Crate training is an important aspect in the development of any dog. Some of the benefits include:
Easier potty training, stopping destructive behavior when you are not home and providing a safe place for your dog.
The steps to crate training will vary between dogs, some take to it very easily other take a long time to get used to it. The goal is to have a dog that does not whine or get excited when it is time to get out, goes into the crate on command and goes to take naps in the crate.
The right size of a crate is when the dog can stand up and turn around without hitting his head. Along with sprawling out but not enough room where they can find a corner to pee in.
Crate Training Steps
Step 1: Toss a high value treat into the crate, praise when the dog enters the crate.
Step 2: After the dog is consistently following the treats into the crate add a command, “Crate!”As well as a han
d signal such as point at the crate.
Step 3: Say the command and use the hand signal, wait 3 seconds if the dog does enter the crate praise and jackpot. If the dog does not toss in a treat and praise the dog when they enter.
Step 4: After the dog is entering by command offer a chew toy stuffed with treats that they only get in the crate. Ask for the dog to enter the crate as they enter ask for a stay and reward with the toy. Gently close the door but do not lock it.
Step 5: After the dog is going into the crate occasionally place toys or other high value rewards in the crate for them to find. When they are in their crate do not disturb them but praise.
Step 6: Lock the door for a couple seconds and gradually increase the duration.
Step 7: If the dog whines or gets excited when you near the door stop and wait for the dog to calm down before releasing them. If they get excited when they get out of the crate and you need to calm them down ask for a few calm tricks right as you open the door.
Important Things to Remember
Never punish your dog by putting them in the crate as this develops a negative association.
Never open the door when they are excited or nervous or any other behavior other than calm.
Make sure that the crate is the right size. A lot of crate training challenges arise when the crate is either too big or too small. If you have a puppy you can use dividers to section off a big crate.