How To Crate Train An Older Dog

Crates may seem to be a means to limit your pet’s freedom of movement, yet they are more designed for your pet’s safety rather than anything else. Your dog can stay in a crate when you are transporting them to the vet, or even when you can’t supervise them indoors. You may reject caging your dog and arrange special areas for them in your house. But, crating is not a matter of encaging, but is rather a safety action for your dog, so it doesn’t swallow a battery or any other small pieces that may be around your house or car.

Crates Are Designed To Keep Your Dog Safe 

Not only do they allow you to safely travel with your pet, but they give owners a break from persistent supervising. One thing is that your dog should be trained for the crate; you can’t just buy the cage and lock it inside; This can lead to enragement or fear, and your dog won’t understand this; such irresponsible actions will lead to serious consequences. Once you buy a crate you should take time to teach your dog to be in there. Crate training should be consistent and appropriate; in the end, the crate will become your dog’s second small home inside of a bigger home where they will feel comfortable and safe.

Many think that only puppies can be trained for crates, however, this is not really so. It is possible to train an older dog, but it might take a little longer, because, in general, puppies are more receptive to any training. Older dogs can have negative associations with cages, especially if they used to live on the streets or you take them from a dog shelter. However, the majority of dogs are pretty easy to crate train.

What Is The Difference Between Crate Training A Puppy And An Older Dog?

As for the methods of crate training, there can be no difference at all, but training an older dog will take more time. Adult dogs already have a number of habits, which makes it harder to crate train them, and they tend to forget things faster. Dogs that were taken from the shelter, or have negative experience with cages, can be specifically hard to accept the crate. This doesn’t mean it’s impossible to crate train an older dog, but it will require more repetitions and your patience. Puppies don’t usually resist being crated, because young dogs do not have any life habits, so the whole process of learning for them is new. Older dogs that have never been crated may even fight it at first.

A Special Case Of Adopted Dogs

Dogs that were adopted can have a more complicated relation with a crate. They were locked away for most of the time, so a crate might cause the feeling of being abandoned or even take it as a punishment. Such memories will make it harder for you to crate train an older dog, but patience, love and constant training will do the job. Yet, an adopted dog may already have been trained for a crate, so it may be easy to get them to remember their old habits and your adopted dog will find its happy place in the crate even faster than a puppy.

How To Start Crate Training

Before you start to train your dog to get adjusted to a crate, buy one and know exactly where you plan to use it, how often, and for what occasions. Find the place in your home where you will locate the crate; it should be in one location, so the dog can memorize where it is. Your crate should be appropriate in size and not too small for your pet. They should be able to stand up inside of it, and lay freely. Otherwise, it will be inhumane. Then you should decide which type of crate you want to use. There is a variety of crates, differing in size, materials, colors, and shapes. There are plastic crates that are darker inside and cage-like crates made from metal wire that allow dogs to see more when they are inside. Aluminum and steel crates are impossible to break. Dogs usually like the crates that are darker inside, because they can use the crate to rest and sleep, so it is not necessary for them to see what is going on outside the crate. Dark crate creates an illusion of leaving the outer world behind and is a safe place.

Create A Positive Image Of The Crate For Your Dog

This is a very important stage of crate training. To create a positive image of a crate, put it on the floor and take off the door, or open it wide. Put the crate in the busiest part of your home where you and your family spend most of the time, so the dog will have company. Let your dog examine the crate at their own manner and pace. Don’t force the dog into the crate. It should sniff around and independently get acquainted. It can take some time.

Next you can place your dog’s favorite toys and snacks inside. The dog should understand that no one is forcing them into the crate and that being in the crate can be fun. Add treats to the crate, but then do nothing if your dog either ignores it or won’t stay in the crate. Put your dog’s usual bedding near the crate, and a few days later move it inside the crate. When you put your dog’s favorite toy inside the crate, make sure it is not too far, so the dog doesn’t have to crawl all the way in.

Have a schedule for crate training. Your training should be persistent and take place every day at the same hour, for example, after you come home from work. Remember to make the crate a place where good things come from, and your dog will get used to it. See here for the best dog crates for your older dog.

Alice Dayson
 

Product reviewer & passionate blogger. Beside writing for this blog, I spend my time crafting research based contents for HuffingtonPost, Lifehacker & Forbes!

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