STEP TWO: introducing your dog to the crate

* where should I put my crate?

The more enclosed area the better. A closet or bathroom are the type of places you should use or a little nook in a room. But avoid large open spaces because this contributes to anxiousness in a crated dog in the same way a crib that is too large can do so to a baby.

* how should I introduce my dog to the crate?

Dogs are impressionable animals and you want their first experience with a crate to be a positive one. Take a string and tie open the crate door when you first bring it home. Put some food at the back of the crate and let your dog sniff around freely and the positive association of food with the crate will help ingratiate them BUT do not shut them in the crate yet.

important point: NEVER put your dog in a crate with any equipment on. Dogs have gotten caught on the wire of crates before and hung themselves.

Through the day start to close the door behind them for short periods of time and increase the amount of time they are in the crate over the day.

* my dog is barking like mad every time I crate them!

Do not immediately associate the barking with being in the crate because more than likely they are barking because they want to be with you and a puppy especially might do so.

* ok, but what about the barking?

A barking dog is a problem unto itself and if the barking starts to drive your neighbor crazy you might not have the luxury of a long term solution. The first thing you can try is a game of hide and seek. Put your dog in the crate and leave the apartment for a few minutes. Stand outside your front door and listen to hear if your dog is barking. If it’s not, that’s great and you are good to go. But if your dog is barking walk back in the apartment and after a few minutes leave again but this time for a little longer. Continue this process for days, maybe even weeks and your dog should start to think every time you leave the apartment you will shortly return. But after some time they get tired of waiting for you and usually fall asleep (:

STEP ONE: buying a crate and checking with your vet

STEP TWO: introducing your dog to the crate

STEP THREE: the crate training philosophy

STEP FOUR: example schedule for a dog being house trained

STEP FIVE: problems you might run into house training your dog

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