How To Crate Train An Older Dog
Follow these steps to turn the crate into a positive experience for your older pup:
Make Sure Your Puppy Is Empty Before Bed
Puppies will cry if they need a bathroom break, but they also cry for your attention.
So how do you make sure you arent ignoring a basic need and are only ignoring cries for attention?
First of all, you want to make sure they are empty before bed.
This means do not feed them in the 3 hours before and do not allow them to load up on the water in the 2 hours before bedtime. Then take them to potty right before bed
This gives them ample time to process the last food and water they did consume and are ready to get rid of the waste at their bathroom visit right before bedtime.
Secondly, you get up during the night for scheduled bathroom breaks anyway.
In summary, you make sure they are empty so do not need to potty often during the night, and you have scheduled times as described in the previous section to attend to their basic bodily needs.
This way you can be sure any crying is only for attention and you absolutely can and must simply ignore it.
How To Crate Train A Dogwith Anxiety
Crate training a dog takes more time and patience than to train a young puppy.
Its critical that you take things very slowly with your anxious dog, and dont push them if they are worried.
Spend time making sure your anxious dog is comfortable with their dog crate from the beginning. You could risk tainting your dogs feelings on the crate and making it a place your dog dislikes.
Signs of anxiety that mean you are going too quickly and making your dog uncomfortable include:
- Hesitancy to go to the crate
- Quick movements out of the crate
- Licking their lips
- Turning their head or body away from you or the crate
- Slow, stiff movements
If you see any of these signs of anxiety, or others, its time to stop. The feelings that your dog is experiencing during training will become associated with whatever youre training them to do
Training your dog in an anxious state makes it likely theyll be anxious when performing that behavior in the future.
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Playpens And Fence Gates
Alternatives to dog crates are playpens and fence gates. But if you go to YouTube, you’d see how many dogs have found a way to bypass these obstacles. At best, they will just jump over them or squeeze through. At worst, they can get stuck or injured. There are sure to be some little daredevils who will regain their freedom!
Theres no doubt that hiring a dog sitter or taking your pup to a doggie daycare are good alternatives. Its a good idea to have someone on standby who can go to your house in case you are viewing the area through Petcube and spot your pup making a getaway.
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Choose The Right Crate Size And Type
There are a variety of crate options. The most common are wire kennels and plastic transport-style kennels. Some dogs prefer one type over the other. If you have friends with crates, see if you can borrow one of each type to try for a week before you buy one for your dog. There are also fabric pop-up crates, but these are best used for dogs that are already well crate trained since they can be easily chewed out of!
The crate should be just large enough for your dog to stand up, turn around, and lay down in comfortably. If its larger, your pup may decide to use one area as a potty zone, which is not desired! If youre getting a crate and you know your puppy will be growing and need a larger size, you can find crates with dividers so you can slowly enlarge the size to accommodate your growing furry family member.
Be sure to have a soft blanket, towel, or bed in the crate so its comfortable to lay in. If your dog chews up the blanket, rubs their nose raw trying to bury the blanket, or uses it to potty on, they may have to just lay on the crate mat alone. Some dogs even prefer this since its a cooler surface.
How Long Do You Let A Puppy Bark In A Crate
ANSWER: If we dont notice any other issues then well let our puppy bark for 10-15 minutes. Most puppies will calm down and stop barking within this time frame. Well extend this a bit longer if we notice that its just attention barking.
Its very important that you dont let your puppy out when he is barking. Wait until he stops for at least a split second before you open the door.
If you open the door and let him out while hes barking then hell associate barking with getting out of the crate. No Bueno.
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Problems And Proofing Behavior
The crate should be a place of comfort for your dog. If your dog seems anxious inside the crate, don’t leave it alone until it gets used being confined. Try feeding your dog in the crate and letting it spend time in the crate while you are around. Let the dog out after a short period of time . Gradually increase the length of time you leave the pup in the crate. Once your dog seems to consider the crate its own space and can relax in there, then you can start leaving it in there when you leave. The last thing you want is for your dog to associate you leaving with anything fearful. This can lead to or exacerbate separation anxiety.
Training Your Dog To Use A Crate
Our vets have put together some advice on how to crate-train your dog.
This is just one way to do it theres many variations that could work just as well but vary the steps a bit. As long as you are using positive, reward-based methods, you should make progress and your dog will soon be crate-trained.
If youre having any trouble training your dog, speak to an ADPT-accredited dog trainer or your vet for help.
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What To Put In The Puppy Crate
Once youve purchased your puppys crate, heres what youll need to furnish it. Again, make sure you have all this ready before the puppy comes home:
Toys And Treats
Every kid wants toys and snacks in their bedroom and your newest kid is no different. Put your puppys best toys at the far end of his crate. Think about toys that wont be a choking hazard, such as hard rubber toys. Make sure theyre large enough and cant be swallowed!
Youll also want plenty of delicious snacks in the puppys crate before she comes home. That will show her that her den is a seriously cool place to be.
You can pick up a small, hamster water dispenser if youre picky about a potential pool party. Otherwise, a small bowl of water or a small hanging pail will do. Large bowls invite larger messes . And large hanging pails can be dangerous. Make sure the water bowl matches her size.
Make sure the puppy has fresh water any time shes in the crate for more than an hour.
You want your puppys new home to be cozy, so dont skimp on the comfy decor. Buy a nice, soft bed for her crate. Ideally, youll want to buy two or three, so you can have one in the wash and one in the crate.
Not all puppies love soft surfaces. If its hot or if your puppy is a hot dog in general, she might push your nice bedding to the side. Dont take offense its her space and she can decorate any way that makes her feel comfortable.
