The Basics of Crate Training Your Dog
Thinking about crate training your dog? This training technique is very popular among dog owners because it is very effective. In fact, it can even be said that crate training is one of the very first parts of an entire dog training programs.
Millions of dog owners practice crate training techniques and have enjoyed the success that results from it. This simple yet effective training method will have you keeping your dog in a crate (and in some cases, a separate room if a crate is not available) when they go out of the house.
This practice helps to reduce the dog’s anxiety issues, penchant for destroying things, and barking. With all that and more, you can be sure that crate training certainly is a very valuable strategy that will help house break your puppy and in the long run, make your life a whole lot easier.
What a Crate is to a Dog
If you are still undecided on whether or not crate training is for you (and your dog), it might help to know that a lot of dogs (most likely a good majority of them) actually love their crates or their own room and space.
Having said that, you can rest easy in the knowledge that crate training will be a safe practice for your furry friend. Their penchant for this safe place can be compared to how dogs in the wild will always look for a small and secure place that they can burrow into in order to keep safe and warm.
That space in the wild is thus what a crate is to a dog in house training. When they are given one, they will see it as their own place of safety and security.
Dogs that have access to wide and open spaces usually have some trouble distinguishing their safe place from it, which can then result in anxiety as they struggle to patrol this entire space and attempt to have some form of control over it.
Going About the Business of Crate Training Your Dog
Interested to begin crate training? The start of crate training is as early as possible – just when your dog is a puppy. The earlier you start, the easier it will be to do crate training because your puppy will not have any prior concept of personal space prior to the introduction of the crate.
Crate training a fully-grown dog, on the other hand, will be a bigger challenge because of what it has already experienced and determined to be its own space. It may also become anxious at fitting and staying in such a small space if it is used to a more legroom.
Meanwhile, a puppy may get a bit upset with crate training at first but trust that it will adapt to it much quicker. It will also be easier for the pup to spend its first night inside the crate rather than anywhere else – most especially not your bed – so it will not have any reason to become upset about a change in sleeping space.
With regard to the location of the crate in your house, the best place to put it would be in your family room – or any other room in your house where most people gather or get a lot of foot traffic.
At night time when everyone has retired to his or her bedroom, you can move the crate inside your room so your dog will be comforted by the fact that your presence is just nearby in case it will need something in the middle of the night. After about a month of doing this, you will have an easier time detaching from the dog and leaving it in just one place.
Before you place your puppy inside the crate, make sure it is outfitted with all the requirements for comfort and safety. There should be a clean and comfortable mat for it to sleep and rest in, easy access to water, and perhaps a toy or two that it can play with when it is bored. Apart from toileting necessities, its other basic need should be within access inside the crate so it will feel safe.
When choosing a crate, the best size to consider is one that gives your dog enough room to comfortably sleep in – but not too big that he can walk around and about in it. A crate that is too big can invite messes by a dog who will move around in it.
Just make sure that there is enough space for the dog to turn around or switch sleeping positions inside and you will have found the right crate size for it.
When you are just beginning to crate train your dog, you have to remember not to pull it out from the crate if it shows signs of being upset. This is just part of the adjustment period and pretty soon it will be able to get used to it.
Pulling it out will signal to the dog that you are willing to give it the attention it wants when it makes a fuss, so it will keep doing that! The only time you can take a puppy out of the crate is when it has been able to keep quiet for a minimum of five minutes.
After this, greet it with large doses of attention and maybe even a treat as a way of reinforcing the good behavior.
In the initial stages of crate training, try to leave the puppy inside the crate for only short periods of about an hour or two at the most. As it grows older, you can increase the time that the dog stays inside the crate until you are able to match the number of hours you spend at work or while sleeping.
If you are able to properly crate train your dog, you can be confident that in no time it will learn not to be too loud, anxious, or even destructive every time you leave the house.
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