To crate or not to crate, is it even a question? Yes! It is!
Crate training can provide a sense of comfort because in the end you’ll have a well-trained pup, but it can also be very intimidating. How long should I leave my dog in the crate? Will they be scared? Is it right for my pup? These are all questions any pet owner may ask, and they are all very reasonable. Keep reading to find out why crate training can be great training for your dog!
It’s A Dog’s World owner and Director, Karen Widaman, shares, “I think that in most cases—let’s say 95%—crate is needed to achieve a sense of balance and can be a great tool for potty training. It’s also a great way for dogs to build confidence. For shelter dogs that have severe separation anxiety, the treatment plan would be different. but with a goal of being able to achieve a positive crate training experience. I just finished a case today!”
The pup Karen recently trained is pictured above (what a cutie!). Gracie received in-home, VIP training for eight weeks for fear reactivity around people and dogs. She was also successfully crate trained and is doing wonderful with all of her training!
What’s Karen’s key to Gracie’s success? Slow and positive training. Below are initial steps to get started on your own and tips to keep in mind.
Crate training, also known as confinement conditioning, is often necessary to achieve balance with your pet. Since dogs are den animals, they will often trend toward their instincts. A crate can be an intrinsic place where they can find solitude and feel safe.
The first step to crate training is finding a crate! Whether searching Amazon or stopping by the local pet store, take a moment to prepare before investing in a crate. Determine what size is best (the dog should be able to comfortably stand and lie down, without having too much room to feel that they can go potty inside).
The next step is introducing your dog to the crate. Put the crate in the family room or another room that’s frequently occupied, so they can begin to associate the crate with positive emotions. Put a comfy towel or small blanket inside, and keep the door open so the dog can explore inside at their leisure.
From there, start feeding and rewarding your dog when they go into their crate. If they’re reluctant, drop treats inside and slowly build their interest in being inside. Once they’re comfortable, close the door for a very brief amount of time then build from there. Eventually you’ll leave the room for a short period of time and stretch your absence in small increments.
Key Points to Remember
Please keep in mind that a crate is not a substitute for a kennel, and your dog should never stay in a crate for more than 12 hours in a 24-hour period.
Whining is a nearly inevitable part of crate training and should be expected. Remember that whining should not be rewarded, so crate training should begin in the day when crying can be less intrusive to others and you have more patience to build the slow and steady positive reinforcement.
Never use a crate as a punishment or consequence. This will create a sense of fear toward the crate and cause anxiety. For dogs that already have separation anxiety, crate training can post a greater challenge.
For a free consultation visit www.ItsADogsWorld.biz, their skilled staff is ready to support your crate training!