If you have just brought home a dog, getting him or her ready for training is perhaps the best thing you can do as a paw parent. After all, who doesn’t want a well-behaved dog as their companion? This is where the role of crate training comes in. It is a time-tested training method for dogs to make their environment safe and secure. Crate training will take your dog’s natural instincts of seeking a secure and safe place into account for creating a private environment. This space can be his or her recluse when the world around them gets too overwhelming or to prevent them from tearing and chewing items in the absence of the owner. It is always advisable to get in touch with a professional dog trainer for crate training your dog or puppy. If you are a pet parent around the area, you can check out Knoxville dog training at Mike Lilley K9 for all kinds of dog training facilities. They have over a decade of experience in training working and farm dogs.
Step-by-step Guide to Crate Training a Dog:
Find The Right Crate For Your Dog
While finding a crate for your dog, search for something flexible, comfortable, and durable. For instance, if your dog loves sleeping in the dark, he would prefer a closed kennel or airline crate made out of hard plastic. And similarly, a collapsible wire crate is perfect for an anxious one who loves to be around people. Don’t buy a crate that is too big or small for your dog. You can also buy an adult-size crate and get a divider so that you can grant more and more space as he grows in size.
Get In The Proper Mindset
Create a relaxed mindset for your dog so that they will ultimately enjoy their time inside the crate. For instance, if you would put them inside the crate when they are playing or having a good time, they would naturally want to come out and continue to play. Hence you should bring them inside when they are calm and looking for a place to rest.
Check The Comfort Of Your Dog
You can use dog beds or towels to create a comfortable space. It’s all about trial and error, and you have to find out how your dog will be most comfortable. Depending on the temperament, he might tear the bed apart or pee on it. This way, your dog will learn that they have to sleep on the crate mat which will make them learn the consequences or feel comfortable on the hard surface.
Give Them Treats
Once again, the role of “positive affirmation” comes into dog training. Once your dog is inside the crate, you can give him something that will stimulate and keep him busy. Like a frozen peanut butter stick. It will make it an enjoyable activity.
Always Keep A Check
Keep an eye on your dog at the time when he is inside the crate. He will need to come out to use the bathroom, eat, and play from time to time. In general, dogs don’t soil where they sleep and if the duration inside the crate stretches beyond the limit, they might be forced to do it.
Engage Him With Games
Your dog should not see his crate as a negative place. Hence you can incorporate activities that are fun during the crate training period. Search for activities like hiding treats or playing fetch- so that your pup can go in and out of the crate of his own will.
Don’t Make Him Wear Clothes
Not only clothes but your dog should not have collars or tags on them when they are inside the crate. The reason is they might get caught and end up getting strangled in your absence.
Set Him Up For Success
Once your dog is ready for his crate time, start taking baby steps. For instance, instead of going out to dinner for six hours, go for a cup of coffee within an hour to come back and check how he is doing. You can also leave behind a recording device to keep a tab on your dog while you are gone. Finally, you can come back and reward them as positive reinforcement.
Always Be Patient
Every dog needs at least six to eight months of training. Moreover, dogs are not linear learners and their success will come at different levels. Hence you should always be prepared for many ups and downs during this duration. The key is to stay calm and consistent in your methods.
There are many benefits of crate training your dog. It is not caging your dog or restraining him in an enclosure. In fact, it is creating a private space for your dog as a “comfortable refuge” so that he feels protected in a safer space both mentally and physically. It also encourages other dog house training procedures like potty training since most dogs will not soil where they sleep. If you are a pet parent who has a full-time job, you can directly benefit from crate training, especially if you can’t watch your dog round the clock. In your absence, your dog is not going to chew on the expensive things or tear down your furniture as crate training can keep their curiosity in check. Lastly, if at some point you might need to restrict your dog’s movement due to a medical procedure or injury, you can be sure that they are happy and safe in their crate. In short, crate training can make your life so much easier as a dog owner.