Crate training is a valuable tool in teaching your puppy the right behaviour. This training process will require you to have some dog treats or toys that you can use to reward your pup for the right behaviours. You will be able to find many pet stores or online pet shops who carries a wide range of healthy dog treats and chews for this purpose.
Crate training is not only beneficial for overall training; it is also useful in keeping your puppy safe as soon as he associates it with his home. But while dogs are instinctively den animals by nature, it will be challenging for them to accept crates even if it means having a space that belongs to them. In fact, your dog can even end up fearing crates if training is not done properly.
Crate training is most effective while your dog is still a puppy. You may follow these tips below to ensure that your crate training is a great success:
- Be gentle about introducing your pup to the crate; never shove him inside it. Your dog will not like to be forced into a space and being locked up, no matter what the situation is. The best approach is to treat the crate as if it is just an accessory in your home, but feel free to add a dog toy to lure him in, this may peak his curiosity and encourage him to sniff around.
- Put the crate in a part of your home that your dog enjoys being in, add a blanket as well as toys and treats inside. The objective is for your dog to become comfortable enough with the crate that he approaches it himself.
- Once your puppy is willing to enter the crate, the next objective is to have him stay inside for a longer period of time. The most effective way to do this is by placing natural dog chews or treats inside the crate. Food should be placed at the back of the crate so that your dog will be encouraged to enter the crate in order to get it. If your dog is completely hesitant about entering the crate in the beginning, start by placing the treats a few inches past the opening.
- When you get your dog to successfully spend time eating inside the crate, you may choose to close the door after a couple of successful tries. Continue observing your dog and open the crate door as soon as he has finished eating. Keep rewarding your puppy for the right behaviours. At this point, your objective is to keep him inside the crate for longer periods of time after each successful try.
- Eventually your dog will become comfortable spending time in the crate without being asked to be let out or display any signs of distress. When this happens you can begin letting him stay in the crate for an extended period of time. Continue using a dog toy from a trusted pet shop to keep your pup entertained until it becomes natural for him. Some dog owners also find that it is useful to spend some time by the crate since it can lure your pup to enter. When this happens, stand up and go to another room for a few minutes so that they get used to spending time in the crate alone. Once you come back, hang around beside the crate for a few more minutes before opening the door.
- Make leaving and entering the crate seem like a normal activity. Avoid excitement by raising your voice or using a high pitch. When your dog obeys by going inside the crate, briefly praise him and give him a treat.
Keep up with the great training and you will soon have a puppy who loves his crate! Remember to keep the rewards through play or treats when your puppy gives you the right behaviours. You may choose to add a cue such as "Good Boy/Girl" to further ascertain that right behaviour.
Here are some great suggestion for dog treats that you may like to use for training purposes.