Dog Training’s Most Important Step: Crate Training

A vital part of dog training is use of a crate, or kennel. It is most important to crate at a young age. Crate training satisfies a dogs need for a den-like enclosure. Dogs evolved from wolves, which have lived in packs and dens for hundreds of thousands of years. Having a crate taps into this desire that all dogs have inherited from their ancestors. On top of being good for the dog, it is also an effective housebreaking tool, and it helps to teach the dog that it is located at the bottom of the family pack hierarchy.

The best time to start crate training a dog is whenever they are puppies. A dog that is crated as a is will be more comfortable in a crate later in life. This is useful when a dog has to travel in a confined space, such as a car.

When you first start crating a puppy, it is sometimes necessary to throw treats in the crate. Some puppies are naturally afraid of getting inside a crate. However, if they often find treats at the bottom, this fear will quickly go away. Be sure to praise and reward your puppy when it goes in the crate. You may also want to start crating for short periods of time until the puppy gets more used to being in such a small, confined space.

Along with treats, it is also important to have some type of toy or bone for a dog chew on. This will help to satisfy the dogs natural predatory instincts while it is in a crate. Bones and chew toys can also help to improve the dog's dental hygiene.

There are a few other things to keep in mind when putting a dog and a crate. Make sure that the crate has a sufficient water dispenser. You'll also want to make sure that a dog's collar is removed. If there are any loose hanging loops around a dogs neck that can get caught on the crate, it can cause a choking hazard. If a dog's collar gets caught on a crate, it can twist and turn and cause strangulation.

Crates are supposed to be a safe haven for a dog. They are there to help you keep control of your dog whenever you are unable to let him roam around the house, and they helkp to satisfy a dog's natural den instinct. For these reasons it is important to never use the crate as punishment.

Following these crating guidelines will help you along in your dog training path. But you should consult a more complete and thorough dog training resource, like the ones found at before taking your dog training any further.

Find more dog training articles and resources at
Allen McDaniel is an experienced dog trainer and studier of .
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