Training

2 minutes reading time (428 words)

Dog behavior questions exposed! Crate training in 5 easy steps

One of the most common dog behavior questions I get all the time is "How do you crate train pets?" Most people make the common mistake of using the crate for punishment and marvel at why they can not get their canine to "voluntarily" go in it when it is required. The object being is: the crate is not for punishment. It is for "sanctuary" and security. Canines are "den" animals and want to feel relaxed and calm when "settled in", not panic-stricken.

So, here are five steps to explain this dog behavior question!

1. Put the crate in a location of your house where the family devotes a great deal of energy, like the family room. Make sure you put a towel or cozy blanket in the crate.

2. Bring your pet near the crate and speak to him in a happy tone of voice. Make sure the entry to the crate is accessible. Inspire your dog to access the crate with treats near it and just inside the crate (near the entry) and finally all the way inside the crate. This is where you may begin to have some dog behavior questions. It is OK. Don't force your dog inside the crate. If he does not choose to go...it is alright. Continue to toss food inside the crate prior to the dog walks calmly all the way in to the crate to get the treat. If food does not do the job, try using a favorite toy. Use your body to close off the entrance, after your dog goes in the crate.

3. Duplicate the previous step, rather than blocking the door with your body, shut the door to the crate.

4. Fix a tasty chew toy (by filling it with cream cheese or peanut butter), walk your dog into the crate. Once he is in the crate, give him the chew toy and shut the door. Once your canine is absorbed in chewing, get up and walk around, at times going out of sight. Release your canine from the crate before he finishes chewing (or before he wakes if he has been dozing off) but only if he is relaxed.

5. Praise your "furry friend" while he is in the crate, but do not compliment him as he is coming out of his crate. This teaches him that being in the crate is good and pleasant, while exiting is neutral. Furthermore, do not make a big fuss while showing him in or taking him out, so he will understand it as no big deal.

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