Why Crate Train Your Dog?
How to Crate Train Your Dog: The Weekend Plan continued...
It’s important that you respond consistently when your dog makes noise in
her crate. It might be frustrating at first, but if you stick to your plan,
she’ll learn that it’s in her best interest to rest quietly when crated.
Sunday Afternoon: Alone Time
Before moving on to Sunday afternoon exercises, give your dog a good
workout. Take her outside on a brisk walk or jog, play fetch or tug, or give
her a chance to play with a dog buddy. Crate training will be easier if she’s
tired. After you’ve exercised your dog, repeat the training steps you practiced
this morning, but this time, instead of settling down to relax in the same room
as your dog, you’ll move around the house.
- Ask your dog to go in her crate. When she does, hand her a delicious chew
bone or a stuffed KONG. Then close the crate door and walk out of the
- Stay out of the room for 10 minutes. After the time’s up, you can return
and let your dog out of the crate. (If she hasn’t finished working on her chew
thing, take it away after she leaves the crate. She only gets special goodies
during crate time.) If your dog makes noise in the crate while you’re gone,
don’t return to let her out until she’s been quiet for 5 to 10 seconds.
- After a short break, repeat the exercise.
This afternoon, continue to repeat the steps above, slowly building up the
time your dog stays in her crate. Try to work up to one full hour of alone
Sunday Evening: Time to Leave the House
If your dog can quietly rest in her crate for an hour while you move around
the house, you’re ready to leave her home alone. Ask your dog to go in her
crate and give her something delicious to chew or eat, just like you did
before. Then close the crate and, without saying any goodbyes, leave the house
for about 10 minutes. When you return, calmly let your dog out of her crate and
take away her chew. Resist the urge to celebrate. Your dog will feel most
comfortable going into and out of her crate if you act like it’s no big
Repeat the exercise as often as possible before bedtime, with exercise and
potty breaks in between training times. Try to build up to leaving your dog in
her crate, home alone, for an hour or two.
Crate training can be challenging for some dogs, so don’t hesitate to enlist
the help of a Certified Pet Dog Trainer (CPDT) in your area. A professional
trainer will offer group or private classes that can provide lots of help with
crate training. Please see our article, Finding Professional
Help, to locate a CPDT near you.