In the previous article we talked about the dos and don’ts of crate training. Here we’ll discuss how to crate train your dog. Know that Bark Busters Fairfield County has helped many pet parents crate train their dog to be well behaved!
Preparing the Crate
Before you even begin, you will need to get your dog used to the crate. Place the crate in an area of the house they already frequent, then place an old sweatshirt or comfortable blanket on the floor of the crate as bedding. The “pack: smell of your old things will comfort your dog, so be sure to wear or handle the clothing first. Create a cozy, dark and comforting environment for your dog by placing a cover on three sides of the crate, leaving only the entrance open. You don’t want the room to be too hot or too cold.
Getting Used to the Crate
Let you dog explore the crate in their own time with no pressure. Place your dog’s favorite toys in the crate to give them a feeling of security. Add in a bowl of food and some water. All these things help to create positive associations around the crate. If possible, place these things as close to the back of the crate as possible so that your dog is trained to enter the crate completely. If your dog isn’t willing to do this at first, then start by placing items closer to the entrance and slowly shifting them back. Lavish praise on your dog when he enters the crate on his own.
Only when your dog is happy to enter and remain in the crate can you start to close the door for short periods. You should never close the door if your dog gets stressed – he needs to feel comfortable with the crate first. Chances are he will take a nap! If he is scared, gently guide him into it. Your dog will soon become confident that he is safe, and you will be able to release him when he is ready. You can gradually increase the length of time to wait before releasing him.
While some pets will be comfortable first thing, others will require a slow ramp-up with only short durations of confinement initially. Know that your dog may whine, but do not let them out just because they whine they will know it is their ticket to get what they want.
Once he has had a pleasurable experience with the crate, you may gently guide him to it on leash, if necessary. If he resists, stay calm but firm – do not yank the leash. Feeding the leash through the back of the crate to provide better direction while giving him encouragement should be all that is needed.
Not for Everyone
Realize that not all dogs like crates and crate training is not for every dog. No worries because there are many other ways to train your dog to behave. It is really a supplementary training technique that should be used in conjunction with supervised care and training. If the only way you can get your dog to listen is to crate him, then you may need the help of a professional trainer.
And I know just the one – Michael Konstantaras who has successfully trained thousands of dogs throughout Bridgeport, Cos Cob, Darien, Easton, Fairfield, Greens Farms, Greenwich, New Canaan, Norwalk, Old Greenwich, Ridgefield, Riverside, Southport, Stamford, Weston, Westport, Wilton.