Crate training can take days or weeks, depending on your dog’s age, temperament and past experiences. It’s important to keep two things in mind while crate training. The crate should always be associated with something pleasant, and training should take place in a series of small steps – don’t go too fast.
Step 1: Introduce Your Dog To The Crate
● Put the crate in area of house where the family spends a lot of time
● Put a soft blanket or towel in the crate
● Bring dog over to the crate and talk in a happy tone of voice (make sure the crate door is
securely fastened opened so it won’t hit your dog and frighten her)
● If she refuses to go all the way in at first, that’s okay – don’t force her to enter
● Continue tossing toy into the crate until she walks calmly all the way in
● This may take a few minutes or as long as several days
Step 2: Get Your Dog to spend more time in The Crate
● After introducing your dog to the crate, begin regularly playing with a toy tossed inside and
tell her good girl – this will create a pleasant association with the crate
● If she is readily entering the crate when you begin Step 2, put the toy all the way at the back
of the crate
● If she is still reluctant to enter the crate, put the toy only as far inside as she will readily go
without becoming fearful or anxious
● Each time you place the toy, put it a little further back in the crate and always praise her when
she goes inside and gets it
● Once your dog is standing comfortably in the crate, you can close the door slowly and
● At first, open the door as soon as she gets the toy and wants to come out, then, each time,
leave the door closed a few minutes longer, until she’s staying in the crate for ten minutes or
● If she begins to whine to be let out, you may have increased the length of time too quickly
● Next time, try leaving her in the crate for a shorter time period
● If she does whine or cry in the crate, it’s imperative that you not let her out until she stops
otherwise, she’ll learn that the way to get out of the crate is to whine and she’ll keep doing it
Step 3: Conditioning Your Dog To The Crate For Longer Time Periods
DO NOT LEAVE HER CRATED WHEN NO ONE IS AT THE HOUSE AT THIS STAGE
● After your dog is in the crate with no sign of fear or anxiety, you can confine her there for
short time periods while you’re home
● Call her over to the crate, give a command to enter such as, “kennel up” or “crate” and
encourage by pointing to the inside of the crate with a toy in your hand
● After she enters the crate, praise, and close the door
● Sit quietly near the crate for five to ten minutes and then go into another room for a few
minutes Return, sit quietly again for a short time, then let her out of the crate
● Repeat this process several times a day with each repetition, gradually increase the length of
time you leave her in the crate and the length of time you’re out of sight
● Once she will stay quietly in the crate for about 30 minutes with you out of sight the majority
of the time, you can begin leaving her crated when you’re gone for short time periods and/or
letting her sleep there at night
Part A/Crating Your Dog When Left Alone
Carefully watch time you are gone, so she isn’t in the crate for hours alone…have to work up to about 6 hrs she will stay. We started with 15 min where we actually crated ours, went outside where they couldn’t hear us, then came back and got them out. You may then be able to try 30 min, then 1 hr, etc. Be gradual so she doesn’t get scared or start chewing at the crate.
After your dog is spending about 30 minutes in the crate without becoming anxious or afraid, you can begin leaving her crated for short periods when you leave the house. Put her in the crate using your regular command. You might also want to leave her with a few safe toys but nothing she can eat and swallow. You’ll want to vary at what point in your “getting ready to leave” routine you put her in the crate. Although she shouldn’t be crated for a long time before you leave, you can crate her anywhere from five to 10 minutes prior to leaving. Don’t make your departures emotional and prolonged, but matter-of-fact. Praise your dog briefly for entering the crate and then leave quietly. When you return home, don’t reward her for excited behavior by responding to her in an excited, enthusiastic way. Keep arrivals low key. Continue to crate her for short periods from time to time when you’re home so she doesn’t associate crating with being left alone.
Part B/Crating Your Dog At Night
Put your dog in the crate using your regular command. Initially, it may be a good idea to put the crate in your bedroom or nearby in a hallway so crating doesn’t become associated with social isolation. Once she is sleeping comfortably through the night with the crate near you, you can begin to gradually move it to the location you prefer. At the time when she is able to be comfortably in there about 5-6 hrs, she will be ready to fly.
· Too Much Time In The Crate
A crate isn’t a magical solution. If not used correctly, a dog can feel trapped and frustrated. For example, if your dog is crated all day while you’re at work and then crated again all night, he’s spending too much time in too small a space. Other arrangements should be made to accommodate his physical and emotional needs. Also remember that puppies under six months of age shouldn’t stay in a crate for more than three or four hours at a time. They can’t control their bladders and bowels for longer periods.
If your dog whines or cries while in the crate at night, it may be difficult to decide whether he’s whining to be let out of the crate, or whether he needs to be let outside to eliminate. If you followed the training procedures outlined above, your dog hasn’t been rewarded for whining in the past by being released from his crate. Try to ignore the whining. If your dog is just testing you, he’ll probably stop whining soon. Yelling at him or pounding on the crate will only make things worse. If the whining continues after you’ve ignored him for several minutes, use the phrase he associates with going outside to eliminate. If he responds and becomes excited, take him outside. This should be a trip with a purpose, not play time. If you’re convinced that your dog doesn’t need to eliminate, the best response is to ignore him until he stops whining. Don’t give in, otherwise you’ll teach your dog to whine loud and long to get what he wants. If you’ve progressed gradually through the training steps and haven’t done too much too fast, you’ll be less likely to encounter this problem. If the problem becomes unmanageable, you may need to start the crate training process over again.
DO’S & DON’TS
*Never crate a dog with a choke collar on. Dogs can choke themselves to death. It’s probably a good idea to remove any collar while the dog is in the crate.
*Never crate a dog with a leash attached! Same reason.
*Use safe toys only, nothing the dog or puppy can get apart and choke on while you’re not there. Rawhide chewies are not good to leave unsupervised dogs with. Squeeky toys need to be monitored because the squeakers can be removed and swallowed and cause the pup to choke.
*Good toys that are safe: Kongs. These are made of hard rubber that is almost impossible to destroy. They come in many different sizes and it have an small opening on one end. Some people put a little peanut butter inside and that gives the pup/dog something do for awhile after you leave. Not alot of peanut butter, just enough to keep them interested.