Crate training isn’t nearly as fun.
Even the most notorious pet lovers know just how hard getting a dog to love their crate can be. Patience must be your best friend. Or you’ll lose the psych to get your dog to get used to the crate.
Some dogs may even poop in the crate as a way of protecting your actions.
But there’s even a more bugging problem as far as crate training is concerned. It has to do with the dog not loving the crate at all. Just how exactly do you train him to spend time in the crate when he already hates it in the first place?
It can be tough. But you can do it. You first need to know why your dog hates the crate and then make the necessary adjustments to get them to love spending time in the very same crate that they dearly despise.
Crate Training Your Dog Even When They Hate Crates
Let me say this:
A crate is the safest haven for a dog. Not only can it help with chewing and potty training, it can also be a great place to confine and control your dog’s movement when you want them to stay still.
Which brings me to my next point:
Dogs don’t hate crates/kennels without a reason whatsoever. If yours doesn’t like the dog crate you just bought them, then you need to figure out why and fix the problem as soon as possible.
With that said, here’s how to get your dog to love their crate.
1. Introduce the Crate the Right Way
Your dog hates the crate simply because you’re introducing it to them the wrong way.
You can’t lock your dog in the crate for three hours straight during the first times and expect them to like it. They’ll feel like you’re pushing them away from you and start screaming.
Like human, dogs are scared of staying alone most of the time – until they’re trained to get used to it. And at the very least, the last mistake you want to make is to let your dog feel scary and isolated. Instead, you should create an impression that the crate is a fun and safe place for them to be every single day.
First, make sure the crate is as comfortable as possible. Place it in a position where it won’t wobble or squeak when your dog’s in it. Second, put your dog in the crate for a few minutes and then let them free.
Doing this will give them the assurance that you aren’t trying to trap and confine them in one place.
You can increase the amount of time they spend in the crate as you continue to crate train them. The idea is to get them to love spending time in the crate. This technique can do the trick.
You don’t want to stop that, though. Go ahead and make their stay in the crate even more interesting.
Add some dog toys in the crate so they can get busy playing. Give them food and water. Share a challenging chew to keep them occupied. And if possible, praise them for not being stubborn.
What you’re doing here is making your dog not feel trapped. That way, they’ll develop a sense that the crate is a safe place for them to spend time.
2. Don’t Crate Him ONLY When You Leave the House
Many people only crate their dogs when they leave the house for work or personal errands.
While this is a good way to make sure a dog doesn’t mess the house – because you don’t want to come back home to a mess anyway – it’s not a good way to get your dog to love the crate.
Remember, dogs are as social as we human beings are. Which is to say that if you lock them away when you leave home, you send them an impression that you’re separating them from you.
To get the dog to love the crate, train them to spend time in it when you’re around. If possible, place the crate where you spend more time- like in the living room. This way, the pet will feel a sense of your presence and not delve into separation anxiety.
At the start when the dog is still new to crate training, do the best you can to crate him when you’re at home and let him free when you leave. This way, they’ll know they have the freedom to move around the house if they want to. And as long as you have potty trained them well, you really shouldn’t worry about coming home to a mess.
3. Never Let Him out When He Screams
Here’s the deal:
No one loves it when a dog barks, right?
But if he screams in his create and you let him out, you’re teaching him two things: that his crate is a cruel place to be and that he should always scream when you put him in it.
Leave the dog in the crate instead – no matter how loud he whines. While the sound of his scream can make you cringe and get your teeth grinding in a mix of emotional anger and fear, you can be sure that your animal friend will keep quiet eventually.
Once he is quiet, let him out of the crate for a couple of minutes. Play with him until he is exhausted and then put him back in the crate so he takes a nap.
When completely exhausted, dogs can sleep for an hour or more, which is a good time for you to get your things done before they wake up hungry and in need of food.
At the end of the day, your main goal is to get the dog to make the crate his best friend. And with proper training, this should be a no brainer for them.
In fact, after just a few weeks of proper training, you’ll see your dog develop the habit of jumping in and out of their crate on their own. How cool is that?