The whimpering, the whining, the barking. Dogs know how to make you feel guilty when crate training.
Throw another dog who doesn’t need to be crated into the same house and it’s easy to feel that you’ve betrayed your furry friend by crating them.
My puppy, entered our family as the second dog. Our full-grown dog was allowed to roam freely when nobody was home.
To the contrary, our puppy needed constant supervision from chewing on TV wires, shoes, and toilet paper.
The easiest solution was to begin crate training. I was able to provide a safe space where my puppy wouldn’t swallow something harmful and curb their desire to pee wherever they please.
What wasn’t so easy, however, was the actual process of crate training especially in a house with another dog. Here are a few tricks I learned through trial and error when training my pup to be in their crate.
Out-Of-Crate Distractions Should Be Kept to a Minimum
The location of your dog’s crate matters when you begin training them. When I began, I made the mistake of keeping my puppy’s crate in an area my older dog spent most of their time.
When my puppy caught a glance of the free-roaming dog he would completely loose his cool and begin to bark and cry.
Place their crate in a room your dog is used to, feels safe in, and has minimum distractions. A bedroom works great for this. This way your puppy won’t fixate on the other dog and what they’re doing.
In-Crate Distractions Should be Fun and Rewarding
Keeping your dog occupied in their cate is key to successful crate training. Try giving your dog extra attention and praise.
Provide them with treats that require mental stimulation to be rewarded or at least take time to eat.
Entertainment while crated (LINK) allows them to spend a longer duration of time in the crate.
It’s important to make sure your pup doesn’t associate their crate with being punished. With a free roaming dog in the house, this association can happen quickly. Rewards become an important element for your puppy to associate with their crate.
Keep the Crating Time Short and Sweet
Start with short durations in their crate – just a few minutes at a time. Too much time to quickly will cause your pup to panic
Once they grow accustomed to the timeframe, add a couple more minutes. It is important to keep their crate as safe environment, not a place for punishment. It can cause regression in crate training.