Dog Kennel Training Tips

Dog kennel training can be valuable when you introduce a new dog, puppy or adult, into your home. Since your new dog doesn't know which household items are approved for chewing or which areas to relieve himself, this will prevent him from making mistakes when you aren't home to train.

Use of Kennels

Dog kennels come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so choosing the appropriate kennel will largely depend on the size of your dog and the amount of time he will spend in the crate. For sleeping and potty training, a crate should be just big enough for your dog to stand and turn around. However, if your dog is going to spend more than three to four consecutive hours in the kennel, it needs to be larger. An open kennel works better for this.

There are a variety of reasons to use the kennel, the first being to prevent your dog from making training mistakes when you aren't home. If the punishment doesn't come within a second of the behavior, your dog will not be able to connect it to the incident. Thus, if your dog digs, chews or eliminates inappropriately when you aren't home, the teaching opportunity is gone. When you aren't supervising, your dog should not have the opportunity to make mistakes.

Kennels can also be good for teaching your dog to be alone. You can put him in his kennel to sleep or simply to relax when you are cleaning or want alone time.

You can also place your dog in his kennel when he needs to calm down. This is not considered punishment. It just gives your dog a place to relax when he keeps acting out and can't make the right decisions.

Training Kennel Acceptance

Begin by tossing treats in the kennel, allowing your dog to go in without closing the door. Feed your dog his meals in the crate, again with the door open. Toss a good bone or treat in the crate and then close your door with the dog on the outside. When your dog is crying to get in the crate, let him in.

The first time you close the door, make sure your dog has something good to do, like a toy stuffed with peanut butter, a bone or a meal. Leave the door closed only while the dog eats the treat and then let him out. Gradually build up the time he spends in the crate. If he ever gets stressed, you're moving too quickly.

The first few weeks of using the crate, always provide your dog with a good treat while he is inside. This will make the crate a desirable place to be.

Ignoring Bad Behavior

Never let your dog out of the crate when he is barking, whining or struggling to get out. If you respond to this behavior, it will never stop and your dog will not learn to calm down in the crate.

Instead, keep your dog in the crate for only short periods with something good to do so you can always let him out when he's calm. Then, he will learn to go into his crate and calm down, which is a valuable skill for any dog.