4 Simple Hacks for Crate Training Your Dog
You’re probably thinking—why do I need to crate train my dog? My furry friend can certainly live well without being trained, right? Sure, he can.
But can you imagine if your favorite furball is always chasing and scaring strangers passing by, regularly tearing at the grass and ruining your lawn, or habitually destroying property (specifically your favorite shoes)?
Uhm, life would certainly be very interesting—not to mention really stressful.
The truth is, every pet can benefit from a little instruction. Life with your favorite mutt can be so much more pawsome when you’re not dealing with behavioral issues. It’s no different than having a child, actually.
As pet parents, it’s our responsibility to see that our mighty mutt is properly trained. And it’s not just for our pet’s welfare, but for our peace of mind too!
It's therefore important to start training your furry buddy as early as possible. Crate training is an essential aspect of housebreaking or house training dogs. This involves teaching your dog to accept a crate or den as a resting place. Used correctly, a crate offers your dog some sort of sanctuary—a haven within your own home. And because dogs won’t usually soil their resting place, it makes sense that he won’t normally do his business there.
In this blog, we’ll take a look at 4 simple hacks for crate training your best pals. Read on!
1. Picking a crate
While there are numerous types of crates (plastic, wire, nylon or canvas) to choose from, wire crates are the most popular as it lets your dog see what’s around him and is easy to clean. (The latter being the most important reason. *grin)
But whichever kind of crate you decide to use, remember that size is important. It shouldn’t be too large, but you’d definitely want your dog to have adequate room to stretch out comfortably and move around. Note that the crate can’t be too big, as your dog may just decide to utilize one area for sleeping, and another area to eliminate. That’s not going to be pretty.
2. Introducing the crate
The crate should be slowly—and positively—introduced to your dog. Pad the bottom of the crate with something soft, add some dog toys, and throw some treats inside to encourage your dog to enter the crate on his own. Keep the door open until your fave pal gets comfortable with it.
3. Housing your dog inside
Do you know that dogs actually like having a secure and comfortable place of their own? Crates can be this safe haven for them.
- Toss treats in the crate and close the door once your dog is inside.
- Give it a minute or so, and if your wonder whelp is quiet, you can let him out of the crate.
- When you’re at home, gradually lengthen the amount of time your dog is left in the crate until it becomes comfortable for him to stay there for at least an hour.
Start getting your dog used to being comfy alone in the crate. Leave him alone in the room for a few minutes and then come back in.
4. Yes to discipline; No to punishment
Don’t use the crate to punish your dog. Remember that the crate is supposed to be his happy place. Using the crate to punish him will make him anxious and fearful when left in it.
On the other hand, don’t let your dog out of the crate just to stop him from barking or whining. This lets him know that if he makes noise, he’ll be let out—and that’s a mistake. This can result in sleepless nights (yours!), waiting for your puppy to calm down.
Now, this one’s really important.
While puppies and adult dogs alike can usually hold their bladder or bowels for up to three to four hours, be responsible enough to never leave your dog crated for longer than that. I’m sure you can totally understand why.
Lastly, don’t leave your cheery canine crated for more than three to four hours without taking him out for some cuddles and snuggles, playtime, and exercise. Don’t forget to spend time with your furry baby; he needs you. And if I may say so, you need him too.
Now that you’ve created a happy place for your dog, check out some of our supplements and vitamins for even happier, healthier dogs.
Special thanks to these paw-tastic references:
How to Train Your Dog
How to Crate Train Your Dog or Puppy