A kennel or crate can be a very useful tool for dog owners! It offers an easy, humane way to ensure your pup is safe and under control when you’re unable to supervise them. If you kennel train your dog the right way, it’ll also become a safe and homey space that they can call their own.
Be sure to keep these helpful tips in mind when you start practicing with your new puppy to guarantee they love their crate!
DO help your dog develop a positive association with their kennel.
You want your dog to see their crate as a place of comfort and relaxation. Make their kennel cozy with soft blankets and bedding on the floor and maybe an old shirt with your familiar smell. Put one or two of your pup’s favorite toys or even a couple of treats in there to reassure them that they’re in a safe, enjoyable space!
DON’T rush the process.
Tossing your dog in a cage and locking them up for 12 hours overnight is a surefire way to traumatize them and put them off from their crate for good. Start their training slowly to help them adjust. Ease them into becoming familiar with their kennel by letting them explore willingly at first. As they get more comfortable, practice closing the door for a few minutes at a time. Increase these intervals as they get used to being in their crate.
DO give praise and rewards generously.
As your dog gets more and more used to their kennel, celebrate their progress openly. Start by acknowledging when they go in to explore on their own with verbal praise, tasty treats, and plenty of pets! Continue to reward them as their duration in the crate increases and they remain calm and on good behavior.
DON’T respond to whining.
On the other hand, don’t encourage any crying or barking with a response of any kind while your dog is in their kennel. Any reaction to this behavior will teach your dog that it’s an effective way to get your attention. Do make sure they aren’t whining because they need something though—like more water in their bowl or a trip to the bathroom. Take the time to differentiate between their needs and their demands.
DO leave their crate open and accessible.
Help your dog see their crate as a welcome retreat by allowing them to go in and out as they please. Leave the door open any time they aren’t being locked up overnight or when you’re out of the house. You might even start to notice that they go in there for a nap after play time or to relax after a big meal!
DON’T use the kennel as punishment.
If you lock up your dog whenever they have an accident in the house or rip apart your couch pillow, they’ll come to see their crate as a prison. The worst thing you can do is turn their kennel into a stressful place they fear and detest. Take extra care not to put your dog in their crate as punishment or yell at them while they’re in it either, to prevent any negative associations from developing.
Any dog can be trained to love their kennel with the proper time, effort, and care. If you’re looking to ease the process though with a breed that’s known for being adaptable, look no further than the Australian Labradoodles at Sierra Springs! These adorable pooches are ready to learn, easy to train, and most importantly, eager to love.
Contact us today to learn more about these special dogs, our available puppies, and our upcoming litters!