Correctly and positively training your dog to enjoy being in a crate or pen has many perks.
The best time to start is as soon as you bring your puppy home, but age is no barrier and you can start anytime. Benefits of crate training include:
- Helps to prevent undesirable and destructive behaviours like chewing furniture, developing separation anxiety, jumping on or chasing children, and inappropriate toileting in the house
- Gives your dog a safe and comfortable place to unwind from other pets or young children
- Helps minimise stress if they need to be transported in a crate, or kept in a confined space to help recover from a medical procedure
Top crate training tips
Help make your pup’s crate training as successful as possible with these quick tips:
- Purchase a crate that is large enough for your dog to stand in, turn around, and lay down without touching the edges. It should be well ventilated, secure, and constructed of safe and durable material
- Make the crate a place your pup will love by decking it out with their favourite things like bedding, toys, treats and food
- Teach your family not to disturb your dog while they’re in the crate. Remember, it’s their safe space to relax
- When introducing your pooch, take it slow. Encourage them with their favourite rewards and build their confidence as you go. Leave the door open and gradually build up their time inside the crate
- They should not be left in the crate for extended periods of time. A young pup needs frequent opportunities to toilet outside to prevent accidents in the crate. If not given plenty of outside toileting opportunities and the crate is large enough, pups may be inclined to toilet inside the crate which can be hard behaviour to shift later
- Most importantly – do not use the crate as a punishment. This will build a negative association and can cause your dog to get distressed and not want to use the crate moving forward.
Crate training isn’t just for dogs. Cats and other pets can learn to love it too. As with any type of training, it can take time for your pet to learn and get completely comfortable. Remember to go at your pet’s speed, and calmly reward any time they show a positive interest in their cosy cave.
Happy crate training!
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