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Crate-Training Your Dog The Easy Way

May 4, 2008
Dogs are territorial animals and one way to acclimate your dog to his new surroundings when you bring him home is to give him a crate. The crate will give your dog something to claim as his own territory, as well as provide shelter.

A crate is also very useful if you want your dog away from other parts of the house, or until he learns all the house rules. Some owners use the crates as part of potty training, since dogs will less likely soil as confined space such as their crates. However, it is also important to note that a crate should only be large enough for your dog to sit, stand, and turn around in. A crate that is too large will defeat the purpose of using it to help potty train your dog, since your dog can eliminate in one part of the crate and sleep on the other side.

Crates are also good for carrying your dog in your car, or when you take him along to places where dogs may not be allowed to roam freely.

You can start crate training your dog once he arrives home, preferably when he is about to take a nap. Most dog owners have discovered that the best time to introduce the dog to the crate is when the dog is tired from all the petting he got from all the members of the family.

Gently nudge him into the crate and give him praise when he does enter. Never use the crate as a form of punishment, or else your dog will associate this as a negative thing and you'll eventually have a hard time getting him inside the next time you want him to go in.

You can do your crate training in a busy part of the house. Placing the dog's crate someplace that is lonely and isolated will most likely make him feel lonely and isolated. Place the crate in a place where there's a lot of activity, although avoid too much noise especially during the first few days as this will probably overwhelm your dog.

You can use dog treats to encourage your dog to go in. Toss in a few treats near the crate door, and wait for the dog to follow the treats in. If this doesn't work the first time, don't worry. It usually takes a few days of constant encouragement for you to get your dog to go into the crate by himself. If and when he does this, continue to praise him or give him treats. This will help reinforce the idea that going into the crate is a good thing.

Also, make the crate attractive enough for the dog to want to go in. Create a cozy look by putting in a few layers of blankets, and make sure that the crate's parts are working right. A broken crate door could swing and hit him, or make scary noises which may frighten your dog.

To further give your dog's crate the impression of a 'happy place' try giving his meals next to his crate. You can also put in his favorite toys inside his crate, although you have to make sure that these toys are safe enough to leave inside with him unattended.

You can successfully crate-train your dog matter what breed or how old he is. Be consistent in your encouragements and praise, and soon you'll have a crate-trained dog in no time.
About the Author
Increase the happy years of your dog by checking out my free e-book. In it I reveal all the secrets I've used to develop a happy, healthier dog. Visit Dr. Alfonso's dog training blog right now...
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