a small dog in a dog cage

Crate Training Tips For Your Rescue Dog

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There’s a lot being said about the state of the world these days. There’s a lot of saber-rattling going on.  But that noise is for the politicians, plotters, and attention-cravers out there.  None of that is for the vast majority of the world’s people who just want peace and quiet in their everyday lives. Most folks love their families. They love their pets. This post—indeed this whole website—is written for pet owners everywhere and their pets.  

Ok, so I’ve written recently about why you need to have a crate for your dog.  And, I’ve listed ways a crate will help house train a new rescue puppy.  In this post, several more suggestions will be offered so that crate training your rescue dog will be simple and successful.

Things to Look for in A Dog Crate

  • Material–it doesn’t really matter whether the crate is made of plastic, fabric or metal as long as it is sturdy, portable, attractive, and easy to carry.  It is your choice based on convenience, price, and preference.  While attractive and sturdy wooden crates are okay for home use but not for travel.  They simply aren’t made for easy carry or portability. 
  • Size Matters–If the crate is foldable or collapsible that’s handy, but what’s really important is that it is the right size for the dog.  Regardless of size or age, your dog must be able to stand up, move around, and lie down comfortably while in the crate.  Be aware of your dog’s changing body weight and size.  
  • Dog Comfort–Your dog must be content and comfortable while in the crate. It doesn’t matter whether the crate is used indoors, outside, or in transit.  And, hygiene matters—it’s really important for comfort that the crate is always kept clean.  So, shop for a dog crate that’s easy upkeep for you and will be comfy for your pooch.
  • Portability–Whether you are a big time traveler or you are just driving to the local store, you may want your dog to go with you.  Lots of dogs like to go for rides and they can be “Go-With” best friends.  Perhaps your pooch suffers from separation anxiety.  Or, maybe you just like your dog’s company when you go places.  But no matter what the case is, the interior space of your vehicle is no place for dogs.  For your safety, as well as that of your dog and other passengers, control the dog.  Always use a portable travel crate.
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Do the right things:

  • Don’t isolate the dog. Keep the crate in a room where everyone spends a lot of time such as a den or living room but not the kitchen.  There are simply too many smells and dangers (such as boiling water) in the kitchen.
  • Make sure your dog is comfortable and feels safe while in the crate.
  • Don’t scare or intimidate the dog in any way.  Always speak in a firm but soft voice, be friendly towards the dog, make no sudden moves or loud noises, and never let the crate door scare or hurt the dog. 
  • Introduce the dog’s senses to everyone in the house, including little kids and other pets.  Smells, sounds, sights are very important to a new dog’s orientation.
  • If the dog is young, such as a just-weaned puppy, then expect some timidity or excitability.  Excited peeing or pooping is to be expected―it’s natural so don’t be alarmed or angered.  Just quickly and quietly clean it up and don’t make a fuss.
  • If the dog won’t enter the crate at first then encourage him with loving praise, a favorite toy, bits of dry dog food, or tempting treats—dog treats, not human treats!  Most importantly, give it time―every dog is different. This may take several attempts lasting minutes, hours, or even days before the dog eagerly enters the crate.
  • Once the dog accepts the crate then you can encourage him to use it for longer periods by placing food and water in the crate.  The key is making the crate a safe den—a place where the dog can safely and quietly relax with creature comforts and favorite toys.  

Remember, all dogs need plenty of supervised exercise and outdoor potty breaks.  But, never let your dog go outside unleashed if your home’s yard is not securely fenced.  Even at dog parks a leash may be required and it is always recommended for dog and people safety.

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