Do you want a dog that feels comfortable in the crate and will happily stay here when you are away? Then follow our FREE online Crating a Dog training. You and your dog will enjoy this for years to come. Suitable for both young and older dogs! In several steps, your dog is introduced to the crate and learns that it is an excellent place. No fear, no squeaking or barking, and cleanliness!
To begin with, there is an essential premise of Crating a Dog:
The association with the bench must be positive to be able to proceed to the next step. If you believe that the dog does not yet feel comfortable with the crate during the training, then take action back. Don’t move on to the next step just yet. Just be patient, and keep practicing.
Crating a Dog step by step training:
Follow the steps below and take plenty of time for this. Don’t expect to be able to complete the workout in a few days.
Step 1 to Crating a Dog: Discover
As the first step in crate training, place the crate in an area where you (or your family) will spend a lot of time—for example, the living room or the kitchen. Make the box comfortable by placing soft cloths or a fat bed in it. If the dog is still young, this can also be a blanket from, for example, the breeder that he/she knows. There is a familiar scent to this.
For the time being, the door may not be closed. You can start with this at the earliest when the dog is 2-3 months old. We recommend opening the door and securing it with a string or elastic to not accidentally close. If you bought the crate for growth, it is recommended to buy a crate partition wall.
Let the dog explore the crate at its own pace. Some dogs are curious and go into the crate by themselves. If that is not the case; In an enthusiastic voice, invite the dog to come to the crate. Throw some dog treats close to the crate, then into the crate. If the puppy does not dare to go inside yet, then that is no problem. Never force the dog to enter.
Keep practicing with the treats (dog snacks) until the dog enters the crate completely and calmly. If your dog is not interested in dog treats, you can also try throwing in a favorite toy. If your dog easily enters the crate on its own (with or without reward), start with the next step of crate training.
TIP: We advise dogs to use snacks/treats that are irresistible to the dog, such as those made from dried beef heart.
Step 2: Eat in the crate
When you feed the dog, but the food bowl in the crate. Preferably at the very back in a corner. If the dog finds it scary to eat, you can place the bowl near the door. Then try to move the bowl a little further back every time you feed the dog.
Once the dog has eaten quietly in the crate a few times, you can try to close the door while eating quietly. Make sure that the door is immediately open again as soon as the dog has finished eating. Every time this goes well, you can open the door a little later. Stretch this up to a few minutes.
If the dog starts to squeak, you may have gone a little too fast. For the next training, try to open the door before the dog starts to squeak. If the dog is already beeping, do not open the door! The dog then learns that the door opens by squeaking. If your dog keeps eating in the crate without feeling anxious and can then stay in the crate for a few minutes without squeaking, then move on to the next step.
Step 3: Command
Enthusiastically call the dog to the crate and give it a treat. Ask the dog to enter the box with the command “crate” or “at your place” (whatever you prefer.).
Use only this word (no words or phrases before or after) and point in the crate with a dog treat in your hand. Reward the dog when it enters the crate quietly and closes the door for a moment. After a few moments, release the dog from the box. The dog should only be rewarded if it remains calm (i.e., not excited). Keep practicing this until your dog knows the command.
If your dog enters the crate quickly and quietly, you can experiment with closing the door. Do this very calmly and without excitement. The dog feels your energy. Keep the door closed for a short while. Then opening the door must be the most normal thing in the world.
TIP: This step can take quite some time. Practice every day for a while, and don’t get frustrated if you fail right away. Depending on the age of the dog, it is a bit more difficult or more comfortable.
Step 4: Stretch time
Do the same exercise as in point 3, but keep the door closed a little longer. Stay in the same room so the dog can see you. If this goes well, you can try to get out of sight of the dog. A little longer every time. Ultimately, the goal is to Crating a Dog for 30 minutes while you are mostly out of sight. Once you have reached this point, you can move on to the next step of bench training.
Step 5: Out the door
Ask your dog to enter the crate with your command, close the door, and leave the house for a short time as you usually would (through the front door / back door, etc.). This way, the dog learns to recognize the sound of your departure. Walk around the house or wait in the garden.
When you return, do not be overly enthusiastic, but act as if it were the most normal thing in the world. Open the door again, and if the dog is not excited, you can reward the dog. It Will teaches the dog that you will return quickly and that it is normal for you to go away for a while.
If this goes well, you can try to do some shopping, for example. Practice this a few times and vary with the time it takes you to leave the house. For example, put on your coat first and only then ask the dog to enter the crate.
Don’t make the ‘goodbye’ unnecessarily emotional and extra long. Do not raise your voice or pet the dog excessively. It teaches the dog that something is going to happen. Shortly after entering the crate, reward your dog, give a dog treat, and then leave quietly. When you return, you will only award the dog if it is calm.
Always stay very calm to avoid excitement or tension when you return home. Ignore negative behavior; jumping up, barking, squeaking, etc. Continue to practice leaving your dog home alone for short periods. If this goes well, you can continue with the next step of the bench training.
Step 6: The first night in the crate
In some cases (for example, with puppies under six months), it is initially wise to place the crate in the bedroom or on the landing. Puppies often need to be let out again at night. The bladder is still small and not completely under control. Also, it may be wise to place the crate close to your bedroom with older dogs so that they do not associate the crate with social isolation.
Ask your dog to crate with your command and give the dog a short reward. Quietly close the door and go to sleep yourself. From the moment your dog sleeps peacefully at night, you can try to move the crate a little further away. Ultimately at the place where it should be placed.
When you have completed step 6 of the crate training, you will have a dog who has a positive association with the crate and sees it as a safe and comfortable place! However, it may be essential to continue to practice specific steps from the crate training.