Whether you’re preparing to take your dog on a plane ride, just acquired an older dog from a shelter, or never thought about training your dog before, now is a great time to start. Train an older dog in the crate for a variety of reasons.
Because of this, you may question whether it is feasible for you to kennel train an older dog despite the assumption that “you can never teach an old dog new tricks.”
There isn’t much truth to this notion, and any dog, young or old, adolescent or adult, may benefit from crate training by learning to remain quiet in their kennel.
Because of the comfort and seclusion that crates give, an older dog may adapt to training more quickly than you expect.
In the same way, it’s possible that your new dog from the shelter won’t be difficult to teach since most of them grow up in kennels. As a consequence, crate training older dogs doesn’t have to be a downer since it isn’t necessarily difficult.
However, you should expect to spend more effort on this than you would on training your puppy. This is due to the fact that an older dog already has established routines, whilst a puppy is still creating his way of life.
Learn how to crate train an older dog by reading below:
Challenges of Crate Training an Older Dog
Crate training an older dog may be done, but patience and a good attitude are required. The first step is to realize that your dog has already developed a set of habits and routines that he is used to.
Some of these behaviors may have to be cut off in order for him to be put in a crate.
Additionally, some dogs may have had a bad experience with crates, where the caregivers utilized the kennel as a form of punishment or to keep them away from other dogs.
Even yet, you may be shocked to learn that the cage is not a scary place for the adopted dogs. Whichever scenario you’re in, teaching your dog to be crate-trained can be a success.
What Sets Crate Training a Puppy and An Older Dog Apart?
When it comes to training a puppy vs an older dog, there aren’t many differences between the two.
It’s important to keep in mind that crate training an older dog will need more patience, since it may take many extra days or weeks for your adult dog to absorb the message.
Puppies, on the other hand, learn more quickly than senior dogs. Thus, you’ll be able to get the point over to them in fewer sessions. Adult dogs, on the other hand, are more forgetful. There is no need to move back and forth between steps throughout the training.
Compared to pups, virtually all adult dogs have a hard time being confined. That’s because a puppy in her early stages of development is eager and keen to discover new things.
As a result, she’ll take your instructions to heart and do her best to follow the pattern you establish for her.
Older dogs have a habitual pattern, and training may need having them relearn some of their old behaviors and introducing new ones. Even if you don’t know it, your dog will strive to oppose any effort to change anything about his life.
Adopted dogs, on the other hand, may have been held in crates for long periods of time by their owners as a form of punishment or confinement.
Without adequate training, and maybe with the use of force, this may lead to the animals developing an aggressiveness towards the crates, making your task much more difficult.
Adult dogs, on the other hand, are not necessarily doomed. Older, more relaxed dogs are more likely than younger ones to enjoy the comfort and seclusion that a crate provides.
If you’re fortunate enough to acquire a dog that’s already been crate-trained by its rescue facility, you won’t have to undertake any training at all.
Mental preparation and planning ahead of time are necessary, since it may demand a high level of patience and optimism to complete the activity.
How to Train an Older Dog
Crate training an older dog is quite similar to crate training a puppy. You may want to think about a few things before you begin the procedure.
The first step is to choose the ideal dog cage for your pet depending on its size and design preferences. For a dog with separation anxiety, a heavy-duty dog kennel may be necessary to keep him from fleeing out of fear.
In the same way, size is critical. With the right size of crate, dogs feel more safe. Because dogs are den creatures, a little crate will be more comfortable for them than a huge one.
A large box may lose its den-like feel and spirit, while a small crate may not be enough for your dog. Dogs naturally desire to keep the places they sleep in clean, so a kennel of the correct size will aid with toilet training, as well.
A DIY crate is a good option since it’s simple to tailor to your specific requirements. Before beginning official training, try to entice your dog into his crate and get him acclimated to it. You may follow these instructions to get started.
1. Preparation is key.
Dogs are very receptive to human emotions and can rapidly adapt to your way of thinking if you give them the opportunity. Get rid of whatever apprehension you have about using the cage with your dog now that you’ve decided to try it.
Your dog will follow your lead if you’re happy about your plans. Start only when psychologically prepared, comfortable, and confident.
As a result, educating your dog to regulate his bowel motions in a cage might be an effective strategy.
If you want to keep your pet safe, make sure the cage is spacious enough for him or her to stand and turn around. Your dog may not be able to fit in any more room than that.
Remember to keep the kennel warm and inviting for your senior dog. It will be easier to keep older dogs quiet if the kennel is furnished with beds or blankets.
Additional seclusion may be gained by partially covering the cage with a tarpaulin and leaving the entrance open. If you wait until your dog is comfortable in his cage, you may skip this step.
2. Ensure that the Dog and Crate Form a Positive Relationship
The effectiveness of crate training may be greatly impacted by this step, which is the most important of all. Prior to properly teaching your adult dog, you need first establish a bond between the dog and the crate.
Because on your dog’s nature and level of resistance, this phase may take you a long time to complete.
Your dog should be encouraged to enter the crate on his or her own terms. It’s possible that you’ll have to go through the process again until your dog is ready to go to the next level.
If he’s had a terrible experience with cages in the past or has never been in a kennel, don’t use force to take him inside. Here’s how you may go about it:
It’s best to either remove the crate door, or to adjust it so that it doesn’t swing open and close so quickly that it scares your dog.
You should place the container in a location where you and your family spend a lot of time.
