Crate expectations

By Connie Orcutt • Published: December 1st, 2013
Category: Animal Airwaves

Your dog is a den animal by nature. His instinct is to take refuge in a safe hideaway. In the wild, pups learn this from their moms, but now it’s up to you to teach your little buddy that the crate is his safe haven.

Start with a clean comfy crate. Then entice your puppy in with food or a toy as you issue gentle commands and offer praise. Leave the door open at first, then start closing it for increasing periods of time while you stay close at hand. And always take your dog outside after crate time.

Eventually you can feed your puppy meals in his crate and let him sleep there too. But don’t take advantage of crate time. Dogs dislike soiling their beds, and puppies need to go outside every few hours. Above all, never use the crate as punishment.

Before long, your pup will think of the crate as his sanctuary. You just need to show him the way.