How to Discipline Your Pet Using A Heavy Duty Dog Crate
Now that you found your dog the perfect crate, it’s time to train him to like it. Just like the old saying, you can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink, in the doggie world, you can buy the perfect crate for your dog as far as size and materials go, but just because you bought the right equipment doesn’t necessarily mean your dog would like using it.
This is where you need to put in quite a bit of time. The good news is that most dogs are fairly easy to train. You see, dogs are creatures of the incentives. If you give them the right incentive, and you’re constant in how you give them those incentives, the dog will end up engaging in certain desirable behaviors. This applies across the board. Whether we’re talking about potty training, teaching your dog not to chew stuff around the house, or overall doggie discipline, it really all boils down to proper incentives and consistency. If you would like to discipline your dog using a heavy duty crate, pay attention to the following.
First, you need to start with empathy. Put yourself in your dog’s place. Just like human beings, dogs don’t like being in small confined spaces. Accordingly, it’s a good idea to make sure that you confine your dog in a heavy duty crate for only as long as he needs to be confined. In other words, work within your pet’s comfort zone. Now, keep in mind that the comfort zone I’m talking about is a trained comfort zone. This has to be reasonable as far as both your pet’s and your needs are concerned. Regardless, it’s always a good idea to begin the training process with some empathy. Remember that just as you would not like to be restricted in a small confined space for a long period of time, the same applies to your dog.
Now that you have the empathy part out of the way, it should be fairly obvious to you at this point that you should not use your heavy duty dog crate as a punishment. Just because your dog did something you did not like doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to force them to stay inside the crate. Keep in mind that the more your dog sees the crate as a form of punishment, the more likely they will refuse to get inside the crate. This whole exercise can become really frustrating really quickly. It can devolve into a downward spiral if you don’t pay attention to your pet’s needs.
It’s important to make sure that there is no hint of punishment when you order your dog into the crate. This way, they would feel that they are not being punished. Watch your tone of voice, watch what you say, pay attention to how you look at your dog, and other non-verbal signals you’re sending off. Again, the moment they detect that there is something negative connected with the act of them getting into the crate and staying there, the more likely they will refuse to get into the crate. Don’t make things unnecessarily hard on yourself by being careless with the non-verbal signals you’re sending to your pet.
Don’t Leave Your Pets in the Crate for Too Long
Again, the whole point here is to avoid any kind of negative association. The longer your pets stay in the crate, the more likely they would become depressed. Eventually, they would start associating being in the heavy duty pet crate as something negative. It may not be at the level of punishment, but it would still be so negative that they wouldn’t want to voluntarily get in a dog crate.
What benchmarks should you follow? Well, if your puppy is younger that 6 months they shouldn’t stay inside the crate for more than 3 to 4 hours at a time. The reason for this should be quite obvious. At that age, they are unable to control their bowels and bladders for that long of a time period. Try to moderate the amount of time you keep your pet in the crate to match their ability to control their bowel and bladder functions.
If you were trying to house train a dog, ramp up the time that they stay in the crate. In the beginning, keep them there for a fairly short period of time. The more they get accustomed to it, increase the duration. Most importantly, you should only put your dog in a dog crate until you can trust him to behave around the house.
You have to always remember that training a dog involves both punishment/discipline and rewards. If your dog is well behaved when he’s not in the crate, make sure you reward your dog with treats and call him a “good boy.”DISCLAIMER: The information on this site is not intended to replace the advice of your own veterinarian or doctor. Should you think that your pet needs medical attention, please contact your local veterinarian.