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What is kennel training? Kennel or crate training is a method of dog training that will provide your dog a safe haven for him to retreat to when he is stressed. It is also an excellent way for you to be able to contain your dog to a specific area where you can be assured of his safety and behavior.
Now, some people have debated that kennel training is an inhumane form of training dogs. Well, initially it may seem cruel to lead your pet to a box or crate but actually, this is more beneficial for your pet if you really think about it. Before dogs became house pets, they lived in the wild and found safety in caves and confined spaces.
If you plan to crate train your dog, the first thing you need to do is to find a suitable crate for him. It should be as small as comfortably possible so he will not be tempted to defecate inside his box. A wire cage or plastic pet carrier with sliding food trays in the bottom is an excellent choice you can consider. Furnish it with soft blankets, worn pillows and his favorite toys so that he associates the crate with pleasant experiences and sensations.
Now, it’s time to introduce your dog to his crate. The earlier you start the better. Leave the door to the crate open and have his toys inside. Slowly lead him to it, all the while petting him and feeding him doggie treats while he is inside. Allow him to get familiar with this new space and praise him profusely if he enters it on his own.
When you feel that your dog is comfortable with the crate, gently close the door. Make sure he can see you or hear you. If he starts crying or barking, don’t let him out just yet. Wait for him to calm down before you slowly let him out. If not, he will learn that he need only cry before you do what he wants you to do.
As your dog becomes more used to being alone in the crate, start leaving the room a few minutes at a time. Keep the crate fully stocked with his favorite toys to distract him. Lengthen the time you leave him on his own, until you have successfully crate trained him.
Do not leave your dog for more than 3 or 4 hours in the crate alone, especially if he’s a puppy. He will need to eliminate every so often and dogs do not like defecating in the area where he sleeps. Most important of all, never put your dog in his crate for punishment. You need to remember to make his crate is his happy place and not a place of torture.
Kennel training will require patience and a lot of love, which is not hard for the caring master that you are. Use this time to bond with him and enjoy quality moments together. Happy dog training!