How to Start Crate Training

dog crate

To crate train your dog can be a long process but we recommend it in order to provide a safe place for your new puppy to sleep during the night or stay in during times you and your family are not home. The safety and security of your dog comes first and crate training helps.

To start the crate training process, you will need to choose a crate. You will need to purchase a crate large enough for your dog to enter and turn around in. You should also line the crate with blankets and plush items for your dog to relax and nap on.

Once the crate is ready, you can start training. The first step is to place a handful of dog treats or maybe a brand new chew toy right in the entrance of the crate. This will encourage your dog to place their head and mouth in the crate to eat the treats or grab the toy.

Once this step is complete, place additional treats or a new toy in the back of the crate and encourage your dog to enter the crate. Leave the door open during this step of the training.

Once your dog is willing to enter the crate, repeat this step only close the door behind your dog for 30 seconds to 1 minute each time. You should stay near the crate during this process and provide words of comfort and encouragement.

Now that your dog is OK to enter the crate and stay in it with the door closed, start increasing the amount of time you leave your dog in the crate until your dog is willing to remain in the crate for 15 minutes with you near it.

The next step is for you to leave the crate area. Repeat the previous steps with the first instance being 30 seconds to 1 minute. Then increase the time until you are able to be away from the crate for 15 minutes or longer.

The first real test will be to leave your home with your dog in the crate for 15-30 minutes. Don’t extend the time too much beyond that. If your dog masters this step of the training then he or she will start to be willing to stay in the crate overnight or for a few hours at a time while you and your family are away from home.

After Crate Training

Only use the crate for the period of time you feel it is necessary in order to ensure your dog is safe in your home and no damage will occur to your home. Once your dog is familiar with his surroundings and mature you will no longer need the crate.

Is Your Dog Afraid of Loud Noises?

scared dog

A lot of dogs hate loud noises. The noises are unexpected and frightening. Common sources of light noises that frighten dogs are thunderstorms and firecrackers.

The good news is you can calm your dog’s fear of loud noises in a few ways:

MUSIC

If your dog is afraid of loud noises, you can turn on music during a thunderstorm or fireworks show to drown out the sounds. The loud music is more consistent and rhythmic than a thunderstorm and is therefore much less frightening to a dog.

RETREAT

You can create a safe retreat for your dog during a storm with a toy and a cushioned sleeping area. This should provide a sense of comfort for the dog during the times the storm is very loud and scary.

TREAT

You can also offer a treat to the dog during the storm. The treat should distract the dog from the noises outside. If your dog is extremely afraid, consider saving a special treat in your home just for these occasions.

PLAYTIME

You can play with your dog throughout the duration of the storm. If the game is fun, it will distract the dog from the storm outside and it will provide exercise for the dog too which he or she will need if they’re unable to go outside in the rain.

REASSURANCE

If these distractions do not work and your dog is still afraid, you can simply rest near the dog and reassure him or her that everything is OK.

TRAINING

If the dog’s fear of loud noises doesn’t seem too extreme, you might consider behavioral training to cure them of the fear.

You can purchase an audio tape or recording of storm noises and play it at random times in your home at a low volume.

Periodically turn up the volume once the dog no longer notices the sounds of the tape. Soon the dog might drown out the sounds of the storm entirely and the fear of loud noises could be gone.

Remember … we never recommend leaving your dog in their crate or cage during a storm if the dog is afraid of loud noises. This will be a very traumatic experience for the dog and it will be much harder to comfort them the next time a storm occurs.