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 any dog that 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.
- Then pay the new item little attention for about 10 minutes, be patient and allow your dog to get accustomed to the new item in his own time. Leave the crate door open.
- Practice, only for a few minutes at a time, asking your dog to go in and out of the crate using treats/ball and a positive and patient attitude – your dog will glean confidence from your relaxed behaviour.
- 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. Success!
As these are general guidelines only, common sense should of course be used at all times. No dog, whatever breed or size, should not 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.