How To Crate Train A Dog!


Crate training a dog can have many benefits.  By training them to be comfortable in a crate, you can actually accomplish a number of things.  One of these is that you are giving them their own den, their own personal space. Like us, dogs are natural den dwellers, and your puppy will most certainly thank you for the space!  So here’s how to crate train a dog.

Crate Training A DogThe first rule of crate training is never, ever use your dog’s crate as punishment or “time out” for doing something wrong.  The crate should be their safe place, not a place to go when they have been punished.   You want your dog to think of their crate as a home within a home. When you do teach them that their crate is a den, literally magical benefits can come of it.  First off, by crate training them, you have also taught them to be potty trained, as just like us, dogs have a natural instinct  to not want to soil where they sleep.  The crate can also limit areas of the house, and designate specific areas that your dog has full domain.  This is especially useful when dogs cannot have full run of the house.  This is also extremely useful for training; it is an area where static expectations are set.  Crates are also the safest way to transport your dog, whether it be car, plane, train, or boat.  If your dog is comfortable being in their own crate it is advantageous for many reasons.

Pick out a crate your dog likes and involve them in the process (yes, that’s right, let them pick out their crate!).  Make sure it is comfortable and have them sleep there for a few weeks.  When you feed them and give them water, be sure it is in close proximity to the crate.  Do this consistently, and have them spend small amounts of time in the crate, reward them for staying in it, and generally make being in the crate a pleasant experience for them.  Gradually increase the time that you leave them in the crate, and introduce it when you leave the house or go to sleep.  This will help them to realize that the crate is their own personal space.  It can take several weeks for them to feel comfortable with their crate, but they will start to become naturalized to it.  If your dog does not take to the crate, chances are it is too small for them to stretch out and feel comfortable in.   The crate training process should be pleasurable and natural for both you and your dog.  All you really have to do is provide them with the space and show them it’s there and how to use it!