Although crate training is most often associated with puppies, there are still many reasons to use crates to train older dogs. The crate is not only the safest way to transport dogs in a car (also a requirement on an airplane) but also an indispensable tool in an emergency. If you need to evacuate the house due to a natural disaster, or if your dog is seriously injured, their ability to relax safely in the crate can make the pressure even greater.
Can I use crates to train older dogs?
There is no reason not to train crates for older dogs, even if they have not been exposed to crates for life. The key is to move slowly. If the dog (puppy, adolescence, adult, or elderly) is locked in an unprepared or untrained space, it will not be placed in the crate. For a dog, confinement may be fearful. For puppies who have been in the same family for many years, this situation will double. Suddenly decided to use crates without gradually making your dog insensitive to space, which may make them feel punished.
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Should I put the dog bed in the box?
The more comfortable the crate is, the easier it will be for older dogs to adapt to it. First, make sure that the kennel you choose is large enough for the dog to stand comfortably, lie down and turn around. If your dog is a broken dog at home, as long as you do not plan to move it often, there is no harm in getting an extra-large crate for maximum comfort.
Except for sleeping all night, dogs must not be locked in crates for more than three hours without resting. Putting a comfortable dog bed or soft blanket inside can help your dog get up and take a nap during the crate. Dogs naturally tend to hide from cats and cats in cool, dark places, so you may also want to lay a blanket on a part of the crate (or the whole thing) to block excess light.
Can a dog have multiple boxes?
It is possible for a dog to have more than one box. In fact, setting up two crates, one in the car and one in the house, can eliminate the trouble of dragging a single doghouse from one place to another, thereby making your life easier. Although your indoor box should be made of sturdy metal or plastic, foldable metal or nylon boxes or lightweight plastic boxes with handles are a convenient choice for travel.
If you have more than one dog, in most cases, each dog should have its own designated box. However, if you have a pair of bitches or breastfeeding, you can box them together as long as the space is large enough to make both comfortable.
How to train adult dogs with crates
Start helping you introduce your big dog to the crate by helping them establish positive relationships at their own pace.
- Place crates in areas where families spend time, such as kitchens or living rooms.
- When eating, place the food in crates and then open the door when your dog is eating.
- Between meals, give the dog chew or plush jigsaw puzzle, and eat snacks in the crate when the door is open. If they move the item elsewhere, gently put it back in the crate.
When your dog feels comfortable eating in the crate, continue to desensitize the closed door.
- The dog closed the door while eating. Open the door when the food is gone.
- Begin to gradually increase the time you close after they finish eating, chewing, or puzzle toys. How much you increase every day depends on the dog. Some people can only increase by 5-10 seconds a day. Others may be willing to add one or more minutes at a time.
- Pay attention to the dog’s reaction. If they start to complain, bark or show other signs of distress, then you may have asked too quickly. Take a step back and slow down.
If your dog continues to struggle for several weeks, add some other desensitization training.
- Throw things in the crate and encourage your dog to follow them. Close the door for one second, and then immediately open it again to let your dog out of the crate. repeat.
- Throw things in the crate and encourage your dog to follow them. Close the door for five seconds and then let your dog exit the crate. repeat.
- Continue to increase your time in small increments of five to ten seconds. As the progress increases, please increase the length of each increment. For example, for a dog that can be comfortably placed in a box for 10 minutes, you can add at least two minutes in the next training without causing too much trouble.