Crate training is one of the best skills I have ever taught my dog.
Before I started working with Dogs professionally my perception of this skill was that it’s cruel to leave a dog in a cage (crate), how wrong I was!
The crate is one of the best tools in the Dog training world as it provides your dog with their own private space and becomes their own safe haven. When taught correctly, your dog will thoroughly enjoy its crate time.
Some of the many benefits to crate training your dog are:
- Structure and routine
- Toilet training
- Reducing destructive behaviour
- Allowing them a safe space to sleep & retreat
- Creates a portable home for your dog which can be taken away on holiday etc
Dogs thrive when there is structure, and crate training will give your dog that much-needed structure.
So how do we crate train?
Initially when crate training; we make the crate as comfortable as possible. Think, nice blankets and a few of your dog’s favourite toys.
We then put the crate in the room where the family spend most of their time. You will now need to ensure your dog develops a positive association with the crate by leaving the crate door open and showering your dog with lots of praise and treats every time they step inside.
Initially, you can also feed the dog their meals inside the crate so they learn to associate the crate with their food!
You will know your training is progressing when your dog voluntary goes into the space. You can praise this behaviour (capturing).
Once the dog is voluntary going into the crate we can start closing the door, just for short amounts of time at first. Next, you can increase the time the crate doors are locked.
To help this next step, you can leave some Kongs or bones to keep the Dog occupied and mentally stimulated. Only let your dog out of the crate when he/she is quiet (calm relaxing music can help this step).
Whilst crate training has many benefits, it does require patience and at times will prevent challenges.
If you feel you need a little more assistance crate training your dog, many of our In-home training sessions offer crate training. Head over to our packages page for more info or to book.