My Pet Blog

12/05/2013 at 18:25 pm

advice on crate training your dog

Everyone who owns a dog can tell you that they are loyal, fun to be around and sweet. However, now and again every dog owner faces a dog who just won’t listen. Some encounter this more than often others.

A well-trained dog is something a lot of dog owners only dream about, but don’t stress – you may have just discovered the perfect way to tame your rambunctious pooch.

Recent research has demonstrated that dogs are more likely to do naughty things such as steal food when their owners aren’t looking. So you may think you have a perfectly behaved pooch but he may be doing devilish things behind your back!

Currently, there are numerous training techniques for dogs; one of the most effective is crate training your dog. This form of dog training involves enclosing your dog in a crate in order to keep him out of trouble.

This type of training is highly beneficial because it’s effective and quick. All you need to start this type of training is your dog, a crate and a whole lot of patience.

Crate training your dog
Is crate training your dog popular in Australia?

Yes, it is a simple way to train a dog and, as a result, has become extremely popular in several parts of the world. This form of training has gained popularity in Australia because it’s a humane way to encourage positive behaviour.

Crate training is even acknowledged by RSPCA Victoria as a safe way to train puppies and dogs.

What are the Benefits?

One of the benefits is that it helps you to housetrain your dog properly. Dogs are guided by their instincts each day; that’s the reason why they don’t soil the area where they sleep.

Crate training, believe it or not, will give quick, lasting results, which is why it’s the preferred way to housetrain a pooch. For a dog, a crate is a safe sanctuary where they can rest or feel comfortable, which means they won’t urinate in it. Since a crate will keep your pooch from having free reign of your home, you won’t have to clean any overnight disasters when you wake up in the morning.

Additionally, if your dog is prone to destructive behaviours, you can confine him to the crate while he learns how to behave himself.

Lastly, a crate is extremely useful for traveling with your dog because it will keep him in sight and out of trouble. In fact, there are some crates that are made specifically for travel because they are lightweight and easy-to-store.

Types of Crates

If you decide to crate train your dog, you’ll obviously need to purchase a crate. There are a few different styles of crates that may be appropriate for your dog.

 

  • Plastic crates – These are easy to lug around because they are lightweight, which makes them a great option for traveling. Plastic crates are ideally suited for smaller, less strong dogs.
  • Metal crates - If you want a strong crate that will last for a long time, your best bet is to choose a metal crate. Metal crates are a good option for housing large breeds of dogs.
  • Collapsible crates – Crates that collapse are easy to store and are great for traveling because of their ability to be folded.
  • Soft crates - Crates that are padded are the ideal choice for puppies because they are comfortable and will make your pooch feel secure. In addition, padded crates can also double as a bed for older dogs.


How Do You Pick the Right Crate for Your Dog?


Picking a crate can be overwhelming because there are so many to choose from.

The first thing you need to take into consideration is your dog’s size. The ideal crate is small enough to keep your pet from urinating in it yet is large enough to let the dog turn around comfortably.

The material you choose depends on the purpose. If you want a travel crate, plastic and collapsible crates are the best choice because they are lightweight and easy to store. If you want a crate that will last a long time, pick a metal one; these types of crate are better for large dogs because they come in larger sizes.

Dog Kennel Sizing Chart
Image courtesy of Mustafa Akcin
How to Make the Crate Comfortable

Making your pet feel happy in his crate is very important. Accomplishing this is fairly simple and involves purchasing a few special treats.

One way you can make your pet feel better is by adding toys to the space. You can also give the dog some dog chews whilst in his crate.

Some crates have a hard resting surface, which can be uncomfortable for your pet. To make the dog feel comfortable, simply add cushioning to the crate’s floor.

Why You Should Keep the Crate Clean

Crate training will not be effective if the crate is soiled. If you want the training to work, you need to remove the scent of urine or faeces from the crate with a good scrub because otherwise the dog will continue to mark the area. Your dog will also dislike being in their crate if it smells bad.

To clean a crate, make sure you use soap and water at least once a week to remove odour. You’ll also have to use a special scent remover to eliminate the urine residue. This will stop him from thinking that the crate is a designated toilet space.

How to Start Crate Training

Crate training your dog is very simple.

The first step is to make your dog feel comfortable in his crate. You can do this by gradually introducing him to the crate so he can see that it’s not a threat. You can also throw some treats inside of the crate so your dog can see the space as a positive thing.
Dog in crate
Image courtesy of Chelsea Nesvig - Flickr.com

Then, you can leave your dog in the crate for a few minutes. Each day, make the dog stay a little longer in the crate. At night, leave your dog in the crate so he cannot pee on the floor but make sure to take him outside first thing in the morning.

You can also try playing some fun crate games. This will make your dog feel comfortable in his crate since he’ll understand that the crate is not just for being left alone in.

What to Avoid When Crate Training

There are some things that you should never do whilst crate training. This includes:

 

  • Using the crate as punishment
    The first thing that you should avoid doing is using the crate as a punishment. If you do so, you will create a negative association with the crate and the training will fail to work. Your dog will see the crate as a bad thing and will avoid entering it at all costs.
  • Leaving your dog in his crate for an excessive amount of time
    Another thing that you should avoid doing is leaving your dog in the crate for extensive periods. Your dog needs frequent breaks from the crate so he can stretch his legs and be part of the family.


Is Crate Training For You?


Some people fear that crate training is cruel as it confines a dog to a small space. When done correctly it is not cruel at all.

In fact it’s a great way to train and protect your dog. For example, if there are young children or a tradesperson in your home; your dog can be comfortably kept out of harm’s way.

Having a well-behaved dog is very important. Not only will it make your life easier, your dog will also feel more secure knowing that he is behaving well. Practicing crate training is a simple way to encourage behaviour in your dog because it’s affordable and easy-to-understand.

On the whole, everyone should look into crate training their puppy or adult dog.

Posted by My Pet Warehouse
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