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How do I crate train my dog?

asked 2017-11-02 14:23:29 -0500

This is a question that we often get from sitters and owners who work with Rover. Help the community out by answering it in our forum!

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answered 2017-11-13 18:23:13 -0500

Crate training is great for dogs as it helps dogs learn that it is okay to be alone (helping greatly reduce separation anxiety) and helps to build puppies bladders. The most important thing about crate training is to make sure your dog always sees their crate as a safe, secure place. The crate should be big enough for your dog to turn around and lie down in comfortably in. Crates should not be big enough for your dog to run around or a place to add a potty pad. A crate should not be used as a place for punishment either, only positive associations with the crate.

Make sure the crate is set up with a couple of things they like, like a toy and blanket. Please be mindful, if this is your first time putting your dog in a crate, they may rip up the blanket. Put things in there that is durable and exciting like a Kong filled with peanut butter for example.

Start off slowly, after your dog has eaten and gone to the bathroom, put your dog in the crate in a place where there will not be a lot of foot traffic to distract your dog. It is helpful to give them a high value item like a Kong filled with peanut butter, however, only give them that particular high-value item when they go into the crate to make a positive association. Crate means awesome treats!

Let your dog stay in the crate for an hour or two. Your dog will likely bark... a lot and that is okay! let them bark it out until they are able to settle down and even take a nap. To help with visual barrier, you could also place a sheet over the crate, that way the crate will be breathable and also be a visible barrier to distractions.

After you get your dog up from their nap in their crate, take them out to go potty immediately and then have them play and hang out with you for a good chunk of time.

Then repeat the process until your dog is comfortable in their crate.

If you are looking to get your dog to sleep in their crate during the night, I would recommend starting off during the day, so you won't have to get up during the night. However, the same process applies when getting your dog to sleep in their crate during the night but now with more designated times during the night to take your dog out to go potty. Especially a puppy, if they need to go out at night, make it quick and simple, by taking them straight out to go potty then straight back to their crate.

Hope this helps!

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Comments

^^^ All of this! And I'll add try not to leave the house immediately after putting your pup in his crate. You want him to associate the crate with positive things, and separation isn't positive from their point of view. Try doing a couple chores between them entering the crate and you leaving.

Deb G.'s profile image Deb G.  ( 2017-11-15 17:10:02 -0500 ) edit

Everything above, but I start out with keeping the crate door open and rewarding the dog every time he/she goes in. I also use special treats (duck jerky or bully sticks, Kongs work great too) that they only get when they go into their crate.

Jennifer R.'s profile image Jennifer R.  ( 2017-11-30 20:58:27 -0500 ) edit
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answered 2017-12-01 11:53:12 -0500

Yes! Crate allows dog to really relax and calm down after getting too much excited or involved in a fight. The darkness and the space really makes the dog lose its anxiety. I was skeptical too at first, but I saw a lot of trainers using and recommending it and it is great!

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answered 2017-11-29 17:23:18 -0500

This is a long answer. There are many excellent videos on YouTube that I would suggest you view a few. Ultimately, it should be a pleasant experience and a happy place for them to be. As stated above, not only would I not leave the house immediately, I would not leave the puppy when first doing this and would stay near them. Or keep them in the room you are working. Lots of treats and love!

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