How Long Does Crate Training Take
As with any type of training, all dogs will learn and progress through their crate training at a different pace. The keys to success are consistency and patience . Stick with consistent positive training and youll soon have a dog that LOVES their crate and youll have a safer home and less stress in your life, as well.
If a puppy was introduced to crates early in their life , I usually anticipate successful crate training within one to three weeks of starting consistent crate training practice. If crates are brand new to them, it may take longer.
However, if a puppy or adult dog has previous negative experiences in a crate environment, it can take much longer to undo this damage and help them view that space as a positive place to be. In these cases, I recommend beginning with a larger confinement area, such as a playpen as described in “Puppy Zone: How to Set Up a Long-Term Confinement Area.”
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Puppy Lies In Crate For Extended Time
- Have your puppy lie in the crate and slowly increase the time they must stay laying down before you click and treat.
- Increase from 1 second to 1 minute in 5-second increments .
- After every successful down in the crate, click and treat inside the crate, then release them and allow them to come completely out of the crate before asking them back inside and down again.
- When increasing the time, make sure you mix it up with both hard and easy repetitions.
- Ask for 10 seconds, then 20, then 40, then go back to an easy 5 before asking for 15 again.
- Mix it up but with a general flow toward longer times.
Why Should I Crate Train My Dog
For those not familiar with crate training, the system can seem a little harsh and old-fashioned. But crate training is good for your dog. It can help to keep them safe when you cant be home, and give them a secure space thats theirs. Remember, wild dogs live in dens, so a cave-like space is comforting to them. Crate training your dog also helps them to feel at home if they have to visit the vets, and to cope better with being kennelled at a boarding establishment if you go abroad. It can also help with toilet training, and even when dealing with separation anxiety.
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Keep Others From Bothering Your Puppy
Do you have more than one dog, other pets such as cats or children in your home?
Make sure that they know to leave your dog alone when he has his crate quiet time. It is important that other dogs dont run by and try to make your puppy play through the bars or otherwise disrupt his sleeping. Your puppy will be very tempted to stop resting and try to join the play.
It needs to be clear to all members of the household that a dog in his crate is to be left alone.Put the crate in a quiet part of the house to make this easier.
Dogs often start to really appreciate the crate as a place that they know they can go to if they need some alone time. You can leave the door open if your dog is not in it, and it may well be that over time he will seek out his crate to nap or just wind down if he is over-stimulated.
Is Crate Training Good For An 8
While some pet parents vehemently oppose crate training, there are many benefits to crating your dog when you’re not home. These include:
Crate training gives your dog a special space of their own.
According to the AKC, Although many dog owners may feel guilty for crate training their canine companion, enclosed spaces create a shelter for your dog to rest and relax. In fact, dogs instinctively seek small spaces to create protective shelters for themselves.
It makes potty training easier.
If youre still not convinced that crate training is a good idea, never fear. Many veterinarians and dog trainers recommend crate training your pup, especially during potty training. Because dogs dont like to sleep near their own excrement, crate training can help you housebreak your puppy much faster than training your pup without a crate.
Crate training keeps your puppy safe while you’re away.
Crate training your new pup also helps keep her out of trouble while youre away from home. Even if youve puppy-proofed your home, young puppies can still create chaos while youre out of the house.
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Feed Your Dog Inside The Crate
When you’re just learning how to crate train a dog, feeding him inside his dog crate is a good place to start. Obviously dog food is going to be a major motivator for your pup, and he’ll begin to associate the crate with one of the positive things in his life dinner!
Use the same voice command every time you want your dog to enter his puppy crate, even if he doesn’t go in all the way yet. Some people like go to bed or go to your crate as commands. Whatever you choose, just make sure you use the same verbal cue each time. It’s an important part of proper dog command training.
Say the cue and then place his food inside the dog crate. As I mention in the video guide above, if your pet isn’t comfortable entering the pet crate you’ll want to begin by placing his dog food in the entry of the crate.
As your pooch begins to get more comfortable with the crate, you can start moving further in until eventually he is eating in the back corner of the kennel.
When you’re just beginning to crate train your dog, don’t shut the door while your canine is eating in the dog crate. For the first few days, you’ll want to feed your pet all his meals inside the pet crate, and leave the door open.
This will allow him time to adjust to being inside the crate without fearing that he is trapped. You’ll notice that your dog is becoming more comfortable in the crate over time. Once you feel that he is relaxed when eating his dinner in the crate, you can begin to close the door while he is eating.
Choosing A Crate: Type Size And Location
There are several varieties of crates available. It can be a bit daunting to figure out the size and style to pick for your dog. The most common crate varieties are wire crates, plastic crates, and fabric crates.
Fabric crates are great for small dogs to travel in, for sporting events, or for camping. With a fabric crate, your dog must be well trained. Since fabric crates are not secure, they are not recommended for long-term confinement without supervision. The benefits of a fabric crate are that it is lightweight and that it folds flat for easy storage and travel.
Some crates double as furniture!
Probably the best bet for a pet’s home crate is a plastic or wire crate. I favor wire crates, as they fold flat for storage and are more economical to purchase. Plastic crates are sturdier and often feel more secure for your dog, as the walls are mostly solid. However, there are very sturdy metal crates that can be purchased, and you can always cover a wire crate with a blanket if your dog needs more privacy. For an escape artist, either a plastic crate or a rugged metal crate would be best. Both plastic and metal crates can be fortified using strategically placed zip ties. If you are looking for a crate that matches your decor, fashionable dog crate furniture combos that double as end tables are available!
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