Adult dogs who have never been crate trained may be a little more wary at first. If you’re just bringing your dog home, it’s best to start by feeding him all his meals inside the crate. On the other hand, if you’re implementing a new routine (or just moving your dog into a comfy new home) the above steps should work just fine. One popular approach with older dogs is to associate the crate with a verbal command and/or hand signal – “jump in” or whatever you like, while tossing a treat into the crate.If this is a completely new experience for your dog, he may need a few extra days to feel really comfortable with it. As with puppies, it can help if you stay within sight as you gradually lengthen the amount of time he spends in the crate. Be sure to offer occasional treats and praise, and you’ll find that you really can teach an old dog new tricks.
Whether young or old, most dogs will probably protest a little at the beginning. It’s normal, so don’t worry – usually, they’re just confused and want to be let out. The best thing to do in this case is simply to ignore them. As you know, dogs are just like kids, and they’ll quickly learn that they can get what they want by whining. Remember, though, that it’s possible your dog needs to “do its business” – try bringing him outside, but if he doesn’t do his thing within a few minutes, you should return him to his den until he’s ready. In either case, remember to stick to the crating time guidelines listed above for the quickest results, and try not to respond unnecessarily to whining or barking. Wait until your dog settles down before letting him out, and next time, try a slightly shorter crating time, so that your dog is let out before he begins to feel uncomfortable.
IMPORTANT: In some very rare cases, a dog may exhibit true panic in a closed crate. In such a state it’s very possible for the animal to hurt itself trying to escape – should this occur, it’s best to explore alternative methods of house training, because it’s simply not worth the stress on either dog or owner.Remember, stick to the program! Ignore barking, but adjust crating times accordingly. Keep an eye out for “legitimate” barks.
Some people think that crate training is really “caging”, subtly disguised. Nothing could be further from the truth!When used appropriately, crate training is easy, effective, and pleasant for both dogs and owners because it works with your dog’s natural instincts – and your desires – instead of against them. Following the tips you’ve learned in this guide will help you and your dog quickly move on from house training to developing the rewarding relationship you both want.