Crates and Training Basics
All dogs should be trained in the basics – to sit, stay, come, and walk on a lead without pulling. Proper training helps to make your dog sociable and obedient. A well-behaved dog also makes other people around you feel comfortable with your dog.
You can also crate train your dog to limit his access to your house, make it easier to transport him to the cottage or vet and give him a ‘safe’ place of his own for when he wants to relax. Purchase a crate that is big enough for your dog to stand up and turn around (approximately 1½ times the length of your dog). Place a soft mat in the bottom to make it more comfortable.
The older your dog is, the more slowly you should pace your crate training. Start by introducing your dog to the crate, and leaving it open so he can investigate. Slowly entice your dog to enter the crate with treats and toys, but don’t force him. Give meals near the crate, and work towards feeding directly in the crate. Eventually, you will be able to close the door while he eats, and leave him in the crate for a few minutes after he finishes eating.
If your dog whines or cries in the crate, it may be that your training has progressed too quickly. Wait for your dog to stop whining before letting him out of the crate, so that you’re not ‘rewarding’ the whining, and then go back a step or two in your training plan and keep trying. Soon you will be able to leave your dog in the crate while you are away from the house and/or while you are sleeping.