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The Dog Listener, By Jan Fennell, go to your Library and borrow a copy > Crates, should you use one & how to make your dog happy to go into one


 Should you crate train your dog? That's up to you!

If you chose to crate train your puppy or new older dog, please make sure that is is big enough. Your dog/puppy should be able to stand up, turn around and lay down comfortably. Your puppy will grow quickly and therefore do not buy the smallest size, buy one which will grow with them. New crates are sold by, breed of dog, weight/height of dog when full grown. Buy the right size for your full grown dog, the ones with a divider with a movable center, which grows with your pup are great, and save you the cost of buying two or three crates.

The type of crate depends on you and where you live, the temperature in the room where the crate will be etc. Some are wire (best for hot weather as air flows well), some solid plastic. Each one should have an easy to open/close door.

Buy a crate that  fits in your car, as this is the safest way to transport your dog. Make sure that it is succour in the car, and will not move if you brake sharply. Keep the crate away from the sun, as the temperature in there will rise, and heat kills. Never leave your dog in your car unattended.

Please do not leave your dog in a crate all day, dogs and young puppies need space and appropriate time with you or another dogs, a dog that is a good role model. Remember that dogs are pack animals and need company.(There are a few dogs who never cope with other dogs, please get to know your dog's personality before introducing another dog, and on neutral ground).

If you go out for a few hours, it's OK to put them in there, but only a few hours, not all day!  Find another other safe place for longer periods of time/with water available to them.

Ask your dog to go in and reward him/her for doing so, leave the door open, teach them that this is a great place to hang out . We all need to chill and your dog is no different . An old towel or blanket works well, not your grandmothers patchwork quilt,  just place it in there and let them settle.

At night ask them to go in and any reward him/her. If you want them in your bedroom at night, great, but wait for a few days, you should spend the first few nights with them, sleep on the sofa and take them out when they cry.  As They get better at holding it through the night, take the crate into your bedroom without your puppy in it. We do not want to frighten your dog, and your dog makes the crate much heavier. Make it a good/happy place to be, ask them to go in, and reward them for doing as you ask. Find a reward that works, beef/chicken their kibble etc. Use a soft light voice and stay calm. No shoving them in, as they will hate it. If you don't want them in your room, that's fine, if they cry again take them out and do not fuss/play with them, just a potty break and back to the crate.

If they are able to hold it and are a good age (or you have been consistent with a new/older dog), and they cry, go into the room where the crate is, make no fuss and just hang out there without giving them any attention. By being calm and not bothered, over time they will not bother you at night. If you give them attention they will keep you up.

Toys in a crate? That is up to you, some toys are very noisy at night, watch out for the toys like bones as bits come off and your pup could choke. At night you will be asleep and your new dog/puppy could get up to mischief or get hurt, make sure that they are safe at night.

If they cry during the night, take your dog/puppy out, but at night do not play with them, keep the night time/potty breaks calm and just for relieving.

If they have an accident in the crate/bedroom, stay calm, make nothing of it and tidy up without them seeing you do this. If they see you getting upset or cleaning up, you will of made something of them going there, and they will repeat it. Over time, your puppy and new dog (of any age), will get it, if you shape/pattern their behavior in a nice/kind way. Stay calm and be consistent.


For more help/advice please call/email Louise #925-487-9386. Louise@ebdoglistener.com

Louise Pay, The East Bay Dog Listener.