When you introduce a dog into the household, there’s a chance that you will need to crate train your dog. But what is crate training and why is it necessary? And how do we go about crate training our dogs?
“Crate training is the process of teaching a pet to accept a dog crate or cage as a familiar and safe location. Advocates claim that dogs are den-dwelling animals and that a crate can become a den substitute.” -Definition Source: Wikipedia
Crate training is a hot topic of discussion when it comes to the care of our fur babies. There are people who hold the opinion that crate training is an absolute must while there are others who find it to be cruel and an unacceptable pet parenting method. Where does Joyride Harness stand on that spectrum? In the middle. We believe that the choice to go with crate training is at the dog parent’s or parents’ discretion and the need for it (or lack thereof) may vary with each household and dog.
But for those of you who do decide to crate train your dog, we’ve rounded up some tips that may make the process go smoothly for you!
5 Easy Steps to Crate Training Your Dog
Step 1: Make sure it’s comfy!
You want to make sure that your dog’s crate acts as a “mini home” so you don’t want them to be uncomfortable or anything while they’re in their crate. Load the crate up with a dog bed, their favorite blanket, their favorite chew toy, etc.
Step 2: AKC recommends establishing a proper mindset.
According to American Kennel Club (AKC), “If you put the dog in the crate when they’re playing, then they’ll want to come back out and continue to play. But if you bring them in it when they’re calm, they will likely view it as a place of rest. Start by bringing them in for 10 minutes at a time and work your way up from there.”
Step 3: Introduce treats during crate or kennel time.
This will reinforce positive association making it less stressful for your dog when it’s time for them to go to their crate.
Step 4: Gradually increase the amount of crate time.
You don’t want to start crate training for long durations immediately. When you start to crate your fur baby, start with shorter time frames to reduce your dog’s anxiety. Hours and hours of crate time isn’t the place to start. How much time does it take for you to go to the grocery store, shop, and come back? Start there.
Step 5: Be patient and watch the time.
There will be a lot of patience required for this to go off without problems, and while you’re patient, mind the time! Don’t forget to take your dog out to go to the bathroom, feed them on schedule, etc.
BONUS PRO-TIP: Do not keep your dog in their crate or kennel while they're wearing anything. That means collars, harnesses, pet clothes, etc. They might get caught on something and cause choking.
This is just a sampling of tips and informational posts we offer at Joyride Harness. You can find more content including tips and tricks and how-tos for caring for your dog on our blog at this section. Feel free to leave a comment with tips you’re looking for!