Crate Training Whole Dog Journal


Crate training is an increasingly popular technique used by dog owners, especially for puppy-rearing. Crate training is the process of treating a crate as a den for a dog, helping him to understand that it’s his personal space and the place where he gets to relax and be secure. It has many benefits, such as providing a secure environment for puppies when they can’t yet be trusted to roam free in their own home; protecting them from dangerous or destructive activities while also preventing episodes of Separation Anxiety. In addition, crate training can help with potty-training as dogs like to keep their dens clean.

Whole Dog Journal focuses on positive reinforcement methods of dog training and behavior modification. They suggest introducing your pup to the crate gradually and at his own pace. Making sure the time spent in the crate is always positive will help pave the way for a successful experience. Start by filling the crate with comfortable bedding and treats or toys that offer his chosen comfort object (a toy, blanket or article of clothing). Doing this helps to create pleasant associations with its presence and further anchors his feelings of security within it. Giving him plenty of exercise before going into the crate which helps him relax much easier when it’s time for bed or during longer stays inside. Additionally, make sure not to put anything edible in there with your pup – doing so reinforces begging behaviors and anxiety about being away from you when through relationship between pup/owner is unbalanced if he expects food every time he goes into the crate instead of just comfortable safety which leads him feeling secure in his den. With these strategies in mind, along with regular playtime outside the crate and consistent reward-based behavior modification techniques, Whole Dog Journal suggests that any pup can look forward to having a safe place where he feels comfortable whenever necessary.

Understanding Your Dog’s Needs

Crate training is an important part of a dog’s development and overall wellbeing. It provides them with their own space for rest, security, and housebreaking. Choosing the right crate for your dog can make all the difference in the success of your dog’s training.

When selecting a crate for your pup, size must be taken into consideration. A crate should be comfortable and spacious enough that they are able to move around freely, yet small enough so they feel secure and enclosed. The right size also helps to minimize accidents by ensuring that puppies and dogs have just enough room to lie down comfortably without having excess room to do their business in one corner of the crate.

In terms of materials, using a wire cage or plastic kennel with metal doors is recommended as these materials allow good air circulation while keeping sunshine and drafts out. Additionally, they are stronger than wooden crates which may not be suitable if you have an aggressive or destructive pet. If you fear that traditional cages cannot provide a warm enough environment then opt for one featuring fleece bedding lining the walls to boost warmth during cold weather periods both inside and outdoors.

It is also wise to get equipped with additional items such as bowls for feeding and watering, toys, leash/collar hangers, chew-proof blankets or covers, etc,. These accessories ensure that household items stay safe from damage while having everything organized within easy reach when needed. Finally, don’t forget to label it with your pet’s name; this reinforces familiarity between pup and his/her new living space as well as helping you easily identify it from other cages in case of any loss or theft situation (a padlock may help here too!).

Preparing Your Dog for Crate Training

Before introducing crate training to your dog, it’s important to establish a few lifelong good habits. Start by establishing a daily routine that sets up boundaries and expectations for the dog. For example, make sure to feed them at the same time every day, as well as provide consistent potty breaks. This sets the groundwork for enforceable rules of behavior in and out of the crate. Consistency sets dogs up for success not only in adapting to crate training but also with overall life skills.

Another way to set your pup up for success is through positive reinforcement and reward-based training techniques. Not only does this help dogs accept their crate quicker but also helps solidify their understanding of acceptable behaviors around humans and other animals. Positive reinforcement can come in the form of verbal praise or treats depending on your dog’s preference. It’s important that every relation canine understands that although sitting quietly in a crate is an expectation, it should be associated with something pleasurable. This can help create trust in you along with an appreciation for use of the crate!

Introducing the Crate

Introducing a crate to your dog can be a great way to make them feel secure and give them their own private space. Start by setting up the crate in an area of the house that is near family activity. Place a few treats inside so your dog will associate the crate with positive experiences. Make sure that you have only one entrance that is large enough for the dog to easily enter it. Additionally, there should be some soft bedding like blankets or towels in the bottom for your pup to rest comfortably. You may also want to add some familiar items like an old t-shirt with your smell on it, or their favorite toy or chew bone. Make sure everything is secure and nothing can get stuck around the bars of the cage or become accidentally swallowed as this could cause health problems. Once everything is set, allow your pup time to explore and investigate their new space before beginning training sessions in earnest.

Dog Training Tips

Building Positive Crate Habits

Crate training is essential for any dog to learn proper behavior, and building positive crate habits through short crate sessions is key. Start by getting your dog used to the crate by introducing it as a cozy, comfortable space. Keep the interior of the crate warm and inviting with chew toys or a treat or two. Spend time sitting near the crate with your dog, letting them become curious about its contents until they begin to explore it on their own.

When your pup demonstrates comfort in the crate, you can begin timed-crate practice. Start by crating for periods no longer than 15 minutes at a time and then gradually increase the length of crating session each day as long as your pup remains calm. Give them a fun chew toy, but don’t reward anxious behavior – ignore outcries and only open the door when they are quiet and relaxed. A busy stuffed Kong may also help reduce whining over time by keeping their mouth and attention occupied. Avoid leaving food inside so they don’t make associating being crated with eating.

During these initial short crating sessions be sure to praise your pup upon exiting the pen; reward calm behavior as desired with treats or verbal encouragement (like belly rubs!). Doing so will reinforce desired behaviors and establish positive associations between crating and pleasant experiences like rewards or playtime afterward. With continued repetition, your pup should eventually be able to tolerate longer periods of secure confinement without anxiety or distress related behaviors – making for successful, stress-free crating experiences!

