Crate training a dog is really important. It gives your dog a safe place to rest and relax while you are otherwise occupied. It keeps a dog from doing unwanted behaviors like garbage diving, pottying in the house, etc. So here’s how to crate train a dog:
Using a leash, lead the dog into the crate. Once the dog goes into the crate, shut the door to the crate. Open the crate door. If the dog tries to step out of the crate, shut the door to the crate again. We want the dog to wait for you to ask him to exit the crate before stepping out. Again, open the crate door. If the dog tries to step out again, close the door. If the dog does not step out, then you take the leash and give a verbal command like “OK” or “Let’s go” and guide the dog out of the crate.
You need to repeat this exercise 5-10 times without the dog attempting to exit the crate prior to being asked. Once the dog will stay in the crate until you ask him to exit, then you can make this exercise more challenging for the dog. You can take a step back from the crate entrance with the door open and see if your dog will stay. If your dog does try to leave the crate, then you will again close the crate door. Keep working on increasing the distance from you to the crate with the dog staying inside the crate.
How to crate train a dog…
When you have success with the dog staying in the crate until you ask him to leave, you are at a really good point in crate training your dog.
Some tips for making crating easier:
When leaving or returning to your dog in the crate – do this quietly without making a big deal about it. This keeps a calm, relaxed environment where your dog doesn’t have increased anxiety or excitement about crating or getting out of the crate.
When letting your dog out of the crate – be sure your dog is relaxed and quiet before allowing him out. If the dog is super excited, simply wait by the crate until he calms down.
When you have problems with barking or whining in the crate – create an interruption of this activity by lightly banging the side of the crate or creating an “earthquake” by slightly lifting the crate and setting it back down.
Sometimes let the dog stay in the crate while you are home – this lets the dog know that it’s not just a place to stay while you are away, and will help the dog to get used to being in the crate while there is activity going on in the home.
If your dog scratches, bites, or claws at the crate – just like when the dog is whining or barking, immediately interrupt this behavior by lightly banging the side of the crate or creating an “earthquake” by slightly lifting the crate and setting it back down.