Dog Crate Training
The dog crate is one of just a few training aids that have truly revolutionized obedience training. Dog crate training greatly simplifies and accelerates the process of house training your dog. Crates provide a place for your dog to stay while you're gone, or a place of retreat when the plumber starts banging on the pipes. A dog crate is a perfect place for your dog inside your house, and dog crate training will help both you and your dog use it to its fullest advantage.
Because of your dog's genetic relationship to wolves, he has inherited a desire to sleep and relax in a den-like enclosure. But he doesn't necessarily know that yet. When you walk in carrying your new dog crate, he's not going to automatically be thinking "Thanks, mate, I was wondering when that was going to show up." It may take a little bit of creative dog crate training before your dog accepts the crate as his own.
Basic Dog Crate Training
Dog crate training involves gradually introducing your dog to the crate. Don't just open the door, shove your dog inside and slam the gate. That's a sure way to initiate a long period of whining, barking, and scratching at the door to escape.
Start out with the crate near to where you are, for example watching TV in the living room. But keep an eye on your dog at the same time. If you see him show any interest in the crate (like even just looking at it), give him a treat and praise him. Repeat the process when he looks at it again. Once he starts looking at the crate just to get the treat, stop giving him the treat. This should encourage him to show a little more interest, like taking a closer look. Reward the increased interest. Repeat this process until your dog is willing to lie in the crate with the door open.
Dog crate training like this takes some time and patience, but you will be rewarded with a dog that likes, even prefers his crate. If you encounter a problem with this process, it's probably because you're trying to move it along too quickly. Back up a little and start over.
Never use the crate as a form of punishment (like when you send children to their room). Forcing your dog into his crate and using it as a tool of isolation will go a long way toward erasing any positive progress you've made in your dog crate training.
THe Best Kind of Crate for Dog Crate Training
Dog crates are available in two basic styles--plastic and wire. Plastic dog crates are constructed of a polypropylene plastic with a chrome-plated steel door. The are leak proof and the top can be removed if desired. Plastic dog crates are the only crates approved for air travel.
Wire dog crates are constructed using an open wire mesh and a plastic floor. Wire dog crates are better ventilated and often cooler than plastic dog crates. Wire dog crates are a little easier to clean and fold up for portability. So the type of crate you need depends on your personal dog crate training situation.
Dog crate training provides a full set of benefits for you and your dog. A dog crate is your dog's own personal retreat. If you want to go places with your dog, the crate makes traveling a breeze in the car and at the hotel. Again, dog crate training makes house training pretty much a sure thing. And if you need to leave your dog alone for a short period of time, dog crate training gives you peace of mind that your dog is safe and secure while you're away.
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