How To Crate Train a Dog When You Work

Crate training is one of the first programs you should initiate when you get a new dog, but many people don't know how to crate train a dog. Since dogs are den animals by nature, most really enjoy their crate if you introduce it in a positive manner.

Make It Positive

To introduce your dog to the crate, make it the most positive place in the house. If you recently adopted a dog, they may have a bad association from being crated in a scary kennel or being trapped in one as a puppy mill dog. Thus, you may have to move slowly with a dog who doesn't have a clean slate.

Feed your dog all his meals in the crate. Toss treats and maybe even a little human food in the crate. At first, don't close the door. Give your dog bones or toys stuffed with treats or peanut butter in the crate so he will settle down in there a little. Only give him these special treats in his crate.

Toss a favorite treat in the crate and close the door to lock your dog out. Let him paw and bark at the crate for a little while, trying to get in. Once you open the crate, he will be excited to go inside.

Gradual Introduction

Build up the amount of time your dog spends in the crate. At first, just allow him to go in without closing the door. Then, close the door for only a few seconds. Give your dog his favorite bone and leave the door shut only as long as it takes for him to finish it.

Once your dog seems comfortable in the crate, start leaving him in it while you leave or just do work around the house. Build up to leaving him in there for a couple of hours.

Crating While Working

Dogs shouldn't be in a crate longer than 4 to 6 hours, especially if they are puppies. If you need to leave your dog alone longer, consider purchasing an X-pen or hiring a dog walker to come by and let him out to relieve himself.

Puppies shouldn't be left in a crate longer then they can hold their bladder, which is usually an hour for each month of age, plus or minus, depending on the size of the dog. If you have a puppy, leave them in a small area with pee pads instead so he doesn't have to relieve himself in the crate, which is very stressful for the pup.

If you work from home, it's still a good idea to crate your dog for a couple of hours each day to get him used to it. Never let your dog out of the crate when he is barking for attention. If you think he is barking because he needs to go out, take him outside on leash, wait five minutes and return him immediately to his crate if he doesn't go. You want to release your dog from the crate only when he is calm.

If you follow these simple steps, your dog will learn to tolerate his crate easily. He may even seek it out on his own.