Following on from our ‘CRATE TRAINING AND CRUELTY’ post, something became very clear regarding those who have a negative association with crates and crate training.
The biggest issue is of those who assume a dog can not be trained to enjoy being in a crate. That they’re either put in a crate against their will and left alone, they’re crated for being naughty, or because their owners ‘can’t be bothered’ with them. Although I’m sure there are people out there like this (I’m personally yet to meet one), the overwhelming majority of dog owners who crate train use them appropriately.
One of our followers asked if I‘d put together an introduction to crate training and display how to crate train properly (without force) letting the dog make the decisions for itself. So that I have done.
I’ve condensed the video for viewing, but I’ll outline the thought process and stages of how to introduce the crate below:
1. Leave crate door open and do not push/place the dog in.
2. Lure dog towards/into the crate with food and reward when in crate. If your dog is genetically nervous, mark and reward for any progress towards the crate and build up to standing in the crate.
3. Reward placement should ideally be inside of the crate, not outside.
4. Repeat this process until the dog associates walking into the crate with being rewarded.
5. Once the association has been established, reward dog for decision making and walking into crate without lure.
6. Repeat this process until the dog is happy running into the crate for food.
7. Begin feeding meals in crate.
Each and every dog is unique, and every dog takes to things at their own pace. It’s important not to rush any area of training as it will ultimately set you back and take you longer in the end.