OK so let’s get right down to it… If the only time you put your pup in the crate is when you leave the house or when you go to bed… The only association your pup will have with the crate will be losing his/her family… The goal is to get the dog to like the crate and the requires the crate to be a normal part of everyday life and it needs to be paired with fun stuff like food…

The crate should also be where the action happens not stuck back in a bedroom, or the basement… In most situations the best spot is between the kitchen and the living room! After all that is where all the action happens in most homes. It also gives the dog an ability to be near you and see you but not free to create mischief when not supervised and managed…

What about those folks that have the crate in the bedroom because that is where the dog sleeps? Fantastic you have one in the bedroom to sleep in and one in the living area to become your pups spot in the room…

How long should I crate my dog? Well it depends on the pup but on average I crate train my dog for a time period of 1 to 2 years to make sure we are clear of adolescent/teenage behaviors 😉 Most dogs are not past these stages till about 2 to 2 ½  years so a one year old dog out of a crate would require a lot of proofing to convince me my couches and wood work were safe 😉

3 Thing I love to do with my crate:

  1. Every time the doorbell rings or someone knocks at the door… I lure my pup to the crate and give a treat… Once the dog in the crate, I will then answer the door… Thus, teaching my dogs to not rush the door when they hear these noises and make sure my dogs don’t learn to jump on house guests
  2. Every human meal is paired with the dog going to the crate… As I eat, they get a Kong filled with dog food and let’s say peanut butter or plain yogurt, apple sauce, or canned pumpkin…. The ratio is 80% dog food and 20% binding agent… PS I also freeze mine, so it takes the pup longer to finish….
  3. I also do one TV program each evening (about 30 minutes) with the dog in the crate (again with Kong) while I watch TV… This way they learn to entertain themselves and don’t think they have to be the center of attention all the time😉

All this being said crate training is a process and many folks will have better luck doing 10, 3 minutes sessions in the crate to begin with… Building up by 2 minutes each visit every couple of days vs. just trying to start with 1, 30 minute session in the crate starting off…. So, go slow build with rewards and make the crate a normal, social part of life not an isolation box in the back bedroom!!!!

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