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Why Crate Train Your Dog?

(continued)

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.

  1. 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 room.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 time.

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 deal.

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.

 

Having Trouble?

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.

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