Acclimating Your Dog to his Crate – Method #5

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SAFETY NOTE: This article is part of a series of articles on crate training. Before starting any of the training outlined below, make sure to read the introductory crate acclimation article. There you’ll learn about setting up the crate properly to avoid startling your dog and read the safety notes to ensure that your training goes safely and successfully.

Method #5: The Best Bet if Your Schedule Forces You to Leave Your Dog Closed in His Crate on Day One

Remember that you should, if at all possible, start introducing your puppy to his crate at a time when you have a few days to ease him into things. However, in the real world, it doesn’t always work that way. You might find a stray dog at midnight or have an emergency that forces you to leave your dog at home alone on his first day with you. Under those circumstances, you can use this abbreviated method to get your puppy to stay in his crate. We don’t recommend this method if you have time to do the other, more gradual, methods for crate acclimation. Try it only if you absolutely must.

This method’s a simple one:

Step One: Place your dog in his crate. You can lift him in if he’s a little guy, or lead him in with one hand holding his collar and the other under his belly. Give him something yummy that will take him a long time to chew, like a raw marrow bone from the butcher or a hollow rubber toy filled with something yummy. Most dogs go crazy for a hollow toy stuffed with canned dog food; if you freeze it before giving it to him, it’ll keep him busy for a nice long time! If you worry that the canned food may give your dog a bit of an upset tummy, mixing plain boiled white rice with the canned food will help to prevent diarrhea.

Step Two: Close the door of the crate and leave.

Step Three: Keep your fingers crossed and get home as quickly as you can!

SAFETY NOTE: If your dog is a large adult dog you don’t know well, or if he’s shown any signs of aggressive behavior, we don’t recommend that you try to physically put him in his crate – this could cause an aggressive dog to bite. If you’re not sure you can safely put him in his crate, try luring him in with treats or seek the help of an experienced professional dog trainer to help you introduce your dog to the crate.

Purchase Supplies Related to This Article

Petmate Ultra Vari Kennel Crate

These sturdy Vari-Kennel plastic crates are ideal for dogs that like a cozy place to hang out. You can use them for travel, too, so they’re perfect for pups who want to join you when you go on vacation!

Bacon-Flavored Hollow Toy

This hollow bacon-flavored Dura-Chew toy will make your dog very happy – especially if you fill it with something like peanut butter or KONG Stuff’N! Yum!!

KONG Hollow Toy

Dogs love these durable Kong toys – and they love them even more when you fill them with canned dog food, peanut butter or KONG Stuff’N!

Pig Ear Chews

OK, I admit it… pig ears kinda gross me out. Still have to recommend them, though, since every dog I’ve ever met totally disagrees with me. They REALLY love ’em!

KONG Stuff’N

Kong Stuff’N is a quick, easy option for filling your dog’s hollow toys with deliciousness! Available in multiple flavors for dogs who like variety.

Yak Milk Chew

Yak Milk Chews sound weird, but dogs tell me they’re GREAT! These surprisingly long-lasting chew bones are the perfect choice for keeping your pup happy and busy!

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