Acclimatizing Your Dog to Crate Training

Crate training is a highly recommended form of training for dogs, with a long list of benefits associated with it. That said, there is no single way to properly crate train a dog. Every expert has his or her own spin on the best way to accomplish the process, each developed over years of experience with a number of different individual dogs. Though there may be many ways to accomplish the same goal, what these experts will agree upon is the effectiveness of the crate training itself, from dogs that are puppy-aged to canine seniors. When getting started, it is important to acclimatize your dog to the crate itself so that you can effectively use the tool for the training process.

After all, if your dog is not comfortable with the crate, then you will struggle to train your pup from the very start.    The entire point to crate training is to provide your dog with a safe, comfortable, secure space in which your dog can remain whether or not you are there to supervise. If your dog is not used to the crate, it will be upset and uncomfortable. It is for precisely this reason that you must avoid certain common mistakes such as using the crate as a punishment or shutting the dog into the crate when it has not yet had the opportunity to go out and relieve itself. There are several ways to acclimatize your dog to its new crate and make sure that it develops an appreciation for its own little personal space.

To get your dog used to being in the crate as you crate train, begin by letting your dog out to relieve itself, then quietly and without ceremony, shut the dog into the crate with a couple of its favorite toys for ten minutes, leaving it alone. If it whines, barks, or cries, simply ignore it – it’s only for ten minutes.  Over the next few days and weeks, increase the amount of time that the dog is left in the crate gradually. Do not talk to the dog while it is in the crate and don’t pet the dog or shove your fingers inside. Make sure that the rest of the family knows the rules, too. Remember that letting the dog out of the crate has to be a calming experience, too, otherwise it will simply be waiting the whole time to be let out.

Filed Under: Crate Training

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