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TOP TIP: How to introduce a dog to his new crate

A good general approach when introducing a crate is to…

Agree with other family members where the crate is going to be situated at home and leave it in that position, at least initially. Set it up in the room without your dog present, as this can become a noisy process.

Make the crate inviting – a soft blanket, toys and a few welcoming treats placed inside the crate will all help convince your dog this is a good place to be! A really good idea is to cover the top of the crate with a heavy blanket so the new secure den becomes just that.
Make a fuss of your dog (not in an excited or over-the-top way) whenever he is in or anywhere near the crate initially – a simple ‘good boy’ and a gentle pat on the back is just fine. Giving a few tasty treats to your dog in or near the crate initially is also a good idea.
Leave the crate door open and BE PATIENT, allowing your dog to get accustomed to the new item in his own time. Practice asking your dog to go in and out of the crate using treats/ball/toy for a few minutes at a time and your dog will glean confidence from your relaxed and positive behaviour around the crate.

Gradually increase the amount of time your practice and, before you know it, the positive association will be made and you can start to train your dog to enjoy staying in the crate for a short time while you are present.
After a few days of convincing your dog that the crate is a great place to hang out, you can start closing the crate door when you are at home.
Once you can see that your dog is confident being in the crate with the door closed you can start leaving the room and making a cup of tea etc., before coming back and letting him out.

Thereafter you can start to extend the amount of time he spends in the crate with the door closed etc. Success!

As these are general guidelines only, COMMON SENSE should of course be used at all times, only leaving him in the crate once he’s been out for a good walk, for example, and keen to rest/sleep. No dog, whatever breed or size, should be left in a crate for any period of time unless he is completely comfortable with the idea first, and then only for very short periods of time.

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