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Crate Training Your Dog

Does your home include a doggy crate for Fido? A crate can be a great training tool, and an excellent way to manage your dog in short-term situations. Fido may actually have to be crated at certain times, such as when visiting the doggy salon or when traveling, so getting him used to being crated early on will make it much easier for him down the road. A crate can also help you with housetraining your pup. In this article, your veterinarian El Dorado Hills goes over some basics of doggy crate training.

Buying the Crate

Your dog’s crate will need to be large enough so that he can easily stand up and turn around. He should also be able to stretch out while sleeping inside it. If your furry pal is just a puppy, buy a crate based on your dog’s estimated full-grown size. That way, you won’t have to replace it later.

Making Fido Comfy

You want your dog’s crate to be comfortable and inviting. Add a dog bed, or several pillows and blankets, to make your pup’s crate comfy, and put a few doggy toys inside the crate as well. While you’re at it, make sure there are no sharp edges or wires sticking out that could scratch your pup. If you plan to crate your dog for more than an hour, or on hot days, make sure he has fresh water. Your dog will also be more comfortable if his crate is placed in a high-traffic area, such as the living room. If you lock Fido away in an empty room, he may think he’s being punished.

Crate Training Basics

Positive enforcement is always a better tactic than punishment when it comes to training dogs. Crate training is no exception. Give your dog plenty of treats and praise near the crate, and when he first goes into it. Toss toys and treats into it for him as well. This will help him form a positive association with the crate. When Fido is comfortable going in and out of the crate, you can begin feeding him inside it. Close the door while he is eating, and open it when he’s done. Slowly start leaving him in the crate for increasing amounts of time, and then gradually begin to leave him alone in the crate. Start out with just a few minutes of alone time, and increase the time very slowly.

If you have any questions about your dog’s care or behavior, please call us anytime. Click here for more dog care articles from your El Dorado Hills vet.

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