While crate training a puppy could’ve been easier, there are a number of reasons why you need to crate train an older dog. You might have gotten your precious pooch from a rescue and most probably never been house trained. Or in some cases, your dog suddenly started to become destructive.
It could be difficult for you to crate train an adult dog since older dogs most likely already developed some habits, not including the use of a crate. If you’re not careful, you might harm your dog especially if you’re not doing it the right way. Of course, us pet parents do not want to cause any harm to our beloved pets. Just like potty training, I suggest you equip yourself with lots of patience and consistency in order for you to be successful.
5 Useful Tips on Crate Training an Adult Pooch
If you have an adult pooch and you just started crate training, there’s a high chance you’ll be having difficulty. I experienced training an older dog a lot of times and it was a bit tough. But, you must remember the goal is to not let your adorable dog panic inside the crate so he’ll not end up hurting himself. Read on to learn about the things you need to do in crate training your adult dog the proper way.
1. Prep ‘Em Up
Before crate training your adult dog, see to it his energy has been used up by giving him his exercise. You can either play with him in a game of fetch or engage him in a long walk in the neighborhood.
Also, before proceeding to your crate training, give him his potty break so there will be no interruptions once you start. It’s important your dog will not lose his focus so he can have a firm grasp on what you’re teaching him.
2. Get Loads of Patience
Unlike puppies, adult dogs may take longer to train. If you need patience in training a pup, you’ll need to double it up when it comes to older dogs. Since entering a crate will be fairly new to them and has not been included in their grown habits, adult dogs will most likely be more resistant. You need to put up with their stubbornness and just be patient. I assure you, you’ll get somewhere if you’re patient and consistent enough.
3. Give ‘Em Treats
If you want to successfully crate train your dog, let your precious pooch feel the crate is his safe haven. Associate as many positive vibes as you can to your dog’s crate by putting treats inside. You can also put his favorite food to attract and convince your dog it’s fun inside the crate.
4. Make the Crate Comfy
Just like us humans, our dogs love to have a nice place where they can comfortably sit or lie down. What you can do is (if you still haven’t) give your dog’s crate a makeover and make sure they will be comfortable when they get inside. You can put his favorite blanky or pillow so he’ll have more reason to love the crate.
5. Close the Door
This is the ultimate goal in crate training — to be able to close the door without getting your dog panicky. When your dog is already comfortable getting in the crate, distract him by giving him a treat or maybe even a toy. Once he’s busy and having fun, close the door of the crate. Leave it closed for about 5 minutes or so but you have to make sure you’re nearby and your dog sees you so he won’t have the idea he’s being abandoned. When he’s already comfortable with the door being closed, you can now keep it closed for a longer time. You just have to let your dog feel safe and never force him to do things he’s still not comfortable with.