Crate Training Your Adult Dog

A crate is the greatest gift you can give your dog.  I’ve always told my clients that a crate is so important and can be used for so many different things from house training to providing a safe place for your dog to be when you’re not at home.

Crate training with a puppy always seems to be fairly easy for the pup to become accustomed to the crate.  However sometimes crate training an adult dog can be a little more difficult.

Let me start off by saying you need to make the crate training experience as much fun as possible when dealing with adult dog.  If you’ve read any of my other articles on crate training you’re quite aware that when I talk about a crate I’m talking about the plastic airline type carrier crate not the wire cages that are more like a jail cell.

Start off the training by playing some games.  Set the crate up in the living room or any other place that is convenient for you and throw in a treat or a toy.  Let your dog run in and get it and come back out.  Make a fuss, clap, and let it know that this was a lot of fun.  Do this several times in the next hour or two.

When your dog goes in and gets the treat easily then change the game a bit by closing the door to the crate for one minute, yes only 60 seconds.  Open the crate door and make a big fuss because we just had a bunch of fun.  Do this a few more times over the next hour or two.

The next time you play the game close the door for 5 minutes with you in the room or close by so the dog can see that everything is good.  After this is successful after 2 or 3 times then close the door for 5 minutes and go outside where you can hear if you dog is making any noise.  Come back in release the dog and let it know what a great job it did.

I think you are getting the idea of what we are doing here by making this a game that is fun, not something that is scary.  Continue these exercises for the rest of the day.

On day two start of where with the same exercises as the day before and then close the door for 15 minutes with you in the house.  Start expanding the time during the day and even leave the house for short periods up to an hour.  Your dog is on its way to learning to loves its new den.

Usually on day two you can have the dog spend the night in the crate without a problem.  Take it slow, make it fun and your dog will learn to love and be comfortable in its new den, the crate.”

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Mark Mansfield
 

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