Something that is often a polarising topic among dog owners is whether or not to crate train your pup when you bring them home for the first time.
Crate training involves using a dog crate or kennel inside and encouraging your pooch to view it as their home within a home, a place of their own that’s safe and familiar, somewhere they can go if they need some alone time or need somewhere to escape in a new or stressful environment.
There are all sorts of benefits associated with crate training, everything from giving your four-legged friend somewhere to go when they’re stressed, tired or nervous to helping them settle in new places, making it easier to travel with them and even helping them get to grips with toilet training, since dogs usually avoid toileting where they sleep.
To get started with crate training, put the crate somewhere at home with the door open and secured. Put some bedding that they’re familiar with in the crate so it smells like them and is more comfortable for them to snuggle up in.
Once it’s all set up, let the dog into the room and let them have a good sniff about, investigating the crate without your involvement. If they show any interest in the crate, reward them with their favourite treats and if they go inside, reward them again – but do not shut the door, as they may not be prepared for this and it could put them off.
Keep the door open for a while to give them the freedom to come and go as you please, but perhaps consider making the environment even more appealing for them by putting treats and toys inside.
From there, you can start closing the door while they’re inside (without locking it). Continue in this way for a couple of days until you’re sure that your dog is happy with being inside. Try locking the door while you’re still in the room and see what happens.
You can then build the time up until they’re happy being left when you’re not in the house. Whatever you do, however, always make sure that they have easy access to water, whether they’re crated or otherwise.
Need any help with dog training in South London? Get in touch with Sean Hyden today to see how he can help.