Adult Dog Crate Training
dog training

Adult Dog Crate Training

Adult dog crate training can require a little more time and patience than puppy dog crate training, but it is definitely not undoable. Puppies have a natural tendency to stay in their safe den, while adult dogs typically need a little coaxing before they start seeing the dog crate as their den. An adult dog has probably already picked out a spot in your home that it think of as its safe den – your bedroom, the hallway close to the font door, a secluded corner under a bed or similar. The aim of adult dog crate training is to make the adult dog think of the dog crate as its own den. A well trained adult dog will happily return to its dog crate on its own because it likes to relax there, not because you force it.

Adult dog crate training should not be hastened. It is important to make the adult dog associate the dog crate with positive feelings of security. If you toss the dog into the dog crate, slam the door and leave the poor creature alone for a long period of time it will definitely think that it is being punished for something. It will associate the dog crate with a sense of being abandoned and punished and it will probably retort to excessive barking, whining and similar just to gain someone’s attention.

The best course of action is instead to make the dog enter the dog crate without being forced. You can for instance arouse your dogs’ curiosity by playing with him and tossing his favourite toy into the crate. The dog will most likely follow the toy, and when the dog enters the dog crate you should give it a lot of praise and perhaps even a small treat. It is important that the dog feels free to leave the crate at any time; the door must be wide open and preferably also secured to prevent it from suddenly slamming shut. This is the first step of adult dog crate training. When you have repeated it several times over the course of several days, you can proceed to stage two. You have to take your dogs’ personality and previous training into account here, some dogs need a lot of adult dog crate training before they are ready to proceed to stage two, while others are very curious about the dog crate from day one and voluntarily enter to explore it.

Stage two of adult dog crate training is to encourage your dog to lie down and rest inside the dog crate. You can for instance give it a chewing bone to enjoy inside the crate. Gently close the door, but do not leave the room. The dog must not feel abandoned or punished in any way. It is therefore important to stay outside the dog crate and continue to give your dog some attention. Praise it for staying inside the dog crate.

Stage three of adult dog crate training is to leave the room while your dog is locked up inside the dog crate. If the dog starts barking, whining or throwing itself against the dog crate it is very important not to reward this type of behaviour. If you return to the room, the dog will continue to do this every time you leave it alone in the dog crate. You should therefore wait until the dog becomes silent before you return to the room. Give your dog a lot of praise for being silent and reward it with a treat. If the dog is silent from the start, it is important to leave it only for a brief moment of time. Reward it by returning soon and give it lot’s of praise and a treat. This way, it will have less time to develop the bad habit of barking or yelling inside the dog crate to get your attention.

Dog Crate Training Articles

Older Dog Crate Training - An article about how to crate train older dogs.
Puppy Dog Crate Training - An article about how to crate train puppy dogs
Separation Anxiety Dog Crate Training - Information and tips about how to crate train a dog that is suffering from separation anxiety.