No human being enjoys being kept in one spot or place for long. It’s no surprise that our animals feel the same way too. Humans and animals alike are very active species, and there is that need to get a feel of the environment, make friends, utilize the five senses, and so on. Dogs are animals with great sensitivities and a need for interaction, so putting them in crates can feel very restrictive and unnatural for them at first. So, how can you get your dog accustomed to its crate and have him think of it as a safe space? It requires patience as it could take time and consistency. Here are some useful tips to aid your dog’s crate adjustment:
Limit Crate Time.
Monitor your dog’s crate behavior and adjust accordingly. If your dog responds negatively when he is placed inside a crate, reduce his crate time. You can keep him in there for one to three hours inside the crate and observe the dog’s crate behavior. It is pertinent to note that puppies below six months shouldn’t be kept for long hours in a crate, as it can adversely affect their growth and development.
Communicate Care and Love
Dogs are brought into a household for many reasons- security, friendship/companionship, care, training, etc., but the highest-ranking reason, according to statistics, is care and companionship. In crating, it is of utmost importance to make your dog feel loved and cared for. This cannot be achieved without you expressing love to it. Try these tricks:
- Put in a dog cushion in the crate.
- Get some toys and stuff them in the crate.
- Extend your hand. Yes, pat your dog during its crate time.
- Give the crate a homey look and feel.
Crating is not punishment!
In keeping and training dogs generally, there’s a great likelihood to get so pissed with your pet and “ground” it as you would a disobedient child or teen. Using the crate to punish your dog is very unhealthy and scars its development. It is much encouraged to use an affirmative voice with your dog, and let him know verbally that you’re unhappy with his behavior, rather than “crating” him as a form of punishment. It’s crucial that your dog forms a positive relationship with the crate, seeing it as a safe space for him, rather than a place of punishment.
Give Your Dog Treats
Treats are an essential aspect of dog training. Giving your pet a special treat nurtures the bond between you both and strengthens your relationship with it. After he stays for some time in the crate and behaves well, you could give him some treats, including:
- A snack
- A walk
- A show to watch on television
Positive reinforcement is a great technique to use, no matter what behavior or command you’re trying to teach your dog. Just be sure that the treat occurs immediately after the desired behavior, in this case, right after getting out of the crate, so your dog can associate the behavior with the positive reward.
Socialize Your Dogs
Dogs are very social, and it helps to give them some time with their “friends” to let out some energy. Arrange meetings or “dates” with other dogs. This will help him to feel more relaxed when he’s in his crate.
Contact Canine College for Dog Training
Crating is very vital in dog training and development. However, it should not be done with strictness and harshness. Love, care, and emotional consideration must be applied to effectively create a positive response from your dog to his crate. If you need assistance helping crate train your dog or teaching him other important behaviors and commands, the experts at Canine College are here to help! We offer private one-on-one training sessions to address these concerns. Contact us today to learn more and get started!