Kennel and Crate training dogs
Kennel & Crate Training
If done properly; Kennels and Crates can keep your house and dog safe when you gone or busy, aid in potty training puppies, and are great for safe comfortable transportation of your dog.
Kennel and crate Types:
Metal or Wire Benefits:
- Good air flow and vision to make dog feel part of surroundings
- Some models fold up for storage or transportation
- Some models have multiple doors for better fit in home or car
- Some models have a removable try for cleaning
Plastic / Pet taxi Benefits
- Better if dog is good at getting out or escaping.
- Much better to use for transportation needs.
Cons of pet taxi style carriers
- Hard to see out of, if dog is kenneled in house may feel left out.
- Hard to clean and keep clean.
Mesh cages and kennels
- I don’t recommend these for most people, they come apart to easily and could injure your dog.
Ensure you get the proper size crate:
As a puppy, especially for training, you want enough room for your dog to turn in a circle and no more. When my dog was a puppy I used the divider that came with my wire crate while I crate trained her. After the training was complete, I removed it, which is a great option instead of purchasing many sizes through their lives. Also, probably best to remove collars and harnesses if your pet will be in a crate or kennel unattended to prevent an injury.
Now that my dog is a full grown, she can stand or lay down, almost being able to fully stretch out, which is what you want. Her kennel is for her “feeling of safety” now; if she feels threatened or one of the kids is bothering, her she will go in her kennel. The doors have been removed now as she is potty trained already. The kennel I have is in the photo on this page.
Getting your dog to use his crate or kennel on command:
While it is best to start kenneling as a puppy, older dogs will pick it up quickly also.
Training your dog to go into the kennel:
Choose a word such as “kennel up” that you want your dog to associate with, when it’s time to enter his/her kennel. Using treats and positive reinforcement seem to work the best. Bait them a few times daily with a treat into their kennel, then praise them if they follow the command you choose. This will help them understand and associate the kennel, command word and treat with going to their kennel. Keep in mind the whole kennel needs to be a positive situation. If he/she chews your shoes up and you punish him to the kennel, he probably won’t go back in when you ask him to later on.
Tips for proper kennel use
- When kenneling a new pup, it’s just as effective to place him in the kennel while talking to him, and use the command you have chosen to familiarize him with it.
- It is good to give your dog a Kong or Nylabone, while he/she is left in his kennel for any extended time. Use a good choice that has no choking hazards like to two I mentioned.
- Comfy mats and beds are great to keep your dog comfortable. Keep in mind you may want to use old rags or t-shirts with a new puppy. The many accidents and sharp teeth make you glad you waited.
- Take your dog out to potty as soon as you let them out of the kennel. Try to avoid letting him out for barking, scratching, or whining.
- Water in the kennel is optional; I would avoid it with puppies.
- Try to avoid kenneling your dog only while you are away from home. Maybe, while you’re in the shower or at suppertime, have him kennel to make it seem like part of everyday life to him.
- Try to ignore scratching, barking or whining in the kennel. Never reinforce it by letting him out, it will make it worse. Tell him “NO” or “Quiet” and ignore him again.
- Adult dogs can make it all day in their kennel for a standard work day. Typically, just keep in mind that a puppy probably can’t hold their bladder for more than an hour or 2. You may need to make adjustments for this time period in kennel training.
- You should start to get an idea of when your dog is ready to be let out of the crate for the day while at work, or during the night while you are sleeping. It takes some dogs only a few months to be potty trained by kenneling. Just remember even if potty trained, he still may chew stuff up if not kenneled and unattended. This will usually go away about the time he is a year and half old.