whether you’ve rescued an adult dog that was never trained to go in a crate or you simply never got around to crate training your pooch when he was a young pup, this lack of training can make things stressful for the both of you when you’re suddenly faced with a need to keep your dog in one place for an hour or so. if you find yourself in this boat, read on to learn how to crate train an older dog. here are just a few: however you may personally feel about dog crates, the fact is that in an emergency your dog is often safer in a crate than he would be in a harness or simply left on his own. it’s important to remember that, while there may be exceptions for dogs with traumatic backgrounds, generally dogs don’t share the negative associations we humans attach to crates. older dogs are most certainly capable of learning new things, but training them can be more challenging than crate training a puppy!
older dogs, on the other hand, are creatures of habit, and sometimes it’s necessary to help them unlearn old habits before they can learn new ones. it might take a lot of repetition and practice, but eventually your older pooch will rise to the occasion. on the other hand, a calmer, older dog might appreciate the cozy hideaway of a crate more than a puppy would. don’t be surprised if you have setbacks and need to start over from an earlier step or even from the beginning. once your dog is willing to remain in the crate, unless he needs to stay in it overnight, don’t leave him in it for more than a few hours at a time. with proper training, the right attitude,= and a lot of patience, a dog crate can be a positive and even soothing experience for your pet.
even though crate training is most often associated with puppies, there are plenty of reasons to crate train an older dog. a crate is not only the safest way to transport a dog in the car (and a requirement on a plane), it’s an essential tool in emergency situations. there is no reason an older dog cannot be crate trained, even if they’ve lived their entire lives without any crate exposure. confinement can be frightening for a dog and that goes double for pups who have been members of the same family for years. the more comfortable a crate is, the more easily an older dog will adjust to it.
if your dog is housebroken, there’s no harm in getting an extra-large crate for maximum comfort as long as you don’t plan to move it around frequently. with the exception of sleeping overnight, a dog should never be locked inside of a crate for more than three hours without a break. it’s fine for a dog to have more than one crate. in fact, setting up two crates, one in the car and one in the house, can make your life easier by eliminating the need to lug a single kennel from one place to another. if, however, you have a bonded pair or a nursing mama dog, you may be able to crate them together as long as the space is large enough for both to be comfortable inside. shoshi parks, ph.d. is a certified professional dog trainer (cpdt-ka) and certified separation anxiety trainer (csat).
start by closing it just for a second before opening it and letting him out again. this will show your dog that he can trust you to let him out there is no reason an older dog cannot be crate trained, even if they’ve lived their entire lives without any crate exposure. the key is to move slowly. no dog— your goal is to make your dog associate the crate with positive feelings, so encourage her to go to the crate by putting treats and even food inside. eventually, crate training a 1 year old dog, how to crate train a 2 year old dog, retraining dog to sleep in crate, how to crate train a dog who hates the crate.
adult and senior dogs can be crate trained, too—and there are so many reasons to do so, from housetraining to travel to simply allowing your dog with the door open, place a few treats inside and encourage your dog to retrieve them. once he is comfortable with this routine, add a command. begin by tempting your older dog into his crate with a treat and lots of praise. make sure that you fuss him once he is inside so that he feels at ease. if your, how to crate train a dog at night, how to crate train a dog when you work, how to crate train an anxious dog, how long does it take to crate train a dog.
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