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Crate Training Your Dog

Is your dog crate trained? If not, you may want to start working on this. When used properly, crates can be a wonderful tool. They can help Fido feel safe and cozy, as though he were in his own private den. Also, your dog will likely have to be crated at some point, either while at his vet or groomer’s, or during travel, so it makes sense to get him used to the idea. Read on as an Indianapolis, IN vet discusses crate training your pooch.

Setting Up The Crate

Make Fido’s crate nice and comfy by adding soft bedding and some toys. (Tip: a plain doggy bed can be a great addition to your pet’s little den!)

Placement

Fido’s crate should be in a quiet spot, where he can still see and hear you. Don’t isolate your pup, however. If your four-legged buddy is in a back room by himself, he may think he’s being punished.

Reward

It’s very important for Fido to form good associations with the crate. Offer him meals and treats near it, as well as ear scritches and praise. To get your canine pal to go into the crate voluntarily, try tossing a treat into it. If he goes for it, immediately reward him with snacks and compliments.

Closing The Door

Once Fido is used to going in and out of the crate, start closing the door. At first, only keep it closed for a few minutes. Then, start feeding him in the crate, and closing the door while he eats. Gradually increase the amount of time the door stays shut. The next stage is to start leaving the room. Don’t rush training! Make sure your pooch is completely comfortable with each phase before you move on.

Good Associations

Never use your pet’s crate as a form of punishment. If Fido is sent to his crate every time he misbehaves, he will likely soon start forming negative associations with it. This can make your furry pal anxious and unhappy, which can actually make behavioral issues worse.

Breaks

Fido should never be left in his crate for long periods of time. Overnight is ok, since your pup will likely snooze until morning. Otherwise, a few hours at a time is plenty.

Please contact us, your Indianapolis, IN animal clinic, for all of your pet’s veterinary care needs. We are here to help!

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