One of the most important things you can do when you get a new family dog is crate training. This is because it’s important to make sure your dog has a safe and comfortable place to sleep and remain while you’re away from home. It can be difficult to listen to a small puppy whine during crate training, but it’s a part of the process and your dog and home will be much better off in the long run. If you’re looking for help with dog training in Daytona Beach, I have your back at Russell’s K9 Academy. Before I get started with your dog, you can try these tips on your own.
Introduce the crate
Dog’s are like small children in that they like to explore their surroundings. You can encourage your puppy to get familiar with their new crate by letting them play in and around it. Be encouraging with a kind voice that will help them know that it’s a safe space for them. Make sure that the door is properly held open so it doesn’t fall or swing closed and startle your dog.
Tossing some of their favorite treats or toys into the crate is a good way to entice them inside. Depending on your puppy, you could have them all the way inside within a couple of minutes or it might take a few days. Either way, you mustn’t force your dog inside as it will associate the crate with negativity.
Give meals in the crate
Once your dog is willing to fully enter the crate, you can start putting the dish in and closing the door for a short period of time. This is a great way to help your dog continue to get comfortable with the crate. The first few times they eat their food in the crate, stay close so you can open the door as soon as they’re finished. This reinforces that you’re going to let them out and they’re not trapped in the crate indefinitely.
As they continue to get comfortable in the crate, you’ll find that you can slowly lengthen the amount of time the door is closed. Once you’ve reached a point where you can have the door closed for about 10 minutes without whining to get out, you can move on to the next step.
Work up to longer periods in the crate
Increasing your dog’s comfort level in the crate is essential to creating lasting training. You can encourage your dog to get inside by giving a treat and using a voice command like “crate” to help them associate that word with the crate itself. Give praise when they enter then close the door.
Sit nearby for a few minutes so they can feel comfortable that you’re not going to leave them right away. After a short period of time, get up and go to another room for a couple of minutes then come back and sit by the crate. Slowly increase the amount of time that you’re away from them before returning to teach that you will always come back.
Continue crating your dog
Consistency is one of the most important parts of any kind of dog training. If you want your dog to stay in the crate while you’re gone during the day or sleep there at night, you must make sure to regularly crate your dog. Continue to reinforce that your dog goes into the crate during the day when you leave for work and at night when you go to sleep. Yes, you can keep your dog out of the crate over the weekends when you’re home, but you should continue to put your dog in the crate if you leave the house.
Patience is the key to any dog training. It’s easy to get frustrated and want to give up, but crate training is an important part of maintaining a healthy relationship with your dog. There are going to be times when your dog needs to stay in the crate and you won’t be able to force them inside when that time comes.
Contact us for help
If you’d like help with dog training in Daytona Beach, get in touch with me at Russell’s K9 Academy. I can help you with crate training or any other needs your dog might have. Call 386-265-3501 or send a message for information regarding training techniques and services.