A crate is a valuable and useful training tool. Its main purpose is to provide security, safety and protection for short term confinement while training a puppy or new dog about its own and house boundaries.
A crate may look like a jail cell, but when used properly is your dog’s natural den – a personal space where he’ll feels secure and comfortable. The best place to place a crate would be where your dog can see the environment and family members, hear and smell your house – the kitchen is usually a good spot.
An ideal crate should be large enough to allow your dog to stretch out, stand without hitting his head and be able to turn around. The crate should not be so large that your dog can relieve himself in one corner and play move away to play and sleep in another. If your puppy is still young and is not fully growth, try to block off certain section of the crate with cardboard or wood board.
To encourage your dog to “like” his new den, you should preferably equip it with soft bedding, a bowl of water and a toy that he likes. (You might want to remove the water at night when you are potty training your dog)
You must introduce the crate slowly to your dog. Crate him in smaller interval, about 10 minutes, and gradually increase over time. Your dog need time to get used to being crate. Never crate him for more than 30 minutes or longer for the first time.
It is not advisable to crate a young puppy for long period of time – about 2 hour and pup should always be exercised before being crated.
It’s quite normal for dogs to kick up a fuss, bark and moan while in the crate. If these things happen, do not give your dog any attention! Yes! Do not even look in his direction.
Dogs are intelligent animals – Don’t let him know that he’ll get your attention when he kicks up a fuss. Simply ignore him! Let your dog out only when he settles down.
*if it’s a young puppy whom you’ve just introduce the crate to, maybe you can offer him a treat in the crate to calm him down. Whatever you do, don’t let him out of the crate at that very moment!*
The exception I can think of is if you think your dog has to relieve himself. Even so, bring it out only after he stops barking. Another exception is when your dog is chewing on himself. Let him out immediately and consult a trainer or behaviorist.
Lastly, dog should not be crate for too long day after day. He’ll develop destructive behaviors and anxiety problems. If you notice that your dog displays hyper active behavior compare to before, you might be crating him for too long!
Most important of all, never ever punish your dog in the crate, he’ll dread going back to the crate. It is meant to be a comfortable and safe space, not where he’ll get punish.