Crate training is a sensitive subject for some dog owners.
Why Crate Train?
- Crate training and potty training go hand-in-hand, as dogs do not like to soil where they sleep.
- Crates provide a haven of your dog is in new, uncomfortable, or scary situations – giving them a place to go to feel safe.
- When your dog is comfortable in the crate it reduces stress if they are crated during emergencies, travel, or at the vet/groomer.
Even with this, many dog owners still find themselves thinking:
I don't want to use the crate. That's like putting my dog in jail.
Most veterinarians, trainers, and breeders (the experts!) recommend crate training dogs. As owners, we have to recognize crate adversity as OUR HANG UP.
It's ok to feel uncomfortable, but it's NOT ok to transmit that negative emotion to the dog.
Part of making the crate a positive, safe place is showing your dog that it is!
My dog Jack (or super Jackass as we like to call him) had a really hard time with crate training. I was getting so frustrated with him yelling in the crate that I had to do something to lighten the mood.
I decided to give his crate a name that would make me laugh every time I said it. So I taught Jack to go to his “Batcave.”
Simply giving the crate a silly name changed my mood and body language. Your dog absolutely picks up on your emotion. If you are cool with it, they are more likely to be cool with it.
When things get too serious in dog training I always look for ways to take the edge off. Go to your Batcave was absolutely hilarious and it worked like a charm for us.
When you’re starting to teach your dog anything, it does not matter what words you use – so long as you consistently use the same words, stay positive, and take the time to teach your dog what those words mean.
My Mom tells her dog to “get in your box.” For whatever reason, she finds this funny. All of her dogs have always loved the crate.
I have another client who says “in your house.”
“Kennel up” is the traditional name.
It's not appropriate to crate in every situation, but if you've broken a glass all over the kitchen floor or one of your children is hurt and your dog wants to be in the mix of it, training your dog to “go to the Batcave” easily removes them from a sticky situation.There are no “bad” dogs, just mofos with problems. Problems generally have solutions, and I’ve encountered them all. ( Check out my easy, 30-minute Potty Training workshop.)