Many of us see the need for and benefits of crating our dogs. There are some important points you will want to keep in mind when it comes to making the experience successful and enjoyable for everyone in the home.
Here’s a basic list of some do’s and don’ts.
The things you should do:
- Do- crate when you can’t supervise your dogs. This may mean at night, when you leave the house, and when you are very busy doing other things.
- Do- crate new dogs and dogs who could use help in the behavior department, but the crate can be a beneficial tool for all dogs.
- Do- teach your dog not to charge into or out of the crate. Teach them to wait for permission before entering and exiting.
- Do- make sure you take them out for adequate potty breaks. Young puppies need to go out quite often, older dogs can usually wait several hours between trips outside.
- Do- reward your dog for good behavior in the crate from time to time. If you notice they are calm, quiet, and relaxed in the kennel you can drop in a kibble or small treat to reward the good behavior.
- Do- ignore the dog when they’re in there. Don’t make a fuss when you arrive home from work or when you are about to leave. Wait until the excitement has died down before you approach the kennel.
- Do- correct for barking in the kennel. You can use a burst of compressed air from a pet convincer, throw a bonker (rolled up towel) at the kennel, shake a can of pennies, use a Doggie Don’t (noise aversive), or correct with e collar or bark collar.
- Do- feed your dog in the kennel. This makes it a rewarding and desirable spot.
- Do- keep fresh water in the crate. There are buckets, clip on bowls, and water bottles available.
The things you don’t want to do:
- Don’t- reward your dog by letting them out when they bark.
- Don’t -use the crate as a punishment. The crate should be kind of like a den. If your dog has done something wrong and you are getting frustrated it is ok to kennel them up. Just make sure you are calm and not angry when you put them in it.
- Don’t- wait for your dog to start barking to go out in the morning. A responsible dog owner will make sure they get up before their dog and take them out.
- Don’t- bribe your dog by constantly throwing treats inside the kennel in order to get them to go inside. At first you can use food to lure them in, but then you will want to wait until they have entered before producing the treat. Next you will want to only give the treat on a variable schedule. Finally you won’t need any treats.
- Don’t- make your dog dependent on chews and toys for entertainment in the crate. The majority of the time spent in the kennel should be sleeping and relaxing, no toys needed.