One of the necessary parts of owning a dog is having to crate them from time to time. Nobody enjoys putting their pup in the crate while they stare back at you with those big brown eyes, making you feel guilty. They may even resist and be stubborn while going inside.
Maybe you’ve considered letting them roam free while you’re out, but decide it’s too risky with their destructive habits. Some dogs just love to destroy things and yours might be one of them. In this post, we will go over how to make your dog’s time in the crate more enjoyable so that you can rest easy while they are inside.
When you first start crate training your dog it’s important not to rush into it.
You can start off by feeding them their meals inside with the door open. After a few meals inside you can close the door for around 10 minutes. Once they are comfortable with this, you can increase the time to 30 minutes. If they can go for 30 minutes without lots of distress, then you should be ok to leave them in there for a couple hours while you’re out.
Limit Their Time Inside
Ideally, your dog shouldn’t be crated for over 4 hours at a time. They will have no choice but to go to the bathroom inside if they aren’t given regular breaks.
Keep It Quiet
If there are any distractions or noise near where the crate is located, then it might be better to move it somewhere quieter.
Environmental noise and distractions can cause anxiety and stress in some dogs. This will make them not like their crate as they will associate the crate with all those bad feelings.
If you’re able to get your pooch to fall asleep while they are in their kennel, then you’re in a good situation. A sleeping dog sprawled out in their kennel is not going to be whining or trying to escape.
So how do you help them fall asleep? Well, a good start is to use a high-quality dog bed. If your pooch is destructive, an unchewable bed is ideal. You also want it to be easy on their joints if they are getting older. An orthopedic bed will work well for older canines.
When choosing a good dog cage, you want to get a product that is sized well for your best friend. It should be big enough that they can stand up, turn around, and lie down with ease.
At the same time, you don’t want to get one that’s too big, or else they could get into the habit of using it as a bathroom. For puppies, you’ll want to get a cage big enough for their full adult size, then block off all the extra space until they need it. Crate dividers come with a lot of different models, some of which can be seen here.
Dogs learn the best through positive reinforcement. If you can make your dog associate their time in the crate with good feelings they will be much more likely to enjoy their time in there.
It’s no secret dogs love treats but you can use this love to your advantage. Filling a kong toy up with peanut butter or treats is a great way to keep them occupied for hours. The tough material of the toy will stop them from devouring the treats all at once, and you can even freeze the toy beforehand to make them work harder for the goodies inside. Bones also work well for this purpose.
Hiding some treats inside the crate when they aren’t around is another sneaky strategy. If they think there is any chance of getting a treat you will have no problem getting them inside.
Just like treats, dogs love to play with their toys for hours on end. It’s more ideal for them to be satisfied with toys because you don’t have to replace them as often like with treats, so try putting their favorite toy in the crate and see if it keeps them occupied.
Crating your dog may be necessary sometimes, but it doesn’t have to be uncomfortable or stressful for them. We’re confident that if you follow the tips in this post, your pooch will be much happier inside their crate.