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Crate Training A Dog

Even though crate training a dog may seem counterintuitive at times (many of us want our dogs to be around us, to feel as though we are not restricting them in any way) you are in fact doing your dog a favor when you are crate training your dog.

The basic premise behind crate training is simple. If you give them adequate opportunity to relieve themselves elsewhere, a dog will not want to relieve themselves in their sleeping/resting quarters. You can strongly inhibit the tendency to defecate or urinate if you temporarily confine your dog to a small area.

However, there is another, far greater benefit to dog crate training. If you can stop your dog from defecating or urinating while confined, it means they will go once they are released from the crate.

This sets up the opportunity to reward your dog with praise and treats when they relieve themselves outside – an important step in basic dog obedience training. Dog crate training remains one of the best ways to help with house training a dog.

Another important factor in crate training a dog is the fact that it is a natural process. Wild dogs are den animals. Even though our dogs are certainly not wild animals, it is still part of their natural instinct. For a wild dog, the den is their home. This is where they raise a family, can hide from danger, and sleep. During dog crate training,the crate becomes the den for your dog.

The Steps In Crate Training

First, remember that there is no designated timeframe when it comes to crate training your dog, it can depend on past experiences, temperament, and the age of your dog. Remember never to use the crate as negative, and never to move too fast. "#"

  • Introduction – Put the crate somewhere in your home where your family spends a great deal of time. The family room is an ideal location for many households. Put a towel or soft blanket down in the crate. Give your dog a chance to explore the crate at his or her own leisure. Many dogs will explore the crate on their own, possibly even start to sleep there. If that does not work, try encouraging your dog with treats.
  • Meals – After the dog has been introduced to the crate, the next step in crate training a dog is feeding your dogs near the crate regularly. This gives the dog a pleasant association (because they love to eat) with the crate. If your dog is comfortable eating near the crate, start placing the food in the crate. If they become comfortable eating their food once they are inside of the crate, you can start closing the door while the dog eats. Then, the moment they are done eating, open the door again. Keep doing this, leaving the door closed a little longer each time building up to about 10 minutes.
  • Lengthening the periods – If you find that your dog is starting to stay after eating without anxiety or signs of fear, you can leave them in the crate a little longer when you are home. Once your dog goes into the crate, be sure to reward them with a treat and lock the door behind them. Remain near the crate a few minutes, and then proceed into another room (out of sight). When you return into sight, remain near the crate a few minutes again, and let the dog out. Increase the length that you remain out of sight a little more every day until you can eventually leave the house.

The most important thing to remember when you are crate training a dog is to remain patient. Just as you would with all the other aspects of basic dog obedience training, you cannot expect the dog to understand everything the first time around. Even though crate training may take a while, it can be a very important step in house training a dog.

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