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A Guide to Early Crate Training
Crate training is an option for dogs of any age. After an initial period of adjustment, your dog will adopt the crate as his or her home, and seek it out as a quiet place of refuge. Many top breeders recommend dog crates or cages because they work well, and keep dogs safe and happy.
It is ideal to begin crate training when the dog is a small puppy, and make it his or her bed from the beginning. Puppy pens are best used in conjunction with cages or crates, providing a controlled space where the puppy can still socialise and play with his or her humans. Puppy pens are most helpful when the puppy is still learning what it is and is not acceptable to chew.
The first stage of crate training is to gently encourage the dog to enter the crate. If they are reluctant you should not force them, nor should you praise them too enthusiastically when they do enter. Place the dog’s bedding and a favourite toy inside, perhaps a treat as well, and let them enter. It may be best to begin at night, or when the dog is ready to sleep.
Make sure to crate your dog at different times, even when there is no specific need, or else you risk the dog realising that they are only crated at interesting or exciting times (such as when guests arrive, etc.). This would give the animal little incentive to cooperate.
Initially, make sure to release your dog from the crate after ten to fifteen minutes, to make sure that it is not an overly threatening or boring procedure for them. Many short sessions will be more effective, and more fun, than a few long ones.
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