(For ease of explanation, male gender pronouns will be used when describing “your” dog.)
Teaching your dog that being in a crate is a good thing has many advantages. First, it can help you with housetraining because typically dogs do not want to go to the bathroom where their bed is. Second, it can limit the dog’s access to the rest of the home, if he has destructive tendencies when left alone. And third, it provides a safe place for the dog to hang out, especially when traveling.
There are several different types of crates. There are plastic ones, often called airline crates. There are fabric ones and there are wire metal ones, both of which can collapse to a flat shape, making them easy to store. The different types of crates have advantages and disadvantages. Some dogs prefer the airline crates because they like the more enclosed feel, while other dogs prefer the wire crates, so they can see all that is going on around them. The fabric ones, though useful for temporary crating, tend to be too flexible and easy for dogs to press against and collapse.
When purchasing a crate for the first time, you’ll want to consider the size of your dog. The crate should be big enough for him to stand up in and turn around. There should also be enough room to place a water bowl inside. Some crates have bowls that attach to the inside of the crate for ease of use.
Crate training requires patience and the crate should be associated with all things good for your dog. Please do not ever use the crate as a place of punishment or leave your dog in the crate too long. Any negative association with the crate can cause the dog to dislike being in the crate and display unwanted behaviors, such as barking, whining, and tearing at the crate walls and doors, possibly injuring himself.
Here are the basic steps to crate training your dog:
A few pointers:
Take it slowly and you will be rewarded with the convenience of having a dog who enjoys hanging out in his crate.
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