If you have recently purchased or adopted a new puppy, crate training can be an invaluable tool to have during your new dog’s adjustment period. Training a dog to enter their crate on command and remain calm while in the crate are the primary objectives when it comes to crate training.
To crate train your puppy, begin by luring them into the crate with a treat or piece of kibble. Once they enter the crate, praise them and give them the reward you used to lure them.
To have your dog to enter their crate upon command and remain comfortable while they are crated, it is important to set yourself and your dog up for success. Make sure you have a crate that is suitable to your dogs’ size and that you take adequate time getting them used to both going in the crate and staying in there without any issues.
Step One: Getting Your Dog Familiar With The Crate
With any new animal, there is a period of adjustment for both the owner and the pet. Coming into an unfamiliar environment with new people, smells, and distractions can be stressful for a new pup. And that’s where the crate comes in. By using a crate, you are able to give your dog a “spot” of their own where they can feel safe and relaxed.
To start, open the door or doors of the crate. Let your puppy (or older dog!) check out the crate. If they are disinterested, use a treat or toy that they like to get their attention. You can use this treat or item to slowly lure them into the crate by placing it in front of their nose. Once they place one paw, or all four, inside the crate, reward them by saying “Yes!” and give them the item you used for luring.
The next step is getting your pup to go farther into the crate before giving them the reward. Using the lure, try to have them place all four paws inside and wait a moment before giving them the treat or toy. Praise them with “Yes!” and allow them to leave the crate if they would like to. At this point, they are probably getting the hang of it and will begin to realize they get treats while they are in the crate!
If luring is difficult for you or your dog, another way to encourage your pup to enter the crate is to throw a treat or toy towards the back of the…