We get asked a lot here at Cascade Kennels about the benefits of crate training and how to do it, so we would like to take this opportunity to share with you why we think it’s important and offer some tips on how to crate train your dog.
Crate training your dog offers many benefits; for starters, it satisfies your dog’s need for a safe and secure den-like enclosure that can serve as a mobile, indoor dog house. The crate can be a tool for housebreaking a new puppy as dogs do not like to soil the area where they sleep. Crating your dog can help as you are potty-training them by teaching them self-control while in the crate. It can also to reduce separation anxiety for the times when you need to leave the dog alone and serves as protection against destructive behaviors.
Choosing the Right Crate
Dog crates come in various sizes and materials. It is important that you pay close attention to these details, as they are imperative to the success of your dog’s learning ability. The crate must be small enough for the pet to feel secure, but large enough for them to remain moderately mobile. Many crate manufacturers provide dividers so that you can control the size of the crate as the puppy continues to grow.
The most common crate materials are metal and plastic. Metal, collapsible crates tend to work best because they will hold up to chewing, as puppy likes to do.
The Training Process
Introducing your pet to their crate can make or break the entire experience. Keep in mind that you will only want to evoke positive emotions from your dog when it comes to their crate This means using a soft kind and happy voice when luring them into the crate. Once your dog has comfortably approached the crate, you can begin to use treats and food to get them inside without force. Hold a treat in your hand and have your pet follow you until they have entered the crate. You can also try tossing treats into the crate in order to get them inside.
Once the dog has been introduced to its crate, you can begin feeding your pet one meal a day in their crate. This will encourage your dog to associate their crate with positive feelings. This process can be done in a series of steps. If your dog is slightly reluctant to enter the crate, leave the food dish closer to the entrance. As they continue to grow more comfortable with entering the crate, gradually push the food dish to the back of the crate until the dog has fully entered.
Your dogs comfort level will increasingly grow as time goes on. Begin crating your dog for small time intervals, and gradually increase their crate time as you see fit. Once your pet is fully comfortable entering the crate and quietly sits for 30 minutes at a time, they are ready to be crated when you are not home.
When it comes to training your dog, patience and positive reinforcement are the keys to success. Our training department here at Cascade Kennels uses science-based training techniques to achieve success. We make sure that we set your dog up for success and never use intimidation to try and change behavior. Our goal is to use the least intrusive methods that are simple for both the dog and the human to understand in order to get the best results in a timely fashion.
We offer both Private Lessons, Group Training and Board and Train programs here at Cascade Kennels. Private lessons are ideal for owners who need to work on a specific issue with their dog but don’t have the time to take him to a group session. These lessons are catered to your dog’s specific needs and can cover a wide range of issues. Group classes offer a fun, safe environment for you and your dog to learn how to work together as a team in a number of ways and in distracting environments. Board and Train lessons are a great solution for dogs struggling with certain behavioral issues or for giving puppies a jump-start on good manners.
Visit the dog training sections on our website to learn more about our training options as well as the frequently asked questions regarding our services.