There are many reasons why a dog box can be useful for a dog. A crate helps some dogs to feel safe when driving. Others have a flight that they have to spend in a transport box. And still others simply use it as a retreat in their own home. In order for your dog to actually feel comfortable in a crate, you first have to get him used to it.
Why dog crate training makes sense
Before you rush into the dog crate training, the first thing to do is to choose the right dog box. There are different models depending on what you need them for. You should also consider your dog’s personality when making your selection. For example, if you have a very anxious dog, the rattling of a metal cage could make him even more unsettled. Rather, he may need a box that doesn’t make any noise when he moves.
A dog crate as a retreat
Boxes are not only practical for transporting on the plane or in the car. They are also a useful support for different problems. you can use them:
- so that your dog learns to stay alone ,
- if your dog has problems with visitors,
- to give him a space where he can relax undisturbed.
Dog crate training step by step
The dog box is here, let’s get started! Now it’s time to take one small step after the next, because the key to success lies in your patience.
The basic requirements for practicing should always be a relaxed atmosphere, because restlessness or hecticness can have a impact on your dog. Do lots of short workouts rather than a long one and spread them out throughout the day.
The goal is for your dog to go into the crate voluntarily and enjoy being there. For this reason it is necessary that you associate the dog crate with positive things and proceed without pressure.
This is how you build up the dog crate training:
Explore the box
First, let your dog explore the box, i.e. sniff it. Praise him when he shows interest in it! Place some treats in front of or near the opened box. Your dog can take them and leave. Instead of the treats, you can also give your dog his food in the box.
Go into the box
Now put the treats on the inside of the box (not all the way to the back). Make sure that the door cannot close by itself so that your dog is not startled. The next step is to put the treats further back in the box so your dog has to go inside to get them.
If your dog dares to go into the box, you connect the whole thing with a signal. You put treats in the back, he goes in and you say something like “Go in the box.”
Training the signal
If this step also works, then first send your dog into the box with the signal and only then give him a reward inside .
Close the door
Now the point has come when you start to close the door. Do this very briefly at first, praise your dog, and let him out again.
Extend the duration
To extend the duration, give your dog something to nibble or lick the next few times. Place chewing sticks that your dog likes and keeps him busy for a while. Meanwhile, you sit nearby, read a book or rest too. It is best to choose a time when your dog would like to doze anyway.
Get him used to the crate
When he’s relaxed in his crate, walk around the room a bit so he gets used to the movement. Don’t leave him alone in the room yet and that’s the next step. Is he keeping quiet? Fine! Does he get restless? Then you sit back down and wait for him to calm down. Only then do you let him out again.
Note: Always let your dog out of the crate when he is calm and don’t wait until when he is whining. In order for this not to happen, it is so important that you practice the steps listed above frequently with him.
Depending on the dog breed, you may make very rapid progress or it may take a long time. You can find out how to deal with possible problems in the next section.
Possible problems in dog box training
For some dogs, box training works in no time, while others just don’t want to get used to it. It may be necessary to try a bit here. Under no circumstances should you force him to do anything, as this will only make the situation worse.
Does your dog not go into the crate voluntarily?
There can be various reasons for this. On the one hand, it may be that the box is uncanny for him. Some dogs feel more comfortable in the metal cages than in completely enclosed ones because they can see outside. If you use a fabric box whose side walls you can open, try it out and see if that helps. Some dogs also feel more comfortable in a box that is significantly larger than they actually need. So that too is something you can test.
Your dog jumps up immediately when you move?
You may have proceeded too quickly with the previous steps. Practice and repeat the sixth and seventh training step intensively. If you use a metal cage, it can help if you hang a blanket over the box and thereby block your dog’s view a little. However, observe carefully whether this is good for him or rather worries him.
If your dog cannot calm down in the crate or if it suffers from severe separation anxiety , then you should get the support of a dog trainer.
Choose a quiet spot to place the box. If this is in the middle of the room and someone is constantly walking past your dog, he will hardly be able to relax there. If your four-legged friend learns to accept the box as a place of relaxation and retreat, then he will not be disturbed by any family member.
Conclusion – do not rush
Even if you would like to have the result immediately, dog crate training takes time and patience. For your four-legged friend, a box can become a great retreat where he can relax. So, in the long run, your initial investment will pay off and bring mutual benefits.
Do you want to get your dog used to a crate? Or have you already done it? How did you succeed? Share your experiences with us, we look forward to your comments.