At some point, you will need to keep your pup contained for a short period of time. Whether you just adopted an adult dog from the shelter or you didn’t find crate training necessary in his puppy days, you’re about to find out how to crate train an older dog and why it’s important.
Why is crate training important?
Although many people see crate training as something wrong or cruel, there are situations when it’s mandatory. You wouldn’t want your dog jumping all over the car when you take him to the vet.
If you manage to assign the idea of a safe space to your dog’s crate, he will be more than happy to go there and relax from time to time.
A crate is a great option when you’re traveling with your pup. It’s going to assure a safe flight, and he will probably be happy to stay in his new favorite spot.
At first, the idea of a crate and being contained may be scary for your dog, but you need to make sure that at the end of the day, he feels safe in there.
Being contained in a small box may be unpleasant and, if you are forcing it on him, he will try to escape and maybe never go inside again. Luckily, there are things you can do to prove the safety of a crate.
Before proceeding to crate training, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
- Your dog shouldn’t stay in his crate for more than three hours during the day. He needs to move, to exercise, and empty his bladder.
- The crate should be big enough for your dog. This means that your pup should be comfortable standing up and switching his position.
- If you have a puppy or a senior dog, consider their frequent needs to urinate. Let them out frequently.
Crate train an older dog
Some people may say that training an older dog may be a tough business because their habits and routines are already set, unlike training a puppy, who hasn’t developed bad habits.
In reality, you just need to take advantage of his already formed and calm personality. He now trusts you, so it should be easier for you to introduce a new routine.
1. Buy and set up the crate
As mentioned, the crate should be big enough for your dog to stand up and move around a little. If you have a French Bulldog, for example, then you should be searching for the best crate for a French Bulldog, because he will need to feel comfortable.
Set the crate in a visible place and leave it open. Your dog will soon start checking it out, as it is a new object in the house.
2. Prepare yourself and your dog
You both need to be content and ready to make the move. Keep in mind that your dog will feel if you’re nervous, so be positive and focus on the good parts of crate training. Make sure your dog emptied his bladder before he gets in.
3. Lure him in
This means that you will need to place his favorite blanket, toys, or treats into the crate. Objects he may recognize as being friendly.
4. Slowly get your dog inside the crate
All you can do now is be patient and wait for him to get inside. You can try placing his food and water bowls inside and wait for him to step in. Don’t push him, and don’t force him. You don’t want to make him run away from the crate.
5. Slowly close the door
He will eventually step inside the crate. This is the moment where you show him that you can be trusted. Don’t leave the door closed for more than a few seconds. Open it, and allow him to get out again. If you instantly lock him in, he will assign the fear with the crate, and it’s the last thing you want to do.
Just like potty training or leash training, you need to take it slow.
Give your dog the time he needs to adapt and understand the changes so you can crate train an older dog.