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Crate Training Your Dog

Why Crate Training

1. To give the dog his special place - his den.

Dogs are denning animals and you will usually find a dog sleeping in a far away corner or behind a piece of furniture in an effort to simulate a den. They will often take a favorite toy or bone to their hidaway. Why not give them their own den. Leave an open crate in a quiet, but not isolated place. A corner of the family room is usually a nice spot, or, if you have a large kitchen, a quiet corner of the kitchen.

2, To give you a place to keep the dog when you are not home.

Nobody enjoys coming home to a "doggie disaster area." We don't enjoy having to clean up the mess and the dog soon learns to fear our homecoming. Think about it. You come home to a mess and begin yelling at and scolding the dog and the dog begins to associate your coming home with being yelled at. Not good for anyone, right. Using a crate will eliminate the "tear up the house" routine engaged in by some dogs to alleviate boredom. They actually learn to rest quietly while waiting for your return.

3. To use as a housebreaking aid.

Dogs will not generally eliminate in their sleeping place. Crating a dog when you cannot watch him will sometimes help in housebreaking. This works well when you are away, or unable to watch the dog and also overnight. Don't use it as an excuse to not take the dog out when he has to go. See the section on housebreaking.
How To Get The Dog Used To The Crate.

Begin by feeding the dog in his crate. Give all treats to the dog in his crate. Put his toys in his crate. Don't close the door of the crate until he goes in the crate on his own and lies down frequently. When you do begin to close the door, do it for short periods of time (5 - 10 minutes to begin, working up to longer times) and give the dog a treat or toy while he's in the crate. Be sure to praise him for being a good dog when you let him out. Remember, if he fusses, do not let him out while he is fussing. Wait for a quiet moment and reward him for being quiet and let him out at that time. If you let him out while he fusses, he will learn to bark and fuss to get out. You want to teach him to be quiet while in the crate.
Rules Of Crating

1. Never use the crate as a form of punishment.

2. Don't leave the dog in a crate for long periods of time. Three to four hours is maximum without a potty break.

3. If you crate while you are at work, try to come home for lunch to let the dog out or have a neighbor come in to let the dog our for a break during the day. Its unrealistic to expect the dog to remain in his crate for what could be a 10 hour day. Even if your dog can hold it that long, its not healthy for a dog to go that long without relieving himself - could YOU.


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