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Healthy Dogs

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Why Crate Train Your Dog?

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How to Crate Train Your Dog: The Weekend Plan

Some trainers and behaviorists recommend introducing your dog to a new crate very gradually, over a period of a week or more. This method works well for timid dogs who fear confinement and for dogs who have already learned to dislike crates. But many dogs can learn to use crates more easily, and many people just don’t have the time to devote an entire week or more to training before being able to use a crate.

If you need to start using a crate as soon as possible, try the following Weekend Crate Training plan. After your training sessions on Saturday and Sunday, you’ll be able to start confining your dog in her crate on Monday.

To successfully use this crate-training plan, you’ll need to follow the directions below, step by step. It’s important to avoid skipping ahead and leaving your dog alone in the crate before she’s ready. To confine your dog at night over the weekend, put her in a small, safe area instead. You can use an exercise pen or baby gate to block off part of your kitchen, a bathroom or a laundry room. Make sure that the area is dog-proofed and free of things that your dog shouldn’t chew. You can leave her with something comfy to lie on, some water, her toys and some chew things to keep her occupied. It’s best not to leave your dog home alone at all during the day on Saturday or Sunday. If you must do so for some reason, you can use the same dog-proofed area so as not to deviate from your training plan.


Choosing a Crate

Pet supply stores and online vendors sell wire crates, plastic airline crates and mesh crates. Each style has its own advantages. Wire crates usually collapse for easy storage and portability, and they provide more ventilation than plastic ones. Plastic crates seem especially den-like and might make dogs feel safer and more secure when they’re inside. Mesh crates provide privacy for dogs and are the most portable, but they aren’t very durable. Some dogs chew through them and escape.

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