Congratulations on your new rescue dog! They are sure to bring endless amounts of joy (and maybe a little bit of extra work) into your life. One of the first things you'll need to do with your new furry friend is crate train them. Crate training may seem daunting, but we're here to help. Keep reading for a step-by-step guide on how to crate train your rescue dog.
Step One: Choose the Right Size Crate
The most important factor in crate training success is choosing a crate that's the right size for your dog. If the crate is too small, they may feel claustrophobic; too large, and they may be inclined to use one end as a bathroom. In general, you'll want to choose a crate that's big enough for your dog to stand up, turn around, and lie down in comfortably. If you're not sure which size crate to get, consult with your local pet store or vet. They'll be able to help you choose the perfect size for your pup.
Step Two: Get Them Used to the Crate Before You Start Training
Before you start training your rescue dog to use their crate, it's important that they become comfortable with it. You can do this by placing the crate in a location where they spend a lot of time, such as in the living room or near their bed. Then, put some of their favorite toys and treats inside so they associate the crate with happy memories. Allow them to enter and exit the crate freely for several days before moving on to step three.
Step Three: Start With Short Training Sessions
Once your rescue dog is comfortable with their crate, it's time to start training them to use it. The key here is to start small and gradually increase the amount of time they spend in their crate over time. For example, you might start by putting them in their crate for 10 minutes while you're in the same room doing something else nearby. Then, over the course of several days or weeks, gradually increase the amount of time they spend in their crate until they're able to stay in there for 30 minutes or more while you're gone. Remember to praise them whenever they go into their crate willingly and give them treats when you let them out so they associate it with positive experiences.
Once your dog is comfortable, you can start leaving them alone for longer periods of time- start with just a few minutes and work your way up. If they make a fuss, don't let them out until they've calmed down- otherwise, they'll learn that making noise gets them what they want. With a little patience and persistence, you'll have your rescue dog happily snoozing in their crate in no time!
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