Why Crate Train Your Dog?
How to Crate Train Your Dog: The Weekend Plan continued...
Do 10 repetitions and then take a short break. Repeat the exercise another
10 times-or until your dog seems to know the game and enters and exits readily
when you ask her to.
If your dog seems nervous about going into the crate or confused about what
she’s supposed to do when you say the cue, go back and practice Step One for a
while longer. When your dog confidently rushes into the crate to get her treat,
you can try Step Two again.
Saturday Afternoon: Close the Crate Door
Now it’s time to get your dog used to being in the crate with the door
- To warm up, do a couple of repetitions just like you did before. Say “Go to
bed,” point to the crate, reward your dog with a treat when she goes in and
then say “Okay” to let her know she can come out.
- Now you’ll try closing the crate door for just a moment. Give your cue “Go
to bed” and point to the crate.
- When your dog goes in the crate, praise her and immediately give her a
treat. Then gently close the crate door. (You don’t have to latch it yet.) Feed
your dog two or three treats through the closed crate door and continue to
praise her while she’s in the crate.
- Say “Okay” and open the crate door to let your dog come out. (If your dog
seems stressed or panicked with the door briefly closed, break down this
exercise into two phases: in the first phase, just close the door halfway, give
a treat and release your dog; in the second phase, close the door all the
Do 10 repetitions and then take a break for a minute or two. Then repeat the
exercise 10 more times, slowly building up the time your dog stays in the crate
with the door closed. As you increase the time, throw in some easy repetitions,
too. Start with 1 second, then increase to 5. Try 8 seconds, then go back to 3.
Increase to 10 seconds, then 15, then 20, then an easy 5. Continue to
generously reward your dog whenever she’s in the crate. After you finish your
second set of 10 repetitions, take a half-hour break. Then repeat the exercise
again. Over the afternoon, try to build up to having your dog stay in the crate
for one minute.