Crate Training is the process of introducing your dog to what is effectively a modern day indoor kennel. Doing so has many benefits including helping accelerate housetraining, providing a dog with a safe and comforting space, and potentially being useful when managing their behaviour. Crate training is highly recommended, and should be a priority whenever a new dog joins your family.
Crates are readily available in good pet shops or online. Beyond being secure and large enough for a dog to stand up, turn around, and lie down in, there are few other requirements. Dogs naturally gravitate towards den-like settings where they will feel safe. A crate acts as a portable den, so it is of vital importance that owners build positive and calming associations with it. Your dog should want to spend time in its crate, and a good way of incentivising this is only allowing access to high-value toys inside it. We also recommend keeping your dog’s bed in its crate. Dogs dislike defecating where they sleep, so this is often a good way of preventing accidents at night and accelerating the housetraining process.
Initially, dogs can be fed in their crate to help build positive associations with being in that space. Food is one of the highest value resources for any dog, and strong associations with a desired behaviour or particular stimulus can be developed even using a normal daily feed. Dogs should be encouraged to spend relaxing downtime in their crate, and promoting quiet time in it after walks is an easy and natural way of doing so.
For more advice on crate training, or to book a consultation with one of our trainers, please email [email protected]. This is an area we have years of experience in, and one we are able to support all dog owners in.
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