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Posted on 03-16-2016

February 12, 2016

Crate training is recommended for almost every dog. This is a great way to keep them safe while you are away from home, safe during travel, and can give them a “home” away from home. That being said, crate training must be done slowly and properly to give you the best chance of success and to minimize stress. Below are some tips to help crate train your pup appropriately!

1) SLOW AND STEADY! This first step is an “open door policy”, meaning you are leaving the crate door open and encouraging your dog to enter the crate willingly. You start off by associating the crate with “positive things” such as treats, a comfy bed, and words of encouragement. You may need to “bribe” them to enter the crate with a toy, some kibble, a chew toy, or a cookie. Eventually the crate will become a “happy place” that they associate with safety and food!

2) After a few days of the “open door policy,” place a chew toy or treat in the crate and shut the door for a brief period of time. You should still be near and not leave the house, and shoot for short 5 minute periods. Gradually extend these periods while you are still in the house, eventually shooting for a few hours. If they whine or show some mild distress, you often just need to stay near but don’t immediately let them out. Wait until they have calmed down, and then you can let them free.

3) Rinse and repeat! Now you should have a calm, relaxed dog in the “happy place” that is the crate. Give your “distracter” cookie/chew/toy and head you can leave the house with your pet safely in the crate. Try to gradually increase the “out of house” time as well…AKA don’t go from always being there to gone for 8 hours at a time.

If you are having any difficulties call Dr. Krakowski, Dr. Bailey, or Dr. Craddock to discuss crate training further. You can do it!

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