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Crate Training Your Dog

Proper crate training is essential for just about any dog--it will be extremely helpful for transportation, housetraining and eliminating unwanted behavior problems. This article will tell you more about picking the right crate and training your dog to use it.

Choosing a Crate

There are several factors to consider when picking out a crate for your dog. Think of your dog's size; the crate must be large enought for your dog to stand up, turn around and lay down in comfortably. There should also be room for food and water dishes. Ensure that the crate hal slits along the sides or top for ventilation, but make sure they're not big enough that your pet could stick a paw through. For dogs that are sociable and friendly, a write mesh carrier may work well. This will allow your dog to view the world around them. For dogs that want more seclusion, a plastic crate may provide a greater sense of security. 

Acclimating Your dog to the Crate

You'll want to have your dog associate enjoyment and relaxation with the crate, never punishment or negativity. First, simply let your dog explore the crate by themselves, leacing the crate foor fully open. Try placing a soft pet bed, toys and treats inside the crate to entice your dog to use it. After a few days of exploration, many dogs will be willing to enter and exit the crate on their own.


After your dog is comfortable with the crate, put them inside the carrier with food, water and a few toys. Close the crates door and leave the room entirely. It might be helpful to exercise your dog a bit before this step; there's a chance that they'll be tied enought to take a nap in their new crate. Most dogs, escpecially young puppies, will vocalize and whine a bit when left alone in their crate. Don't your dog out as soon as you hear vocalizaton, because this will only reinforce the notion that their whining works to get what they want. Wait until your dog have stopped barking or whining, then let them out of the crate. Upon releasing your dog, don't make a big fuss. This will teach your pet that being released is actually exciting and somewhat of a treat. Instead, going into the crate should be considered a treat. Over time, your pup should get more and more comfortable spending time in the crate. Gradually increase the lenght of time they spend in the crate as time goes on. With perseverance, your dog should come to view crate time as a relaxing, enjoyable experience. This will make travel and further behavior training much easier later in life. For further adive on crate training your dog, contact your vet.