Crate training is a truly beneficial concept of owning a dog. No matter how big, small, young, or old, crate training can be very positive for you and your dog. Not only does crate training play a key role in housebreaking, it is also a great safety precaution for your pet. Just like you shouldn’t leave a child unattended, you shouldn’t leave your puppy either. When a dog is too young or simply was never taught any better– they can get into some pretty harmful things with no supervision. A crate provides a harm-free zone so you and your pup can relax without worry.
Often we forget, but at the base of a dog’s instinct they are den animals. Dogs feel safer, calmer, and more secure in a small and cozy environment. We want the crate to be a space that they can relax and feel safe. It is also much easier to travel and visit friends and family when you have a portable option for your dog to hang-out in, because again, different environments propose different hazards.
Here are a few key steps to create a positive crate experience:
The first step is to get the correct size crate. If you get a puppy – you can purchase a much larger crate to fit their estimated adult size and use a barrier panel to adjust the crate as your puppy grows (usually these are included when you buy a large crate). You want your dog to be able to stand-up, turn around, and lay comfortably without tons of extra space.
Always feed your pup in the crate, give them toys and treats – you want to make the crate a very happy place! If your dog loves a blanket or bed (and won’t destroy it) put that in as well.
Make sure you use the crate when you are also at home. You don’t want your dog to pick-up on the notion of every time you leave the house they go to the crate.
Put the crate in a room that is still involved with the household. You wouldn’t want to be secluded in a room away from all the fun…neither does your dog!
Leave the crate door open when you are home so your dog can go in and out – your ultimate goal is to have your dog WANT to go in the crate and just hang out even with the door open.
Here is one of my dog’s Sadie – all of my dogs love their crate and she loves to go in it even
when she isn’t asked to.