How to Train your Dog to Crate?
Sometimes the owner is forced to restrict the freedom of his dog, for example, if she chews things or steals food from the table. To avoid these and even more fatal problems, the owners have to leave the dog in the cage. And here it is very important to form a positive association with her in the pet and, of course, to provide comfortable and safe maintenance. Below we will discuss how to do this, how to train your dog to crate, and when you need it at all.
When Should a Dog be Kept in a Crate?
Most often, you have to keep a dog in a cage in the absence of the owners - for the safety of the pet itself and for the safety of the apartment / house. A puppy and even an adult animal can eat something inedible and downright dangerous, chew on wires (and get an electric shock because of this), or just ruin things and furniture.
Remember, the cage should never be used as an alternative to education and training. Also, do not lock a puppy or adult dog in it as a punishment.
Cage Training Algorithm
Direct cage training can be divided into several steps.
1. Introducing the Pet to the Cage
So, a cage in an apartment or house. Do not force the animal into it! Let him get to know her. Keep in mind that such an acquaintance is not a matter of a few minutes or hours, so do not carry a sunbed there. This will not speed up training, but will only disorient the pet. It will seem to him that he is completely left without his place. If your four-legged friend sleeps on a lounger, put a blanket on the floor of the cage; if he doesn't like sun loungers, don't put anything. Leave the door open - let the pet freely familiarize itself with the cage. From time to time leave toys and / or treats inside - then the dog will come in and look for "presents" for itself. It is important that she does not associate such "surprises" directly with your presence.
The preliminary stage can last for several days. It can be considered complete when the pet will calmly go inside the cage, sit in it, lie down, etc. Then you can move the lounger here, if there is one.
2. We Teach to Stay in a Cage
With the help of a treat, lead the dog into the cage, keep the door open. While the animal is inside, praise and treat it. You also need to teach him a release command (for example, "Walk"). Say it and let your four-legged friend come out. If he tries to do it without a command, bring him back with a treat. When releasing a pet, do not forget to use the release command
At the initial stage, arrange short sessions, literally 2-4 minutes, and then take a break.
When you have reached 5 minutes in the cage, start your workout with the door closed. Gradualness is also important here. Close it literally for a second, without using the latch. Encourage your pet, throw a treat over the bars, open the door, give a release command, and release the dog.
Gradually increase the residence time with the door closed. When it exceeds the 10 second mark, start using the latch while training your dog in a similar pattern.
3. We Teach to Stay In the Cage When the Owner is Out of Sight
Now it is important to train your pet to stay in the cage when he cannot see you. Get it inside, close the door and take a few steps back. Wait a bit, go to the cage, give the treat and let the dog out. Gradually increase the number of steps, and then start walking into another room.
When the dog is alone in the room, be careful not to bark or whine. If this happens, then you made a mistake during training, for example: overestimated the endurance of the pet - reduce the time spent in the cage and increase in the course of further exercises; the dog is worried precisely when it is left locked alone in the room, and it attracts your attention with its voice.
Return to the exercises a little back and continue to train; Today there are too many activities, and your four-legged friend is simply tired. To rest, he needs relaxation between sets.
The best relaxation for a pet is playing with the owner. If your dog doesn't want to play, let him go about his business. You can also fool around with her or give her a massage.
What should you do if your dog barks, whines, or scratches the cage when you leave him locked up in a room alone? It will be a mistake to come in and let go - in fact, you will only reinforce the unwanted behavior. The animal will think that in this way it will be able to continue to achieve freedom. Therefore, if the pet is worried, it is better to return to the cage, but not open it and not look at the dog, but just sit down next to him on the floor or squat. Try to position yourself so that your torso is half-sided in relation to the animal. This way you will be in his field of vision, and it will be easier for him to calm down, but at the same time you will not pay attention to him, and therefore, you will not reinforce unwanted behavior. And of course, continue training afterwards.
With love to your dogs, DogRook!