Crate training an adult dog can be far more challenging than starting them young. But don’t worry, here are the best tips to help you make crate training a more pleasant experience for both you and your pooch!
Crate Training | How to Train Adult Dogs
Will you be moving homes soon? Or maybe you just adopted an adult dog who isn’t used to staying in a crate? Truth be told, an adult dog forced inside a crate can lead to an agitated and angry dog. What’s worse is that the dog can hurt himself in the process, too. You might have heard that crate training puppy is easier than crate training older dogs. Well, that’s true. But the good news is that it’s not impossible!
Here are five tips to help you with crate training an adult dog — and make him feel comfortable inside the crate, too:
1. Take your dog for a walk or play with it
An adult dog filled with energy will be more difficult to crate train. So what do you need to do? Drain that energy! The best way to do that is to take your dog for a long walk or play with him. Any activity that will make him tired is good. When your dog is exhausted, he is less likely to fight back or cause trouble during crate training.
Additionally, you’ll want to make sure your little buddy has already done his business before putting him inside the crate. The crate is considered to be your pet’s little clean home. Your dog wouldn’t want to soil the crate and obviously, you don’t want that either.
2. Use things that your dog loves as an incentive
What are your dog’s most favorite things? A chew toy, a dog treat or every dog’s favorite–the tennis ball? Whatever it is, use that to encourage your dog to go inside the crate. Leave the treat or the toy inside and once your dog feels that the crate is actually a safe and fun place to be in, he will feel more comfortable inside.
I also want to add that it is important for you to make crate training a fun and pleasant experience with your dog. When your dog sees a crate, he shouldn’t think that a crate is any kind of punishment or restraint. Instead, your dog should think that the crate is a play break in his little home so that he will feel excited!
3. The crate should look and feel comfortable
There’s a reason why your dog likes chilling on the couch or carpet…because those places are comfy! So if you want him to love his crate, then make sure that the care is comfortable for your dog! Apart from the toys and treats, put his favorite bed or blanket inside. This will make him feel that the crate isn’t just for playing, it’s also a place for peaceful resting and snoozing.
4. Close the door first
— Cosy Canine Company (@CosyCanineCo) May 28, 2017
The past three tips talked about how you can encourage your hound to go and stay inside the crate. But by now, you should be thinking about being able to close that door. Closing the crate door is much more complicated than you think. Your dog might feel like he’s being trapped inside at first, or that you just tricked him to stay there. Avoid this by providing lots of positive reinforcement and treats!
Your dog must understand that it is necessary for you to close the door. You want to make sure that when you do, your dog is happy and comfy inside. Never force close a door with your dog crying or feeling agitated, that sends the wrong signal. The best time would be to start with an open crate and when your dog is already distracted inside, close the door gently.
Close the door in intervals. Start with five minutes and go longer if your dog seems adjusted to the crate. At first, be visible, so your dog thinks that he is safe and will eventually go out. As you lengthen the time, start moving farther away from your pet. Eventually, your dog will understand that even if you’re not there, being in the crate is just a temporary thing.
5. Be patient, Be very patient
— catchFred (@catchFred) May 9, 2017
There’s certainly nothing easy about training a pet, whether it is a dog or a cat. They don’t understand humans as much as we understand each other, so you must be very patient when dealing with your dog.
You must expect resistance from your adult dog. This dog might have bad experiences with crates before or has already developed bad habits which make it harder for him to listen to you. You have to hang in there! If you feel like giving up, just keep in mind that crate training will benefit the both of you in the long run.
Want to tailor-make your dog’s crate? Learn how to make your own DIY dog crate from Making Stuff here:
Crate training will definitely be tough, but with the right training, patience, and a whole lot of love, your adult dog will learn to love his own little place. Remember, when you crate train your dog, make him feel loved and cared for and not just like you’re forcing him inside the crate because you have other stuff to do. There will be tough days and very tough days. Dream of that day when your dog willingly enters the crate. Make it an inspiration, and with perseverance, that dream will turn into reality!
Do you have other helpful tips for crate training an adult dog? Please share it with us in the comments section below!
Before you start training your puppy, make sure you got everything you need. Check out these 5 Essential Canine Training Supplies Your Dog Needs!