Dogs need a lot of love and attention, but they also need some me time in their own secure space, in other words crate training.
If there is any chaos in your dog’s environment, such as loud noises or your he/she feels stressed, he will seek a safe place to retreat following his/her instinct.
If you have not provided that safe space, your dog will find one under a table or a desk.
Crate training takes advantage of a dog’s natural need to manage his/her behavior, such as chewing on your furniture. Crating will also offer your dog safety during transportation in a vehicle.
Crating is a make-or-break situation for you and your furry friend. When used properly, it will leave you both happy, but if mishandled, it will leave your poor pup feeling trapped and frustrated. You will also not be able to enjoy the benefits that come with dog crating training.
3 Things to Avoid During Crate Training
Your dog’s crate should spell out S.A.F.E. to your canine buddy. You must therefore avoid associating it with any negativity such as:
- Punishment – If you have visitors in your home, do not wait until your dog has misbehaved by instructing him/her to the crate. Instead, be proactive and put him/her in the crate with an interactive toy and avoid any mishaps altogether.
- Crating your dog for extended periods – As safe as it may feel, nobody enjoys staying in their bedroom all day long. Your dog too, should not feel confined to the crate. He/she should be let out to exercise. Otherwise, the crating experience will become counterproductive. Puppies below 6months old can only stay in a crate for up to 4hours at a go unless you don’t mind having to clean up after them — they are too young to control their bladders and bowels for long periods.
- Closing the crate door unnecessarily – Your dog should be able to leave the crate whenever he feels the urge. Closing the door will make him/her feel restricted, and he/she may feel frustrated. If you wish to keep him/her there longer, get creative instead of closing the door. You could give him his favorite chew toy to keep him busy.
Instead of all these negative actions, apply positive tactics and make it worthwhile for your pet dog.
Here are the items you need to make your crate training successful and use them to offer positivity to your pup.
5 Must-have Items for an Effective Crate Training
1. The Crate
When getting a crate for your dog, ensure that it’s as comfortable as possible. The size of the crate in comparison to that of your pup has a lot to do with comfort. So, ensure your dog can easily stand and turn in the crate.
If your dog is still young, consider his full size at maturity. You could opt for a wire crate whose walls can be adjusted as he/she grows. Otherwise, you can rent a crate at different growth stages of your pup until he/she is fully grown, when you can invest in one permanent one.
Crates can come in different materials, from wire crates, plastic crates to wooden ones. Whatever material you settle on, ensure the crate is comfortable and safe to enjoy the maximum benefits of crate training.
2. Crate mat
Crate training takes time and patience for both you and your pup. Make it worthwhile for him by investing in a quality crate mat. A good mat will ensure comfort, and your dog will enjoy spending more time there.
Pro tip: Pick a crate mat that perfectly fits your dog’s crate for optimal comfort.
3. Crate Cover
A crate responds to your dog’s instinct for security, especially when he feels overwhelmed. A crate cover will offer your dog a feeling of greater privacy and security.
It’s possible to offer more than just crate comfort to your dog by adding a crate cover.
Pro tip: Do not cover all the six sides of the crate — you don’t want your dog feeling cut off from the rest of the world
4. Safe Toys (Chew toys)
A successful crate training process requires your dog to have fun while at it. A bored dog won’t want to sit in a crate, at least not as long as you would want.
Toys, specifically chew toys, are a great way to keep your pup busy.
Treats are a great way to introduce your dog to crate training.
You can drop treats leading to the inside of the crate.
If traits don’t work, use your dog’s favorite toys instead.
Pro tip: Be patient because this might not work immediately. However, don’t force your dog into the crate. When he is ready, he will walk in himself.
Final Thoughts on crate training
Crate training may be demanding in terms of time and patience. But it’s worth it.
It will make it easy to shorten your dog’s learning curve, and in no time, you will be letting your dog lose without worrying about accidents and chewed furniture.
When done properly, your pup will be happier to spend more quiet moments in his/her crate. Successful crate training means you can spend more time enjoying being a pet parent.