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 Crate training

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Staffylover
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PostSubject: Crate training   Tue 01 Jun 2010, 9:29 pm

Crate training your dog is a practical and efficient way to housetrain your dog and also protect the home and ensure the safety of your dog whilst you are out.

Why crate training?

The purpose of crate training your dog is to teach your dog to go into its crate on command for safety. The crate provides your dog with a place where it feels comfortable and secure.
Dogs generally do not like to soil their sleeping area therefore crate is highly effective in housebreaking your dog. Crate training your dog is also useful when you travel with your dog and the crate can be use to transport your pet dog safely.

Choosing a crate:

Select a crate made of plastic or wire and make sure that it provides enough space and comfort for your dog. The size of the crate should be big enough for your dog to stand up and move around, however not too big that it might use one corner as a toilet area.
A 36” cage is the minimum size you should buy for a Staffie and whilst the your dog is in puppy stage I would section some of the cage off and then remove the partition once they are able to hold themselves whilst in the cage

Crate training your dog:

Before proceeding with crate training your dog ensure that the crate is a nice welcoming place to be. Put some nice blankets (hot water bottle wrapped in a towel for a pup), a bowl of water and a couple of your dog’s favourite toy’s Secure the crate's door open so it won't hit and frighten him/her accidentally. Coop cups attached to the side of the cage are a good idea as they cannot be knocked over.

Introducing your dog to the crate:

Start by playing with your dog near the crate. Entice your dog into the crate by placing its favourite snack or toy in the crate. When your dog enters the crate, be sure to reward it further with lots and lots of praise. This will help associate positive feelings towards the crate. Repeat the process for the next few days until it goes it without any prompting. You can also feed your dog in the crate, again so it is associated as a nice place

Key to successful crate training a dog:

Successfully crate training a dog is to associate it with all things positive with the crate, even when it is alone in it. Never send a dog back to its crate as a form of punishment for any misbehaviour. A dog's attitude to its crate must always be positive. If you need somewhere to send your dog for time out never ever be tempted to use the crate

Benefits of crate training your dog:

•The crate offers your dog a sense of security, privacy and comfort
•Housebreaking your dog will be much easier and more quickly by using the crate to motivate your dog to wait until being taken outside, as most dogs avoid soiling their sleeping area
•You know your dog and home are safe when you are not there
•Travelling with your dog will also be much easier and safer without him/her interfering while you are driving

Potential problems to avoid when crate training:

•If used incorrectly, your dog might become anxious and fearful if you put it in the crate for long periods of time
•Your dog might whine during the night, as he might feel alone, scared or ignored. Move your dog's crate into your bedroom where he/she can see you. You can also hear your dog if he/she needs to go out
•You have to make sure that your dog doesn’t get bored – you have to combine the crate training with long walks, running and other physical activities. A stuffed Kong is ideal to keep your dog occupied when you are out

While it takes time, dedication and patience in order to follow through the crate training process to make sure that your dog completely understands the meaning and usage of the crate and that it is a pleasurable space for them.

IMPORTANT - Never leave your dog’s collar on when they are in the crate
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