How to Properly Crate Train Your Dog – Monument Dog Training DC Blog
Since I’ve began dog training in DC, I’ve encountered many dog owners that had never used a crate for their dog, or if they have, it was for rare instances or for when the dog was misbehaving. Some people balk at the idea of using the crate, because they think it’s a punishment tool, and it’s a “mean” thing to do and use. The usage of a crate for dogs can be very beneficial for both dogs and owners, and it can and SHOULD be something that is positive, not negative.
When potty training, crates can be a very handy tool. Still, many people struggle with using it — maybe the dog hates being in the crate and finds a way to break out. Maybe the dog is still having accidents but in the crate also. Maybe the dog will cry for hours upon hours unless they are freed from the crate. Many people give up on using the crate because of these types of issues, but it is something that can be addressed so that the crate can be positive and utilized for its intended training purposes.
For dogs, the crate should be a safe place, not a place associated with punishment and dread, just ask fellow dog trainer in Boston. It’s their own space where they can feel at ease and relax, much like people have their own private space in the home to hang out comfortably. For owners, the crate should be a tool to help calm their dog, while also managing their behaviors in the home.
For example, if your dog is known to eliminate or be destructive when your away from home, the crate can help prevent these from occurring. If any anxiety is driving these problematic behaviors, training is necessary, and the crate is one of the training tools that can help combat these issues. Another instance can be a dog that is fearful of loud noises, such as fireworks. If the crate is a “safe place” for the dog, they can find some relief by being in the crate during these stressful periods.
To crate train a dog, you must create a positive association immediately. If the dog displays anxious or aggressive behaviors in the crate, that must be corrected. Ignoring it may just prolong the problem, rather than teaching the dog to stop and calm down. It’s often a good idea to keep things in the crate, such as a be or blankets (provided the dog will not destroy them), bones, and a few toys. The dog might begin to feel comfortable with the crate quicker if they have their meals in there, and also learn to sleep in there overnight (while the owner is still in the home).
Crate training can be easy, but for some dogs, it can be a challenge due to anxiety and negative associations. If you’re having trouble crate training your dog, don’t give up! Call us at 202.318.1380 and we’ll make the crate a useful training tool for you, and a safe, comfortable place for your dog!