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crate training
household items
canines
safe haven
stimuli
instincts
way of life
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Here Is Your Crate Training For Older Dogs Checklist
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Here is Your Crate Training for Older Dogs Checklist

When it comes to crate training for older dogs the how's and why's are often much the same as for puppies. Yet it is not the first thought that comes to mind for many pet owners of older canines.

When most folks think of older dogs their perception may be that the dog has outgrown any unwanted puppy behaviors and should be settled into a more balanced way of life. However, such is not always the case.

Why would your dog need to be crate trained?

There are a variety of reasons a dog of any age should be crate trained.

Easy Transport

Containment in hotels or friends homes

Can serve as a doghouse or den

Protection for the dog from dangerous situations or household items

Prevention of damage to items around the house

Reduction of anxiety to a variety of stimuli

House-training - probably the number one reason for most pet owners

For the above reasons and others it is important if not critical for your dog to get accustomed to and comfortable with its crate, and that is the purpose of crate training.

The Concept of Crate Training.

From a dogs point of view, being that they are animals with den instincts, a crate is a good thing. To them it offers comfort, safety, and a sense of security. Therefore, the crate should never, under any circumstances be used as a form of punishment.

Crate training can be a rather speedy process and an easy one as long as you are committed to the training.

So a quick checklist to get you started.

1. Your Crate Location.

Some things to consider when choosing where to put your crate would be:

A quiet corner of a room

A room where family members spend a lot of time

and where the dog can see everyone and not be in total isolation.

A location free of drafts and not to close to heat sources.

Ideally, the crate serves as a safe haven, from which the dog can come and go as it pleases, (so door should be left open) and it can have a comfortable viewpoint of what's going on around it.

2. Choosing a Crate.

Crates come in a variety of sizes, types and qualities.

The two most common are:

Closed crates - good for travel and some are advertised as being "airline approved".

Wire Crates - preferred by many trainers for their open and airy feel. A blanket over the wired crate can create the effect of a closed crate if needed. Most wire crates have a removable pan that serves as a floor and makes cleaning easier. Some are collapsible making transport more convenient as well.

The bars of a wire crate should be no more than 2 inches apart and should be well designed, solid, and secure.

An adult dog should be able to sit up in its' crate without bumping it head on the ceiling. There should also be ample room to stand up and turn around.

3. The Method.

Make the crate inviting by placing a toy or two, a treat and bedding inside. You can also place a water dish and keep it full. Allow your dog to investigate outside the crate for a while. If it enters on its own, give lots of praise. If the dog doesn't go in, you can use treats to entice him/her to go in. Once it has been in and out a few times, you can close the door for a minute or two while they are inside and gradually increase the time. If you are training for housebreaking then take the dog outside whenever you remove it from the crate to allow and encourage going to potty outside.

Note: if you are going to leave your dog crated for an extended period, it's always a good idea to remove its collar, they can become caught on part of the crate and cause harm.

Potential Problems

Without the proper training some dogs may tend to soil their crate, resulting in a dog that learns to be dirty. Perhaps you have adopted an older dog that was never crate trained or given a dog originally purchased from a pet shop or puppy mill in which case the dog has had a lifetime of unwanted learned behavior. In such instances crate training for older dogs will take extra time and patience to implement.

I hope that you find these crate training ideas and thoughts to be helpful and remember any dog of any age can be easily trained using proper techniques and patience, persistence and lots of praise.


Street Talk

Really interesting article looks for posting

Reply
  about 5 years ago
  

Thanks for reading and commenting Gayle.

Reply
  about 5 years ago

Speaking of crates! The crate for our Great Dane, Boozer, is like a small house! He has learned to 'kennel up' and I think dogs really do like to be in an enclosed area like a kennel. I think they feel safe and secure that way. Just an ole cowpoke's opininion!! Thanks for the article!

Reply
  about 6 years ago
  

Thanks for the read and follow. I know what you mean. I could've slept comfortably in the crate we used for our English Mastiff. It's like it's their man's best friend cave.

Reply
  about 6 years ago

Great information here Johnney! Thanks!

Reply
  about 6 years ago

What great info here! Keep up the good work!

Reply
  about 6 years ago
  

Thanks Shawn.

Reply
  about 6 years ago

A great article Johnney, when we moved I had to invest in a crate for the dogs, I got a fairly large one in which I can place both dogs. When climbing half in to arrange their blankets and pillows they were in with me, never had to train any further and now a command of "Box" and they both head there with speed almost begging for the order so they can enjoy their box....

Reply
  about 6 years ago
  

Thanks for the read Rob, yes, it's funny how if we recognize our dogs exhibiting a wanted behavior and with a little praise they almost instinctively know and understand what you're asking of them. We got lucky with our English Mastiff, Hershey, when we first got her at 12 weeks and would put her food down we almost had to coax her into eating. So I began giving her her first taste with a fork, (we feed raw) and then she would just look up at me and I would say okay and point to the food bowl and she would begin eating. She's is 5 and a half now, and I could drop a sirloin strip on the ground and she won't touch until I say okay. Dogs are so cool. Thanks again for the comment.

Reply
  about 6 years ago

They're just like us in a way, I just love my dogs to bits and with a nickname of Bulldog, I feel a certain affiliation to them. We had a dog many years ago, would not touch the food until you said it was his by his name, you could not fool him using other names, the problem is I can't remember how we trained him...

  
  about 6 years ago
  

That's a good one. Dogs can pick up on the most subtle signs when it comes to learned behavior. It's us humans who often tend to overthink things.

Reply
  about 6 years ago

Johnny I often wonder sometimes if it is not them training us. I have a fox terrier that has a certain bark, first thing in the morning he will give this till I go out and give him his biscuit. Its the only time he uses that tone of bark, repetitive training of the Boss, till he gets up and rewards me. Dogs I think do train us as well.....

  
  about 6 years ago
  

I agree as well.

Reply
  about 6 years ago

Good tips, thanks Johnney!

Reply
  about 6 years ago
  

Thank you James.

Reply
  about 6 years ago

Great article, I used a crate for my Labrador when we got her, it was a blessing. It saved the furniture and she got to like it, going in on her own for a rest when we were otherwise occupied. Another tip is putting a blanket over the crate to darken it down a bit leaving a gap to see out. Works well on nervous dogs. Can also help at bed time from crying as it feels more secure.

Reply
  about 6 years ago
  

Yes Mark, it's really cool when your dog is comfortable enough with its' crate that they enter on their own. Blanket over the crate does enhance the den like feeling for the dog, great tip. Thanks.

Reply
  about 6 years ago

I have never tried to train an older dog, but it makes sense that many of the same techniques apply.

Reply
  about 6 years ago
  

Yes, Steve, it just may take a little more time with older dogs, but definitely doable. Thanks for the comment.

Reply
  about 6 years ago

This is one of the best, if not the best, article I have read on dog training, I was looking for the part where you would tell people to never use the crate as a form of punishment, and sure enough it was in there. Great article! keep em coming.

Reply
  about 6 years ago
  

Thanks Ty!

Reply
  about 6 years ago

Thank you so much Johnney. I found this article very interesting. I have a almost 7 yr old Chihuahua that is yet to be house broke and this gives me hope.

Reply
  about 6 years ago
  

Thank You Phyllis for the read and the comment. My mom has 3 Chihuahuas. Some think that smaller dogs, esp Chi's are near impossible to housetrain, but it can be done with both young and old alike. Remember, dogs like routine and if you create the routine you want them to have they are happy to oblige, they just need to know what it is we want them to do. Good luck and thanks again.

Reply
  about 6 years ago
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