Let your dog out of the crate and scatter some goodies inside. Make it seem as if you’re not aware of him or what’s in the container at all.
He may or may not go into the treats after inspecting them. Allow your dog to get used to the crate as a permanent fixture and he or she will have no need to be afraid.
Eventually, your dog may overcome his apprehensions and enter inside the kennel in search of rewards. Add extra treats to the kennel if he eats them all.
Don’t freak out if your dog snatches the goodies and bolts out of the crate. Allow him to go, and while he’s gone, fill the crate with extra goodies. You may fool him into thinking it’s magical by showing him the contents of the container as soon as possible.
3. Treat Zone
Using some of your dog’s favorite snacks, distribute them around the crate.
Settle in front of the television, pick up a book, or go online. The cage and your dog aren’t important. Crates are not a huge thing, so don’t make a big fuss over them.
It’s important that your dog get used to the crate being in the house. The box is nothing to be afraid of; it’s simply another piece of furniture in the room.
4. Make Use Of Your Waiting Time
With a little bit of luck, your dog will be able to discover the goodies in the crate by sniffing about. That would be fantastic if he did.
Add extra treats to the crate while the dog is inside to reinforce the idea that this is a safe place for him to remain.
In certain cases, a dog may dive inside the cage and steal the reward before darting back out. If this occurs, put your dog in his kennel and ignore him. Add a couple additional cookies to your dog’s kennel while he’s out of the room.
Using this method, your pet will rapidly learn that his box will mysteriously fill up with food, even while he isn’t there.
5. Practice Increasing Crate Time
Gradually increase the length of time you spend away from the room before giving in to the temptation to leave the room altogether.
You may leave your pooch in the crate for as long as you need to complete a 20- or 30-minute errand. Then you can gradually increase the time you spend away from home.
While you’re gone, you may keep an eye on your pet with a pet camera. Keep the goodies in the cage locked up between training sessions so you don’t forget.
How will you handle a dog that will not enter the crate?
Once you’ve tried tempting him for a few days, your dog may become resistant to going inside the cage. Try these steps if this occurs to you.
Make sure he spends as much time in the crate as possible by putting his bed right next to it.
Place the bedding in the crate and let it there for a few days.
Make sure to keep sprinkling snacks into the dog’s kennel. He may eventually come around and enter the container on his own will.
To make the snacks more accessible, you may want to place them near the entrance. In order to keep your dog from getting his hands on the treats, you should relocate them slightly. Repetition is key in this process. Add extra snacks and toys if desired.
What if my dog refuses to enter?
Despite your best efforts, your dog may still not be on board with your plan. Disassembling the box so you’re left with only the base tray is an option. Add a couple snacks on the tray to draw him in. In case he succumbs, place his linens in the tray.
Build the tray’s three sides and roof, omitting one side, a few days later and keep tempting him in with snacks. As you go, you may remove everything except the door from the container. Keep the crate filled with snacks and your dog’s favorite toys.
Make the Crate More Interesting for Your Dog
Once your dog feels comfortable entering and exiting the tray on his own, provide him with just the items he enjoys.
Serve him his meals in the kennel, as well as his favorite snacks and toys. In order to keep your dog from shunning the crate because of this, you must keep this regulation in place.
Ongoing Crate Usage
To begin crate training discipline, you must first establish a good link between the dog with the cage.
Crate training a puppy is quite similar to this stage, and all of the information you’ve learned from dog training books, articles, and other resources will apply.
If you expect to see results in a weekend, be wary of any approach. Again. Pay attention to your dog’s cues and follow his lead.
Your dog’s whimpering in his cage or any other signs of suffering indicate that you may be rushing the process and that it is time to stop, take a break, and start again.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can you crate train an older dog?
Crate training an older dog is possible. Dogs of all ages may benefit from training and learn how to utilize their crates properly. It is also possible to crate training older dogs at night with proper procedure.
As a result, you’ll need more patience than you would if you were training a puppy. Currently, changing a dog’s lifetime behaviors is a necessary part of training an adult dog, and you may encounter resistance.
2. How late can you crate train your dog?
Training your dog is never too late, and no matter how old your pet is, he or she may still learn a new skill.
The process of making an adult dog comfortable in a crate may take some time if the dog has never had the experience before or has had terrible encounters with crates in the past.
As a result, getting him to love and enjoy going in and out of his crate before you begin properly teaching him takes time and encouragement.
3. Do you know how to crate train an elderly dog with a fear of being alone?
The process of crate training an older dog with separation anxiety may take longer, but it can be done. Allow plenty of time for your dog to get comfortable and confident in the kennel.
The kennel might be a nice experience for him if you give him treats and provide his meals there. Close the crate door for a few seconds with your dog inside and then reopen it when he is comfortable and ready to remain inside.
Repeat the technique each day, extending the time he’s in the crate, until he’s comfortable.
Hopefully, you learned how to crate train an older dog through this article. Please do so if you have.
If you’re patient and don’t hurry the process, you should be able to effectively crate train the vast majority of adult dogs.
Crate training an older dog may be made more difficult by the dog’s prior poor experiences with the technique, which may leave him fearful of being crated altogether.
The crate should never be forced on your dog. The crate is a scary place for some dogs and putting them into it might lead to violent behavior.
Your dog may never get acclimated to the concept of being crated since other dogs have a hard time breaking bad behaviors. If so, did you use the box to house-train him? What happened? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.