Dogs - Crate Training
By Eric Hartwell
Crates are mostly associated with the use of putting dogs on a leash or limiting their movement so they don’t start messing around the house. Pet owners do this to make sure that their house remains in order and they can teach their dogs ‘manners.’
Naturally, the dogs feel trapped in situations like this. They become restless and, in the long run, they start feeling like prisoners inside the crate. This does not have to be the case, however. By putting in extra effort to train the dog, the crate need not be a place your dog least likes.
Crate Training is for House Training
Although puppies are usually the easiest to deal with because they do not yet have set habits, old dogs can be trained as well through the use of a crate. The trick is to have them to accept the crate as part of their habit. Thus, when telling your dog to go to his crate, be sure to use the same command so that the dog or puppy starts associating it with a specific action.
Starting the dog or puppy on potty training could be done through the use of a crate. First, however, crates should be a place where the pet feels comfortable instead of contained. The crate should be big enough to hold the pet. It should also be kept spic and span at all times so that the pet will get used to the same conditions eventually.
Keeping Your Dog Crate-Happy
Pets should not be held up for far too long in their crates. They can become uneasy and discontented due to prolonged inactivity. The dogs will start whining and barking when that happens.
Dogs love being praised, so give your dog lavish praise when he follows your command that he get inside the crate. Your dog will look forward to another opportunity to please you by promptly complying when you give him the same command to enter his crate again.
Providing your dog his meals while he is inside the crate would be an additional incentive for him to love the crate. The meals should be given at regular intervals, or course. Also, the meals have to be something he likes. Day and in day out, routines have to be followed when your dog is in the crate so the dog will start getting the drift, too.
You can also try giving him his special doggie treats inside the crate. You should do it so that he only gets a favorite treat when he’s inside the crate. If you do this, your dog will stop dreading going into the crate. He will actually begin to have a positive attitude to your crate training because he associates it with his favorite treat.
Crate training is not a waste of time because it sets rules in the house the dog will learn to follow. It means disciplining the dog to follow specific activities at certain times of the day including potty training. If the dog learns the house rules through his crate training, then you and your dog can be assured of having a happy and smooth-sailing relationship afterwards.
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