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    Dog Training and How to Crate Train a Dog

    Using a crate will not only help you train your dog, but will help your dog feel a sense of comfort in having a place to go when they feel stressed from noisy or distracting situations.

    If you want to crate train your dog or puppy but aren't sure how to begin, read this guide for tips on how to crate train a dog or puppy and why crate training is a good option for both you and your pet.

    Dogs and Crates

    Some pet owners may not think a dog would be happy in a crate and are reluctant to use pet crates for training; however a dog's natural instinct is to have a "den", or a safe, secure, clean, semi-dark nesting space that is away from noise or other distractions. Experienced dog trainers use crates for training because it is the most natural way to appeal to your dog's instinctual behavior because crates offer dogs a space that feels like their own. Using a crate will not only help you train your dog, but will help your dog feel a sense of comfort in having a place to go when they feel stressed from noisy or distracting situations.

    Why Crate Train your Dog?

    Crate training can be used for a dog of any age, including puppies and older adult dogs. Crate training can help with many types of training, including housebreaking, chewing, and traveling.

    Housebreaking a Puppy Using Crate Training

    Dogs naturally want to avoid using the bathroom in their "den", or crate. Scheduling potty times is a great way to help your young dog learn bladder and bowel control and feel comfortable with waiting for the appropriate time and place to relieve itself.

    Control Destructive Puppy Chewing by Using a Crate

    In addition to housebreaking, crate training a dog or puppy can be used to break destructive chewing habits. Your dog cannot chew on shoes or furniture while in the crate. The only things your puppy or dog is allowed to chew on are the designated dog chew toys you provide. This will help your pet learn what is, and is not, meant for chewing. Be sure to provide age-appropriate chew toys for young puppies, and never provide small toys that can be swallowed or choked on.

    Traveling with a Pet in a Crate

    Another common use for a crate in training is teaching your dog to travel in a car. If your dog is anxious about traveling or gets motion sick, using a pet crate or a pet carrier in your car or truck helps teach the dog to stay put while in a moving or parked vehicle. This will keep you safe while driving and keep your dog safe by preventing your pet from getting lost.

    How to Crate Train a Puppy or Dog

    Be patient with your dog when introducing it to the crate. It may take some time for some dogs to warm up to their new room. Here are some quick tips for crate training your pet:

    • Get a crate that fits your pet. Having a pet crate that is too large can make a dog feel less secure and possibly make the dog want to use the bathroom on one end. A pet crate that is too small will be uncomfortable for the animal. Your pet should be able to comfortably walk into the pet crate, stand, turn around, lie down and sprawl.
    • Do not leave young puppies unsupervised in their crate with small toys or treats such as rawhide, chew bones or other chewy dog snacks. Small puppies can choke easily.
    • Do not leave small puppies in a crate for too long. Puppies have poor bladder and bowel control and should not be left in a crate longer than their age, in months, in hours. For example, if a puppy is two months old, do not leave the puppy in a crate longer than two hours before allowing it to go potty except at night when you are sleeping.
    • Do not use a choke collar on a dog in a crate. Dogs can choke themselves to death.