Crate training is important for dogs to learn. Most dogs are safer if they travel in a crate in your vehicle. If you fly with a medium or large dog he will need to be in a crate. Crate training can help you house train your dog. And, spending time in his crate can be very relaxing for many dogs. A good crate training schedule can help your crate training go smoothly.
A Schedule for Crate Training
Whether you are crate training a puppy or an adult dog, the schedule for crate training is similar.
You should start by purchasing a good crate for your dog. There are basically two types of crates to consider. One is the hard plastic airline-approved crate and the other is the folding wire crate. There are benefits to using both. The airline-approved crate is good for traveling in the car or on a plane. It can provide some protection for your dog in your vehicle in case of accidents. However, these crates are bulky, heavy, and cumbersome. They are hard to take apart and put together and they hard difficult to move around from place to place.
The folding wire crate is a good choice if you will be taking a crate with you to training classes, shows, or anyplace where you need to set the crate up and take it down often. They weigh less than the airline-approved crates and they are easy to carry. However, they are made of wire and they will not protect your dog in your vehicle in case of an accident.
Either crate can be used at home for your dog to sleep in, relax, and just hang out. They are both good crates for house training. With the wire crate your dog can also see out of the crate and watch what is going on around him. The airline-approved crate can provide your dog with slightly more privacy.
So, choose the crate you think will fit your dog and your plans best. Both crates cost approximately the same.
When choosing a crate you should choose one that will be the right size for your dog. If you will be traveling with your dog in the crate, choose a crate size that is recommended by the manufacturer. If the crate is too large then your dog will be tossed around if there is an accident and he could be injured. However, if you will only be using the crate at home for your dog to sleep in or for house training, you can get a crate that is somewhat larger.
Once you have chosen the crate, you should bring it home and place it in a part of the house where your dog will find it easily. Leave the door open and allow your dog to explore it on his own. Place some towels or a blanket in the bottom of the crate. Put some treats and toys in the crate and make it inviting for your dog to check it out. Most dogs will go inside, eat the treats and get any toys they like. They may or may not stay. Keep putting things in the crate and leave the door open. Encourage your dog to spend time in the crate.
Whether your dog spends time in the crate on his own or not, after a day or two you can close the door behind your dog and leave him in the crate for a couple of minutes. Then let him out and give him a treat. Do this several times a day for a day or so. Once your dog is used to being in the crate for a few minutes you can start leaving him in the crate for half an hour. Be sure that you stay near the crate where your dog can see you. Talk to your dog. There should be treats and toys in the crate to keep your dog entertained.
You can slowly increase the time your dog spends in the crate over the next week. You should continue to be in the house while you do this. After a week you can leave the house for a few minutes while your dog is in the crate. When you return you should praise your dog and give him a treat when you release him.
After this week your dog should be largely crate-trained. You can stay away for longer periods of time. Be sure to always leave treats and toys with your dog when you place him in the crate. Praise him when you return and reward him.
It usually only takes a week or two to teach your dog the basics of crate training, though you can continue to work on praising and rewarding your dog each time he spends time in the crate. Be sure to leave treats and toys for your dog in the crate. You can also leave him safe things to chew on such as frozen Kongs containing peanut butter so he will have something to occupy him.