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Love ‘em or hate ‘em, dog crates provide a special doggie den in your home while saving your best sofa from a hairy existence. The ability to spend a bit of time in a crate or behind a gate should be a skill every dog should have, just like Sit or Stay, so he can hang out stress-free at the groomer’s, veterinarian’s office, or while traveling. Even a former pillow-hogging poodle can learn to like his new digs with a little persuasion.
The old rusting metal variety you banished to the garage has gone way upscale with sleek wood and wicker models designed to fit into our living areas, right where the dog wants to be. And crate training dogs does not have to be as hard as it seems.
4 Easy Tips for Crate Training Dogs
Try these tips to get your dog to hop in to the crate without a fuss.
1. Put Treats in Crate
Hold your dog gently, and face him toward the open dog crate or pen door. Toss several tasty treats inside, the meatier, the better. Keep your dog restrained for a second, then say, “Get the treat!” as you let go. Allow him to come out again right away without closing the door.
2. Leave the Room
Do this again several times and when the dog is diving in willingly, close the pen door. Stay in the room and ignore the dog. Walk by twice and drop a couple of treats in. If the dog remains quiet, let him out right away.
3. All Food in Crate
Feed all meals, give all treats, and provide chew bones and water in the crate. Toss goodies in when the dog isn’t looking and let him find them on his own. This helps your dog see his private place as a treasure trove of wonders.
4. You Are the Alpha Dog
Your dog reads you like a book, so if you make a sad face when he whines a bit, he will work that like a terrier until you let him out. Teach him that he can come out of his dog crate only when he is quiet. Be consistent, calm and cool and your dog will take your cue when it comes to crate training.
Video: Richell’s Freestanding Pet Gates
Still hate the dog crate? Try an eco-friendly pet gate instead. The Japanese-designed Take Freestanding Pet Gate (View on Amazon) in natural, sustainable bamboo will ease your guilt and give your dog lots of space and security. Now you can sit on your sofa while wearing a little black dress and leave the lint brush in the car.
Check out this video to learn more about why I think this is a great solution:
What are your tips for crate training a dog?