Your furry friends are part of the family, and you may feel it’s cruel to confine your dog to a crate. But, according to experts, it’s not!
Crate training is an important part of giving your puppy freedom, a safe place, and independence. Don’t view it as a punishment, view it as a necessary and beneficial part of your animal’s forever home. Here’s what the experts want you to know about crate training your puppy.
What Exactly Is Crate Training?
Crate training is viewed as a beneficial device to mold desirable behavior from your pup. Think of it as a den for your dog’s wild ancestral instincts. Crates are usually plastic and sometimes collapsible pens that are large enough for your dog to lay, stand, and move. Not much larger. It should feel somewhat confined, and this is good!
When unsupervised, crates become an area of sanctuary and safety where your friend can rest easy. Vík is 3 years old and loves his crate. He sometimes goes in there to take a nap even when we are home and he prefers being in there when we are not home.
Crate Training: The Basics
Here are expert tips on crate training:
- Introduce your dog to the crate. Initially place it in a room they are used to and comfortable with. Make sure you pad it with soft blankets and towels. Let your dog explore it at their leisure.
- Feed your dog meals and give them treats in the crate. This will let them associate the crate with something positive. Once they are in the crate fully, and eating with ease, see if you can close the door without complaint. If at any point they begin to whine or show distress, you can always take a step back.
- Practice with longer crate periods. Ensure you’re encouraging them and giving them treats during this process. It will take patience, but eventually, they will be comfortable in their new den for longer and longer periods of time.
Benefits of Crate Training
- Privacy and security for your dog
- Useful for potty training.
- A place for them to decompress if faced with stress
- Once trained, they can travel with you without feeling anxious or scared
- A useful area for the confinement of your dog if needed (new people are in the house, carpet cleaning, etc.)
What Not to Do
- Never use the crate as punishment! You want it to be a positive experience
- Don’t leave your dog in the crate too long. Again, it’s meant to be a comfort.
- Don’t force the crate on your dog. It should be a gradual process that’s tackled within their own comfort zone.
Give your dog comfort, security, and the freedom of their own den. When not used as punishment, it can be a very special place for your pup. This is the crate we own.