Crate Training Your Dog Should be the Lesson he Never Knew he Learned
Crate training your dog should begin when he is a puppy, or at least when you first get him, and continue throughout your pet’s life. By making his crate kennel as much a part of his secure and familiar environment as possible you allow him to be comfortable and relaxed around it and either of you will ever have to endure the horrors of an unhappy crated dog!
If you are ever going to have to put your dog in a crate for reasons of travel or housing then the kindest thing to do is to introduce your pet to the idea as early as possible. That doesn’t mean pushing him in a crate to get him used to the idea! What it means is that you find an appropriately sized crate for your animal, and you put it with him in his room. When you first do this it is a good idea to place a treat inside the crate, put the crate on the floor and leave it’s door open so your dog can investigate it and enjoy the treat.
By taking such a casual approach you don’t even have to instruct your pet to go into the crate or teach him anything atall; you merely buy the crate and place it on the floor of his room and let him get used to it being a part of his landscape. It is a good idea to occasionally put treats in the crate so your pet makes positive associations with it. By putting a comfortable cushion and even placing new toys in the crate your dog will understand it as a comfortable place where he will be rewarded and find enjoyment. You might even place the crate next to his bed and discover him sleeping there instead.
Once your dog has become entirely familiar with the carrying crate you can introduce the idea of the door being closed while he is in there. The best way to do this is to put some treats inside for him to enjoy then close the door while he eats them,. The first few times this should only be done for a few minutes so he experiences no anxiety over the new situation; and remain by the crate throughout so he doesn’t feel any insecurity.
As with all training procedures it is all to do with taking small steps and slowly lengthening them. The first time you carry your dog whilst he is inside the case should be only a very short distance, perhaps to your chair where you will place him next to you. Always have the happiness and comfort of your dog foremost in your mind and by the time he is required to use the crate for real, he will be entirely happy with it and it will not seem unusual atall to him. Crate training your dog should be a gradual affair at a pace which ensures the comfort of you both.