2.2.3 Crate Training

Crate training is becoming recognized as an important tool for dog training. While some people misunderstand crates as cruel place to put dogs, it is actually a preferred place for many dogs once they learn crate training. In the wild, it is common for animals to find a small cave in the side of a hill for shelter or concealment. By crate training a puppy you are actually accommodating your dog’s natural instincts.
It is important not to use the crate as a punishment tool. In this course we learn how to use the crate in a positive way such that the dog learns to use it as a den.
Why is Crate Training important?
  • Teach dogs to be alone, prevent separation anxiety
  • Teach concept of controlling access
  • Teach potty training
  • Useful in transporting dogs
  • Safe place
  • Increase motivation before training session
Step 1: Choose the type of dog crate 1) Metal dog crate 2) Plastic dog crate
Step 2: Choose the correct dog crate size
Step 3: Choose the correct place for the dog crate
Step 4: Introduce the crate
Crate Games:
Practice being in crate = treat
  • Throw treat into crate. Treat puppy in the crate.
  • “Good” and treat
  • Increase duration between “Good” and walk away progressively further. Come back to reward them
  • Don’t treat when dog is outside
Practice going in crate + command
  • Throw treat in and out of crate. More/better treats inside crate than outside.
  • Progress: Throw treat into crate before puppy notices
  • Add command “crate” when dog can consistently go in
Crate Training Tips
  • Don’t let them out when they demand bark (“Quiet!” & knock the crate). Let them out if they bark to pee.
  • Don’t create frustration in the crate/excitement near crate
  • Feed your dog in the crate during meal times
  • Drain energy before putting into crate
  • Chew toy in crate to occupy them
  • Treats on top of crate
  • Move the crate around the house
  • Don’t create patterns with the crate e.g. don’t put the dog in only when you are out
Crate Drills
  • Crate dog with handler sitting on chair in front of crate, watching the attention of the dog
  • Create distractions e.g. assistant enter room, when dog is distracted, lightly tap the crate and give treat when dog gives attention
  • Pre-empt distraction and give food so that dog is attentive during the distraction
  • Use higher distractions as attention is built
  • Owner seated beside crate
  • Owner walks out of room, replaced by hidden assistant (beside crate)
Note on Bedding in Crates:
  • Dogs may chew bedding in crates if bored
  • Bedding must be supervised at first
  • If dog chews bedding, tap the crate and direct to chew toy
  • Take it away if they have tendency to chew bedding