How to Crate Train a Dog

Greyhound loves its crate

This is one of the most useful pieces of training you can do with any dog, and as with all training it’s much easier to develop good habits with puppies.

#1. How to Crate Train a Dog – Introduction

Think of it as a bedroom not a prison. If your pup is comfortable in his crate you’ll make stressful things like trips to the vet much easier, as your dog has his very own home from home.

#2. Choose the Right Sized Crate

Big enough for your dog to stand and stretch out in but small enough to be just a bedroom, not a bedroom with ensuite bathroom! If you want to use the same crate throughout your dogs life, block off the back end for a puppy then expand the space as the dog grows. Make the crate comfortable with a soft blanket or dog bed.

#3. Put the crate somewhere where you and your dog already spend a lot of time…

Then ignore it for a few days…..Your puppy’s natural curiosity will lead him to check out the new furniture. Praise him every time he goes near the crate, leave the door open and drop treats around the opening. Then start to put the treats inside the crate, praise your dog when he goes in, and start to build the association between the word and the place.

#4. Start feeding your dog in the crate

When he’s comfortable with the idea of going into the crate, associating it with food will make the attraction stronger. You can also turn the crate into a game, hiding favourite toys in it.

#5. Shut the door only when your puppy is comfortable and relaxed in the crate

Initially do this while he’s eating and open the door as soon as he’s finished, you can then gradually extend the time your pup spends in the crate after meals but don’t leave him alone at first.

#6. Gradually introduce time alone in the crate

Spend time sat with your dog while he’s in the crate, then leave for a few minutes, spend a few minutes sat with the dog when you come back, then he can come out. Don’t let your pup out of the crate when he’s whining. Generally speaking this means you’re trying to increase crate time too much too quickly, so drop the schedule back a bit, but in any given session wait for a break in the whining before letting him out.

#7. Keep your Balham Doggy Centre sitters or walkers informed

The better we understand your training, the better we can follow your guidelines and make sure that your pup gets the consistency and praise he need to help him grow into a happy secure dog.