How to Train Your Puppy to the Crate

Your dog’s crate should be his Mecca, his domain, his very, very happy place. But not all puppies welcome the crate at first, and in fact, fear may be their initial watchword. For some pups, getting them to cherish their crate may take time and patience.

But it’s all good and doable, and here’s how.

Picking a Crate

The size of the crate helps determine how quickly your dog will adjust to it. A large size crate for a small puppy is overwhelming, just as a too-small crate is cramped and uncomfortable. Select a crate just big enough so that your puppy or dog can turn around in it comfortably without any excess space for him to poop or pee in.

Introducing the Crate

Avoid putting your puppy in the crate right away. Instead, put him in the same area and every time he looks at it, give him a treat.

Moving Closer

After you have rewarded him multiple times for looking at the crate, set up a path of treats that leads right to the opening of the crate. At this point, you can also place a treat right inside the crate’s opening.

As your pup’s confidence builds and he becomes excited about getting the treat in the crate’s opening, reduce the length of the pathway to it and place additional treats further into the crate.

Moving In

Once your puppy has gone into the crate in a relaxed and happy manner, use treats to entice him to sit and/or lie down in it.  Try closing the door.

Give him toys and or a puzzle toy filled with goodies and walk away for a few moments. When you return, you guessed it – more treats. Gradually increase the amount of time you are away until you see that he is happy and relaxed being alone in his crate.

If at any time he becomes tense, back up to a previous, successful step.

Eating Meals

Now, think about meals. Once your pup has successfully entered the crate with the door closed, feed him his meals in it, with the door open.


Now your puppy should be comfortable being in his crate with the door closed for short periods of time. Also, when you are around and able to keep an eye on him, leave the crate door open so he can happily escape to his quiet little cave.

Author: madmuser

A butcher, a baker, a candlestick maker, and a few things in between. And so that road less traveled has brought me here to follow my dream and my muse.

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