My Dog Hates Crate Training

Since the dawn of time, man and beast alike have always seemed to want their own ‘space.’ The earliest man dwelt in caves, and even the dinosaurs had their own designated dens. A place they could call their own.

Modern man isn’t much different. Ever heard of a ‘man-cave?’ At least the family dog has moved up to a crate! Pay attention wives…the next time your husband misbehaves, you might want to consider the all-new ‘man-crate!’

Even though a crate seems like a good idea, it may take some very aggressive training to get your man… I mean your dog to comply. The family dog, husband or otherwise, should have his own room. And he should feel comfortable in it. So, the crate needs to become his ‘room.’

When you begin to crate train the dog just keep in mind it may take a bit more time to do. You are the key to successful crate training. You hold all the cards and you are just trying to get a new behavior from your dog.

Arming yourself with the right information, the right plan, a lot of patients, consistency, and treats, you can get the desired behavior. From your husband or the dog!

Keeping it in proportion

Before you even begin to crate train, think about your dog and the crate. It does not matter if you bought your puppy from a reputable breeder, or adopted a dog from the shelter.

Chances are, he has some really bad feelings towards being crated. All he has known thus far is ‘in crate bad’ and ‘out of crate good.’ And now you want him in the crate. Right.

Before you can get the desired results, size it all up. Do not try to train a Labrador to use a crate designed for a Beagle. Unless the Lab is a contortionist who worked in a circus.

The size of the dog needs to be proportionate to the size of the crate. He needs to be able to turn around easily and have enough room to stretch out comfortably. The same type of conditions you look for in a hotel room!

The crate should be as wide as it is long and tall enough for the dog to stand at attention. If the crate isn’t comfy, don’t expect him to use it…ever!

Open door policy

For the purpose of training, either remove the door of the crate, tie it in the open position, or bungee cord it to stay open. The ‘open-door policy’ is the first step in successful crate training.

If the dog goes into the crate for the first time and hears the door ‘clang’ shut he will feel trapped. You are not trying to trap the dog. You want him to go and come as he pleases in his crate.

A good practice for use long after training is, when you are home, the crate is open. The door shutting behind him frightens him and makes him defensive, not docile.

In and out… Out and in

Start the actual entering of the crate by tossing a few of his favorite toys inside. When he chases after they make sure he is associating going inside of the crate with a reward.

He gets his toys and a treat. Make him come out for the treat, don’t throw it into him. If you did, he would have no reason to come out.

For the first few days do not force him to go in the crate. But when he does offer up a treat to get him to come out. After a few days of the game, switch it around.

Toss in a treat instead of his toys. Then coax him out with a toy. Reinforce the fact he can feel safe whether going in or coming out of the crate. It also means some awesome fun times with you!

Don’t fear the crate

If the dog seems to be a bit reluctant to enter the crate, he may be scared of it. After all, the only association of the crate has not been one of the fond memories. You might need to get creative.

First of all, he has to want to go in. If the inside isn’t calling him to come in, he never will. Make sure the bottom of the crate is totally covered with his favorite blanket, pillows, toys, whatever he associates as being ‘good’ and ‘fun’ needs to be inside the crate.

If he is stopping short of going into the crate, the crate itself may need to be disguised. Hopefully, he has more than one favorite blanket you can use to ‘camouflage’ the crate and give it a friendly smell.

Closing the gate

Once the dog seems okay with both the crate and being in the crate, begin closing the door. When he enters the crate shut the door. But only when you want him to stay confined.

Don’t expect him not to yowl his brains out if you shut the door and leave him alone, while you are home. Use some consistency in only shutting him in the crate when need be.

And when he starts to yowl at night when he’s in the crate, don’t cave in and let him out! He will then learn if he yells loud enough, you will come to the rescue.

Tiring him out

When you want him in the crate, say for the night, tire him out before making him go to bed. When he goes to his ‘room’ he might put up a little fuss, but soon enough the tiredness will take over!

Soon enough he will get the idea. It’s his room and he will go to it on command! It just takes time to get him over his previous encounters with crates.

In conclusion

By getting a good plan and sticking to it, you can crate train, potty train, whatever train! Just keep being an awesome pet owner and you will succeed!

I have to go now, somebody wants me back in my ‘man-crate!’…Where’s my treat?

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