Before dogs were domesticated they found homes in caves, rocky crevices, and dens. Today it is natural for a dog to want to have his own personal space. If introduced properly your pup will love the little home he is given inside the big house or fun “wagon” he gets to ride in.
While many view use of a crate as being cruel to a dog it is in fact just the opposite. A crate gives pup a nice cozy place to call his own. If a crate is left open often your dog will go in on his own and take a nap. He will fill safe and secure in his little home. That is a good thing for your furry friend.
If you need to get your dog to go to a specific place during and emergency the crate is a great place to send pup and he will be know that he should stay in that place until he gets another cue from you. You should be able to tell your dog kennel, crate, home or whatever command you want to use and he will go there immediately and stay there until you call him.
This doesn’t happen overnight but it does not take long to teach your little buddy to do this. Being comfortable in the crate will also be important when taking your canine companion on adventures in the car. Without a doubt your dog is safer when traveling in a crate rather than riding shotgun or in the back seat.
Another advantage of the crate is that it can assist you in potty training as well. A dog will seldom soil the area that he sleeps in and this will be an asset in helping him learn where he should go to relieve himself. Before you get to this point the first step is to get your dog to see the crate as his friendly personal space.
Proper crate training begins with choosing the right size crate for your dog. The crate should be big enough for your furry friend to turn around in but should not be excessively large for Fido to stay in.
If you are getting a pup you can buy an inexpensive smaller crate and you can buy a larger crate as pup grows or you can buy a larger crate that has dividers in it so that it can be used for a pup and the size expanded as he grows into adulthood.
Once you have the proper size crate for your dog you want to help him get used to being around and in it. Open the door to the crate and drop some kibble in front and just inside the door. Do not attempt to close the door or make pup feal in anyway that he is trapped.
As pup goes into the crate say “kennel” or whatever word you want to use as the command. He will catch on very quickly.
Gradually as pup is feeling comfortable toss the kibble farther into the crate and let him go in and get it and come out freely without any threat of confinement. Slowly as pup goes in shut the door as he goes in then open quickly to let him out.
Little by little extend the time of the shut door and then the time pup is in the crate until he is comfortable. Before you know it pup will see the crate as his own special place. He will not be afraid or timid about going in and staying. When done properly and slowly crate training can also help keep your pup from developing separation anxiety.
Do it right the first time and it will be great for your dog the rest of his life.
A couple of words of caution. Do not ever use the crate for punishment and do not leave pup in the crate for extended periods of time. If there are extended periods of time you must be gone from home be sure to have someone come over and exercise your pal.