As A local dog trainer in Orange County I get asked a lot about crate training. If I had one message for every dog owner in The OC it would be to use a crate when you own a dog. As humans we go to our bedrooms and sleep in a bed. Well dogs are cave/den animals and enjoy resting and recharging in a crate that feels safe. We recommend a plastic crate as it feels more secure. Metal crate feel more like a jail and allow the dogs to look at everything and become distracted and will cry/whine in the crate more. Owning a dog in Orange County can be easier if you utilize a crate. Below is a segment from out FREE E BOOK! Make sure to download your copy after you read these crate training tips that can make a huge difference in potty training. Thats right! Crate training and potty training go hand and hand. Its best to get on a routine. OK, I won’t say any more. Simply read the Crate Training instructions below!
Using the crate is the beginning to your training. This is meant as a way to control your dog in order to establish a routine. The routine you are going to establish is like a ritual every step has to be done exactly the way we explain. First letting your dog out of the crate must be done under your control. Just because you open the door to the crate does not mean your dog should barge their way out. Dogs are not allowed to come out of the crate until they are given the release command. This whole process must be done in a calm energy. The activity is not to see how fast you can get your dog out of the crate. It’s about expressing your expectations to instill the correct behavior in your dog.
Use the crate as a tool. Every time you invite your dog to come out of the crate have a specific purpose for what you are going to do. Always have one activity in mind when you let them out of the crate, when you are finished put him back into the crate. Even if it is only for 20 minutes so you can regroup and come up with another activity or something to do.
Do not let them out of the crate even if they are whining or crying no matter how bad you feel or how annoying it is. Go in another room and ignore it. Don’t give your dog any attention. They will eventually stop and when they do, still wait 5-10 mins or so and then let them out. If your dog stops crying and then starts back up again start the timer all over again. Consider it a game. 10 mins of quiet results in being let out.
Remember you guys are in control and dictate the rules not your dog. Dogs are den animals. Even though the average dog is domesticated they still have primal needs that are subconscious to them. Each dog needs a den, a crate a place to feel safe and put their mind at ease. This is like having a battery charger. Imagine your bedroom, blinds shut, lights off, feeling safe to sleep and rest.
Every time your dog goes in the crate they are resetting and getting prepared for what comes next.
What comes next you ask?
The typical dog can learn 50-100 commands it all depends on what you want your dog to do. Most people will tell you that your dog has to have a high dive and only certain dogs can do things. This is false. If you set a routine, work with your dog and consistently express your expectations the results are up to you!
The reason that most dogs don’t do more than the 3-5 basic commands is because of a lack of discipline by the dog owners. Everyone has a different lifestyle with needs; this is why our method is can apply to any dog, any breed and any needs the owner may have. By applying our method, you can customize your needs and develop behaviors for your dog that fit your lifestyle.
When you put your dog in the crate this must be done in a positive, relaxed tone. The crate is not a form of punishment and cannot be associated with anything negative. When you put your dog in the crate simply think positive, think your dog is going to walk right into the crate easy as can be. You can lead your dog into the crate by assertively and gently helping your dog understand your expectations.
If you are having trouble, simply use leash tension in the forward direction to show your dog where to go. If you do not have a plastic crate that is covered it is essential that the crate be dark and cave like. Put a thin blanket, a breathable fabric over the crate to give it the cave like effect.
If you have a wired crate and you don’t cover it, think about it like a jail cell. If your dog is in a crate and can see out and they are not relaxed they will scratch, whine, bark, chew and ultimately become distracted. This is the opposite effect you are looking to get out of your dog as well as this is not healthy for your dog.
Dogs do not want to become primitive or develop bad habits they want to be relaxed, calm and off duty but ready to work at a given moment.
We recommend crate training for anyone who gets a dog. Thousands dog trainers use crates with new boot camp dogs in order to break them of their old routine and establish a new routine.
Think about when you have a child for the first few years you use the assistance of a crib, play yard, high chair and even will gate off a designated place to put the child in order to control the environment and establish a routine. This is a basic concept that will keep you calm, stress free and able to be in control. If your dog is just running around the house destroying things doing whatever they want to do, they will become a problem. This is the opposite what you are trying to achieve.
Routine is one of the most important things you can establish when training your dog. Another comparison is if you are trying to lose weight. Think about the routine your health advisor or person trainer would give you. They would establish a specific diet and work out that you would be expected to follow in order to get the results you want. If you don’t follow the routine and diet you won’t lose the weight and get healthy. Same thing applies to your dog. Follow the routine, establish your expectations and enjoy the results. Enjoy a lifetime of happiness and fun with your dog!