventing them from being destructive. The training process can take days up to weeks, depending on the age, past experiences and temperament of your dog, so make sure that the crate training should always be associated with something that is pleasant and it should take in small steps. Firstly, introduce your dog to the crate, put a soft blanket or towel, allowing the door open, and let your dog explore the crate with their preferred time and pacing. Bring your dog over the crate and talk to them with your voice in a happy tone, making sure the door is open and secured, so your dog will not be frightened. To encourage your dog to enter the crate, drop some small food treats nearby, then inside the door, and finally the way inside the crate, allowing them to slowly enter and lie comfortably, without undue pressure.