If you have a dog, any dog, you must train him to love being in the crate because it is beneficial. You might think that putting a dog in a crate is an abuse, but the fact is that a crate is naturally comforting for dogs since that small and enclosed crate is like a replica of the wild nature density. Thus, the crate will also be the natural place for your dog to rest most of the time which is a win-win solution for you as the owner. So, here are some tips of how to make your dog love being in the crate.
1. Get Perfect Sized Crate
Make sure your dog get appropriate size crate based on your dog size. Measure your dog before you decide to buy the crate. Take notes of his height, long, and wide and get the perfect sized crate by adding 6 – 7 inches (15-18 cm) from each side of the dog including the height. Thus, your dog will be comfortable enough to stand, lay, and turn around. If the crate is too big, he will use one side to sleep and the other to litter.
If your dog is still a puppy and you are afraid for buying crate too many times, then choose ones with their divider so you can adjust the crate as the puppy grows. Or you can rent the crates online or you can ask the vet for the information so you don’t need to spend money to buy crates.
2. Get Specific Kind of Crate
Make sure your dog also get the right kind of crate to begin the training. There are plastic crates, wire crates, and soft crates. If your dog is the type of dog which always chewing things, better to buy the wire crates since it is more durable. Plastic crates are comfortable for most but they will easily get hotter in hot and humid weather. If your dog travels much, soft crates are lightweight but they are less durable and hard to clean. For further information, you can also read How To Train A Dog To Be Home Alone.
3. Put the Crate in Specific Place
Begin to train your dog to love spending much time in his crate by placing the crate in the best spot of the house. You can place it in the room where you spend most of your time in such as in your living room or anywhere you think you like the most.
Your dog is your family and he would really love spending time with the people around him so he would not feeling alone. Don’t isolate him in his own crate by putting him in the garage.
You can bring the crate in your bedroom to train him to pee outside his crate. You can train him to be inside the crate with a closed door, and you open the door if he wants to pee in his litter box. Some dog owners provide two crates in the house so they don’t need to move a crate from place to place.
4. Put Blanket or Towel in the Crate
The blanket or the towel is for the dog to sleep more comfortable since it would be softer than the crate floor. It will also make the crate warmer especially when the weather goes very low so your dog will love being in the crate longer.
If your dog make the bedding as his bathroom, clean it immediately and train him to litter in the box by placing the litter box near to the crate. Patiently train your dog to sleep inside the crate with the towel. Here is also 9 Ways to Stop Your Dog from Running Away
5. Involve the Crate in Everyday Activities
Use the crate everyday and as often as possible on daily basis so your dog will eventually get used to it and love it. Introduce the crate since the very time as a positive and a fun thing to live in. You must be persuasive and patience.
Give him treats every time your dog goes inside his crate and stay for a while. Show him the crate everyday and use it as consistent as possible. Put some tasty food inside when the sleeping, dinner, and relax time comes and close the door.
6. Let the Crate Door Open
You might wonder when exactly when we must close the crate door. Close it whenever your dog is eventually lay down inside the crate and see if he starts whining, barking or panicking. If he starts whining for the next minute, open the door and let it open. Repeat this tomorrow in the exact time and see if he could stay longer than yesterday. If so, give him his favorite treats. You may also want to read about 10 Common Household Items That Terrify Your Dog.
7. Place some Treats Inside the Crate
Place some of his favorite treats inside the crate to get your dog’s attention so he will voluntarily go inside the crate. This is best for the introduction for the crate. However, you can still put his favorite treats inside although he already got used to the crate.
If your dog refuses being inside and keep whining for over than 5 minutes straight, let him leave the crate but never give up to try. Don’t let him learn that whining means escape from the crate. Be patience and don’t get easily fooled by his whining game.
8. Place some Toys Inside the Crate
Similar to the trick above, place his toys inside the crate. The toys are very tempting for the dogs so he will come inside the crate. Train him to play inside the crate for a while with the door closed. Let him stay inside for less than a minute in his first days and give him treats. Try to let him stay inside longer the other days and go on until he is comfortable enough to spend times inside the crate for an hour or so. If you are curious, you can read about 10 Ways to Save Your Dog That Afraid Of Loud Noises.
9. Feed the Dog Inside the Crate
Another way to make your dog love being in the crate is by placing his food inside the crate so he will eat inside the crate. Thus, he will begin to spend some minutes inside the crate. Begin to feed him inside the crate on his eating time.
If he refuses to eat whenever you put the food bowl inside the crate, wait for one or two hours if he would be tempted to eat inside because he is very hungry. However, don’t starve him for too long. Set the eating time consistently each day so your dog will get used to it and hopefully he will automatically go inside the crate when the eating time is coming.
10. Train Him with the Door Closed
Train your dog to stay inside the crate with the door closed. This is beneficial for you if you need to travel with him. Or, if he needs to go to the vet for regular check ups. Another benefit if your dog love being in the crate is that your dog will be more relaxed in his sleeping time since dogs are too sensitive of the lightest sounds and movements even when he is sleeping.
Keep in mind for not keeping your dog in the crate for too long. Consult your favourite vets for the maximum time your dog allowed inside the crate for regular and specific situations to prevent your dog from anxiety and panic. Here you can read about How to Train Puppies to Stop Fighting Each Other in The House.
Generally, you can leave your dog for more than 5 hours ONLY at night. Leave him in the crate for no more than 60 minutes at a time in his first 10 weeks old and 3 hours when he is 14 weeks old. You can leave him up to 4 hours if he is at least 16 weeks old and more than 5 hours if he is older than 17 weeks. However, don’t let him inside for more than 6 hours straight. Ways of how to make your dog love being in the crate are simple, but quite hard to do. You need constant trainings at almost exact time everyday until he gets the goals.