Considering crate training your dog? Tips to get started!

April 9, 2022

Considering crate training? Crates can be a highly beneficial tool for dog owners, so we’ve put together some tips to help you get started: 

Considering crate training? Crates can be a highly beneficial tool for dog owners and can be used to secure your pet for safety, travel, potty-training, prevention of destructive behaviors, or simply as a safe place to sleep! The most important thing to remember is that your crate should always be a “happy place” for your pet, never a punishment. We understand many pets don’t enjoy the crate at first, so we’ve put together some tips to help you get started with crate training!

  1. Try to think of the crate as a happy place in your own mind. When encouraging your pet to go in their crate, use a warm tone and positive body language. Your dog will pick up on your emotions!
  2. Make sure your crate is in a safe, quiet place indoors – crate training is not intended to be outdoors, as this environment may leave your pet feeling exposed and vulnerable.
  3. Lead your pet into the crate with special rewards and encouragement rather than force. Allow them to go in and out of their own accord for a while, rewarding them with a treat each time they enter the crate.
  4. The first time you leave your pet in the crate with the door closed, start with just a few minutes and gradually work your way up to longer periods, rewarding your pet each time.
  5. It may take time for your pet to adjust to being alone in the crate. They may bark at first, but don’t be distressed! They’ll learn with continued training that the crate is a safe place. Consider leaving your pet with something special in their crate, like a long-lasting treat, a special toy, or a Kong with peanut butter to help keep them occupied as they get settled in.
  6. Walking your dog before putting them in the crate can help them fall asleep and begin to associate their crate with napping and relaxation, as can draping a blanket over the crate and playing soft music in the room.
  7. Don’t forget to leave your pet with water while you’re gone! Consider bowls that hook to the crate so they can’t easily be tipped over.
  8. Be conscious of how long you are leaving your pet in the crate during the day. Some dogs may only be able to handle short stints (puppies and seniors may need to have more frequent potty breaks).

While crate training can be an excellent tool to keep your dog safe and secure for short periods of time, it isn’t intended to be used for long periods or full workdays. Past a certain point, crating for long periods of time may compromise a pet’s mental and physical well-being. If you will be gone for extended periods throughout the day, it may be better to consider dog daycare options!

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