A dog crate is a wire, metal or plastic enclosure in which a dog can be placed for security or transportation purposes. At least once in a dog's life, there is a need for him to use a crate that is why it is best to properly train the dog to go inside a crate without him fearing that he is locked in a small, unsecured place. This article will teach you how to train your dog to go in a crate on command.
- Use a crate depending on your needs. There are a variety of crates available in the market - wire crates, soft crates, and tent-like crates. For shorter transport, you can use the soft and fabric while if you plan to bring your dog on a far destination that need an airplane transportation and the like, you will have to use a wired crate for increased security.
- Associate a crate as a good place to go to. A crate is supposed to be your dog's own little safe home. Put food or toys in the crate ad place him in his crate whenever he is tired or taking a nap to further establish that the crate is an enjoyable and secure place.
- Another way to entice your dog into the crate is by first staying outside the crate with your dog on your side. Open the crate and tease your dog with a food or any treat that he might like. Place the treat inside the crate. More often than not, your dog will go inside the crate and get the treat. If he does this, reward him inside the crate by giving him food, saying happy words, playing with his head, scratching his stomach, or any other reward your dog might like.
- Prepare a trail of treats. If your dog does not go inside the crate, you can do away with a trail of treats - place the treat somewhere near the door of the crate, and another one inside the crate. This will lead to the dog following the trail of treats, and thus going inside the crate. Reward him again when he is already inside the crate.
- Use consistent words and gestures when you command your dog. For instance you can use the command "in the crate" and do a hand flip gesture towards the crate. Do this in a consistent way - same manner, same tone of voice, same gestures and so on. By doing this, the dog will pick up the command even without the treats.
- Never close the door of the crate during the first few days of training. Closing the door will only frighten your dog that the crate is some sort of a jail that will exclude him from his master. Only close the door after 2 weeks or so, when the dog has already associated the crate as a secure place.
Training your dog does not have to be difficult. To ensure that your dog has picked up the command, you should repeat the crate training several times. Usually 2 weeks is more than enough for the dog to properly learn to go inside the crate on command. However, this might vary depending on how the capacities of your dog, and how you relate with him.