Adopting a dog is a great way to add loyal companionship to your life. When you make the decision to bring a new dog into your home you will want to make sure that you are prepared for their arrival. One very important tool you may want to consider is a crate. Here are some helpful tips to use when purchasing and using a crate for your dog.
First, you’ll want to make sure that the crate is the right size for your dog. You don’t want a crate that is too small for your dog. That could cause serious injury to your dog. You also don’t want a crate that is too big. This could cause housebreaking issues. Your dog may use the extra room as a potty area. The crate should be big enough for your dog to stand normally. It should also allow the dog to lie down comfortably.
When considering the size of your dog remember to take into account any growing that he/she might do after you take them home. For example, if you are adopting a large breed puppy, you will probably want to get a crate that will last through adulthood. That is possible. You will simply want to get a divider that will close off parts of the crate. As the puppy grows you simply move the divider to allow the appropriate amount of room.
Now that you have a crate you will want to make sure that you place it in the proper area in your home. The purpose of a crate is to keep your dog safe and out of trouble while you are away from home. The area in which you keep the crate can help to make it a comfortable and soothing place for your dog.
When considering where to place your dog’s crate make sure to think about the movement in your house when you are getting ready to leave. Try not to place the crate in a high traffic area of your home. This could cause undo excitement for your dog at a time when you want them to be calm. An ideal spot to place the crate is in a quiet out of the way area, like a bedroom or den. Make sure to place the crate away from electrical outlets or other things that your dog could reach and chew on.
Now that you have your crate in place you can introduce it to your new dog. This should be a positive experience for your dog. Make sure that your dog is not overly excited at the time of introduction. Take him/her for a long walk first to ensure a calm frame of mind.
To keep the experience positive make sure not to force the dog into the crate. You can use food to help you persuade the dog that the crate is a pleasant place. Treats or small bits of cheese are great for enticing your dog. Make a trail of food into the crate and allow the dog to follow his/her nose. Repeat this process several times without closing the door of the crate.
Once it appears that your dog is comfortable with entering the crate you may close the door behind the dog. Then try leaving the room for a short period of time, about 15 minutes or so. Some dogs and puppies may cry or bark when they realize they are shut in. Ignore this behavior. If you respond to barking it is sure to occur every time you put them into the crate. If you ignore it the dog will eventually get the message that barking is unwanted.
When your dog is calm you can come into the room and open the crate. Upon release the dog may show some signs of excitement. It is best to ignore the dog until he/she calms down. By ignoring the dog’s excited behavior you are showing the dog that being in the crate and out of the crate are normal activities that require no excitement.
Repeat the process so that your dog has several short stays in the crate while you are still at home. This will create a comfortable separation between you and your dog. If you only place the dog in the crate when you are leaving the house the dog may associate the crate with the stress of separation.
Once your dog is comfortable with being in the crate when you are home you may crate him/her for short periods with you out of the house. Go to the store or step out to get the mail. When you return home leave your dog in the crate for a few more minutes to ensure that he/she is calm. Gradually increase the time you leave your dog in the crate over several days/weeks.
After a period of time you may choose to allow your dog to have some things in the crate with them. A comfortable rug or blanket is usually alright but keep in mind it may get chewed on. You may also choose to leave some chew items for your dog to keep busy with. Nylabones or rubber Kongs packed with treats and peanut butter and left in the freezer for a few hours can keep your dog busy for a while. Do not leave real bones or rawhides with a crated dog. It is easy for a dog to choke on one of these items so only use them when you are there.
Another important thing to keep in mind is the amount of time you will be leaving your dog crated. Your dog may need to use the restroom every few hours. If you are going to need the dog to be crated for full days while you are at work you may consider hiring a dog walker to come to your house in the middle of the day and take your dog for a brisk relieving walk. Make sure that the walker follows the same rules as you do when letting the dog out of the crate and returning them to it.
There are a couple more things that you should keep in mind when using a crate with your dog. Make sure that the area you place the crate in is not too hot or cold. For example, you should never crate your dog outside or in an unventilated garage. This could cause serious injury or death. Also never use the crate as a punishment for your dog. The crate should always be a safe comfortable place for your dog.
These steps should help you to acclimate your new dog to a crate with little difficulty. You can easily keep him/her safe and comfortable when you can’t be with them. You may also opt to check some helpful tips and techniques online about the proper way of taking good care and training your dog. You can get more info from some of the reliable sources online. Have a great time with your new dog!