How To Use Crates

Show your dog that the crate is their happy, safe, personal space.

Introduction - Read This First!

The key to any good potty-training practice is in having a place where your dog feels happy and safe, and where they don’t want to pee. Think of the crate as your dog’s room – would you go to the bathroom in your own room? Of course not! The crate is also a great tool to keep your dog happy when you’re away, a good place to sleep at night, and a bunch of other things. So picking one up should be at the top of the list for a new dog owner. 

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Tools For The Job

The type of crate you’ll want to use will depend on what your dog finds most comfortable. Double-door crates are easier for training, while some dogs prefer a cozier travel-style crate. Many crates have a removable flooring for easier cleaning and are collapsible for easier transport. Choose wisely, and don’t skimp on this dog training necessity!

Making The Crate a Fun, Happy Home​

Pro Trainer Principles:
The Crate Is Always A Happy Place, Never A Time Out!

Once you’ve picked out the right size crate for your puppy or dog, the MOST IMPORTANT thing to do is make sure they like being inside it. That means starting off very positive and not putting them in the crate if they don’t like it at all. Here is an in-depth explanation of different things you can do to make the crate a very comfortable place for your dog. 

Training Steps For Dogs To Love Their Crate​

Use The Right Treats!

The next few videos give a step-by-step walkthrough of what to do if your dog already doesn’t want to go in the crate and you need to teach them that it’s a positive relaxing place from step 1. As we are looking for our dogs to be super happy, we want to use DELICIOUS and HIGH VALUE treats they will be super excited about. Here are some options before you get started. 

Pro Trainer Principles:
Wherever Your Dog Gets Treats Is Where They Will Want To “Hang Out”

Step 1: In The Crate With All Doors Open

These steps are very important for your dog to understand they they aren’t trapped in the crate. Start by opening all the doors in the crate and tossing in treats and letting your dog walk in and out as much as they want.

After these steps, you can close one of the doors to the crate and start throwing the treats farther inside so your dog has to go farther in to get them. As long as you don’t try to trap them inside, they will start to develop more comfort with the crate. 

Step 2: Into The Crate With The Door Closed

Next you can start closing the door to the crate for very small amount of time, like only a few seconds. This will teach your dog that it is ok to be in the crate when the door is closed and that they can come back out very soon and aren’t trapped!

Step 3: Raining Treats!

Now we want to start teaching our dogs to not just go in the crate, but to LOVE being in the crate. When you close them in the crate for a few seconds, start dropping treats into the crate. Make sure your dog gets the treat from the floor of the crate, NOT from your hand. We want them to love the crate and get treats from the crate, not your hand.

Step 4: Leading Into The Crate

Now that your dog is more comfortable going into the crate and staying there, we want to get them to CHOOSE to go into the crate BEFORE seeing a treat. So lead them in with your hand and close the door, THEN drop the treats inside.

Slowly increase the amount of time your dog spends in the crate each time…

Final Step: Relax In The Crate!

Crate And Chew

If you slowly increased the time in the crate each time, your dog should be pretty comfortable with spending up to a minute or more in the crate. Now you can give them a treat to chew on to stay for a long time, and also help them learn to be very calm in the crate!

Chew Options

Here are some great options for treats and chews that you can use to help your dog be calm and spend longer periods of time in the crate.

Still Have Questions?

Still Have Questions?

Ask About Anything Not Covered In This Lesson

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