Encouraging Positive Crate Experiences

Crate training is an important part of teaching your dog discipline and providing them with a calming environment. To ensure that a dog’s first experiences in the crate are as positive as possible, it’s essential to introduce games and rewards into the process.

For dogs who are new to crate training, playing soothing and enjoyable games can help to show the pup that the crate is not a bad space. Games like fetch and tug-of-war inside the crate can help make your pup comfortable spending extended periods of time in their confinement space, while still having fun. Using treats while they are inside the crate can also be helpful when it comes to ensuring positive associations with the area. By rewarding your dog with plenty of affection and tasty snacks, they will quickly come to understand that good things happen in their crate.

In addition to introducing positive games and rewards, owners should also avoid punishing their pup or forcing them into the crate without sufficient warning. If done properly, crate training can be both beneficial for the pet and reinforcing for their owners – helping create the foundation for a successful long-term relationship between pup and parent.

Potty Training with Crates

Crate training is a great way to potty train your dog and teach them where to go in the house. While it may seem like an intimidating process at first, crate training is actually quite easy to do. You just need patience and consistency. First, it’s important to start with a crate that’s big enough for your dog so they won’t feel crammed or confined. Place their bed and toys inside, so they understand it’s their own space—a place of comfort and respite. Put a blanket inside the crate, something cozy for them to sit on during the day when not pottying outside. After extending these comforts, it’s time to introduce your pup to their new home away from home by offering lots of treats and positive reinforcement whenever they enter the crate. Make sure you don’t get angry when introducing your pup because this could lead to negative associations with the crate.

Once your dog is comfortable entering the crate, you can start training them correct potty behavior by taking them outside on a schedule regularly throughout the day—every hour or two depending on what works best for you. Every time they successfully use the bathroom outside, be sure to offer lots of praise, treats or other rewards! This helps creates a positive association between going outside and being praised or rewarded each time they do it right. By repeating this cycle over and over again until it becomes second nature your pup should eventually learn how often they should go outside and will consistently expect a reward afterward! However, if there are any accidents in the house make sure you clean up with pet-friendly cleaners because anything else may encourage them to pee in wrong area again; puppies exploring their environment will definitely have accidents but it’s OK as long as you are consistent when teaching where and when to go!

Dog Is Potty Trained But Pees In House

Avoiding Problems

Crate training can be an effective and efficient way to house train your dog, but like any endeavor with our four-legged friends, it comes with its own set of issues. Here are a few tips for common crate training problems:

1. Keeping the Crate Clean and Odor-Free: The key to keeping the crate clean and free from odors is proper ventilation and frequent cleaning. Make sure the crate allows for adequate airflow and is big enough for your dog to move around freely. A thick bed or blanket should cover half of the floor space so if your pup has an accident it’s easier to clean up. Clean any accidents immediately, as well as spot cleaning on a regular basis. Once every couple of weeks, strip the bedding off entirely, use a sanitation solution to deodorize, then rinse thoroughly and turn on fans to help speed up drying time.

2. Establishing a Positive Relationship with the Crate: After putting in the hard work to make sure your dog associates their crate favorably, there are additional steps you can take to help solidify that bond even further. Encourage your pup by providing them treats or toys in their cage and allow them some additional freedom inside – such as exploring new toys without fear of being scolded or animals bowls without fear of spilling out kibble – which will make them feel safe while they get comfortable in their space. Make sure you also spend quality time with them while they’re in the crate doing something fun together like playing games or giving out belly rubs!

3 .Preventing Separation Anxiety Issues: If you notice that when left alone for too long in their crate your pup starts exhibiting signs of anxiety such as destructive behaviors or excessive barking/whining it could mean your pooch is suffering from separation anxiety issues that may need further intervention from your vet or trainer. To start addressing these issues try switching up their environment periodically during periods when you have to be away from home longer than usual; exposing them to different scents, sounds, sights outdoors can often help calm anxious feelings associated with being incarcerated too long due to unfavorable prior experiences (i.e., overcrowded shelters). Additionally providing items such as weighted blankets, calming collars that emit soft pheromones when worn can help reduce anxiety symptoms until resolved more permanently through behavioral modification therapy over time if needed.

Instilling Confidence in Your Dog With Crate Training

Crate training is a great way to help instill confidence in your dog. Not only can it help your pup feel safer and more secure, but it can also make them easier to train and manage. Crate training can provide a space where your dog feels comfortable and safe so that they have a place to retreat if they become overwhelmed or scared. When starting crate training, it is important to properly introduce your pup to the confinement—slowly exposing them to the confinement for short durations with plenty of positive reinforcement like treats or verbal praise when entering the crate, as well as positive distraction when inside such as chew toys. After introducing the crate environment, you should establish structure around it—establishing when your pup will be let out of their crate during the day such as after meals or during potty breaks. Additionally, you should provide signs that indicate comfort in such an environment, by reinforcing positive behaviors whenever possible. Over time, as long as your pup is properly socialized and encouraged through positive reinforcement for being inside their crate, they will gain more confidence in both surround soundings and situations involving confinement.


Crate training is not only incredibly helpful for housebreaking dogs, but also incredibly beneficial to them in a variety of ways. Crate training gives your dog their very own space, where they can relax and feel safe; it allows you to manage problem behaviors such as chewing and barking more easily; it helps reduce the risk of separation anxiety by allowing the pup to be away from people periodically; and, finally, crate training can be incorporated into travel plans for both short-distance transport, like trips to the vet’s office, and longer distance adventures such as camping with your dog safely by your side. Your pup will appreciate being able to come out of their crate and join in on family activities or just take a nap without making any messes while they’re at it! Ultimately, crate training will give you peace of mind knowing that your pup is secure, protected and comfortable when you need them to be.

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