Dog Crate Training Introducing the Crate to an Adult Dog

dog crate training

Dog crate training an older puppy (over 6 months) or an adult dog can help eliminate the development of problem behaviors like excessive chewing and lying on furniture.

Carefully introduce the crate in a gradual process. You must make every effort possible to ensure your dog associates the crate with comfort and positiveness, if you want the crate to have a chance at being accepted. And remember not to use the crate for confining for frequently long periods! No more than a couple hours during the day.

Once accustomed to them, many dogs enjoy spending time in their crates and will retreat to them on their own, whether you are home or not.

dog crate training

Here are some tips to help your dog adjust to dog crate training:

  • Place the crate in an area of the house were the family routinely gathers or in a room that you notice is a particular favorite with your dog.
  • Furnish with bedding, using an old towel or small blanket and some worn unlaundered piece of clothing of yours to help familiarize him with your scent. ( later, when he is accustomed, you can replace with a regular dog bed )
  • Let your dog sniff and investigate on his own.( adult dog are more suspicious than puppies) and ensure the door of the crate is fastened in an open position so it doesn’t close on him suddenly and frighten him
  • Throw in some favorite treats or toys. Another way to get him to enter is to place his regular meals inside. Everyday, put the meal a little bit further inside the crate until he is finally all the way inside
  • As he becomes accustomed to having his meal inside the crate, start closing the door for short periods. Staying in the room, the next step in dog crate training is to leave the door closed for a few minutes after your dog has finished his meal. This length of time can be gradually increased but don’t wait until he is uncomfortable. If he starts to whine, you have left the door closed too long so let him out immediately and shorten the time on the next try.
  • Over a week or two, increase the amount of time you can do this. When you see that your dog is happily using the crate voluntarily wait until he goes in for a sleep, then close the door. Stay in the room and let him out when he starts to wake up or starts fussing. When he is use to this, leave him in for a minute or two after he wakes up, and then open the door.
  • When you get to the stage that you can leave your dog like this and he seems comfortable, and then leave the room but stay in the house. Gradually increase the time you can put him in the crate and still stay out of sight until the day that you can leave the house and go on a short shopping trip.
  • Soon your dog will be accustomed to spending more periods of time in his crate. Soon you’ll be able to leave him alone for short periods comfortably and he’ll be able to spend the entire night inside his crate. Dog crate training will be complete when your dogs accepts his crate as his deloved den.
  • If you find, despite your best effort, that your pooch is not taking to being confined to his crate and is obviously miserable or stressed.

Please Discontinue!

Every dog has their own personalities and preferences. In dog crate training, the rates of success are a lot higher for puppies than for older dogs.

To continue to force the issue would be cruel and could result in your dog causing serious damage to himself, trying to paw or chew his way out. Just remove the door and let your dog use his crate for napping or a quiet place to retreat.

If you need further information, don’t hesitate to contact us and we will do what we can to get you the information you need or direct you to the best resource to provide it for you.

All the best in dog crate training!

About Dr. Winnie 986 Articles
My name is Dr. Winnie. I earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Duke University, a Masters of Science in Biology from St Georges University, and graduated from the University of Pretoria Veterinary School in South Africa. I have been an animal lover and owners all my life having owned a Rottweiler named Duke, a Pekingese named Athena and now a Bull Mastiff named George, also known as big G! I'm also an amateur equestrian and love working with horses. I'm a full-time Veterinarian in South Africa specializing in internal medicine for large breed dogs. I enjoy spending time with my husband, 2 kids and Big G in my free time. Author and Contribturor at SeniorTailWaggers, A Love of Rottweilers, DogsCatsPets and TheDogsBone