How To Crate Train An Older Dog

A puppy sleeping while inside an open crate

Crate training guides a dog to willingly enter and remain in a crate, typically for enclosure reasons. Initially, the dog is gradually familiarized with the crate, and rewards through positive reinforcement are provided for its entry.

Once the dog is comfortable with being in the crate, the door can be left open for short periods, and eventually, the dog can be left alone in the crate without fear of punishment.

Crate training can be used as a means of housebreaking a puppy or as a way to confine a dog when its owner is not home. But can you still crate train older dogs?

Reasons to Crate Train an Older Dog

There are many reasons to crate train your dog. Here are some of the most common reasons

Dog’s Crate Can Help Potty Train Your Dog

Crate training is an excellent way to potty train your dog. Dogs do not like to soil their sleeping area, so crating your dog limits their ability to relieve themselves in the house.

Start by placing the crate in a busy room of the house where your dog will spend a lot of time. Put a comfortable bed and some toys inside the crate and show your dog how much fun it is to play in there.

Once your dog is comfortable going into the crate, begin putting them in there for short periods (10-15 minutes) while you are home.

Gradually increase your dog’s time in the crate, but ensure they always have access to water. If you notice your dog starting to sniff around or circle before going potty, take the dog outside immediately.

Help with Obedience Training Session

A dog inside a closed cage

Regarding obedience training, Crate training is an essential tool that can help to housebreak and prevent destructive behaviour. Crate training uses the dog’s instinct to seek a safe resting place. When used correctly, crate training can quickly and effectively housebreak your dog and teach them basic obedience commands.

Dog Crates Can Help Reduce Anxiety of Older Dogs

Dogs who are crate-trained are less likely to experience anxiety when left alone. The crate becomes a safe place for the dog to retreat to, reducing the feeling of isolation and fear. Crate training can also be helpful in potty training, even for an adult dog.

Start Crate Training to Prevent Destructive Behavior

Crate training can help prevent destructive behaviour in dogs. Dogs are den animals and prefer a designated place to sleep and relax. When crate training is done properly, the dog will see the crate as its safe place and will not want to soil it or destroy anything in it.

Crate training can also be used to housetrain a dog and to keep it out of trouble when you can’t supervise it.

Provides Your Dog with a Sense of Security and Comfort

Dogs are den animals by nature, and crate training can offer your dog a sense of security and comfort. The crate can become your dog’s personal space, where he feels safe and protected. Proper crate-trained dogs will often seek out their crates for refuge during stress or anxiety.

The key to successful crate training is to make the crate a positive experience for your dog. Start by putting some favourite toys or treats inside the crate, and let your dog explore it at your pet’s own pace. Once your pet is comfortable with being in the crate, you can use it as a place to put your dog when you cannot supervise him.

Be sure to never use the crate as a punishment – this will only make your dog fear and avoid the crate.

Travel with Your Dog Easily and Conveniently

Crate training can make travel with your dog easier. Dogs that are crate-trained are more likely to have good potty habits and not chew on your belongings.

When travelling with an adult dog, it is important to bring their crate along and make sure they are used to being in it. A well-trained dog will be less anxious and stressed during travel.

Crate Training for Puppies and Adult Dogs: The Same or Different?

There are many different methods for crate training puppies and adult dogs. Some say the methods are the same, while others say the two have key differences. The following is a summary of the arguments for both sides.

Those who say that crate training is the same for puppies and adult dogs argue that when an animal is first introduced to a crate, it should be small enough so that it cannot stand up or turn around. The animal should also be given plenty of positive reinforcement when they enter the crate and relieve themselves. This method can be used for both puppies and adult dogs.

However, those who say there are key differences between crate-training puppies and adult dogs argue that puppies require more attention than adult dogs.

Ways How to Crate Train an Older Dog

When you get a new dog, one of the first things you will need to do is crate-train them. Crate training is the process of teaching your dog to willingly enter and stay in a crate. This is an important skill for dogs because it can help keep them safe when you cannot watch them.

It can also be helpful when travelling or leaving your dog alone in the house. Crate training can be challenging, but you can train your dog to love their crate with patience and consistency.

The Basics of Crate Training

Crate training is one of the most effective ways to housetrain your dog. A crate can also be a valuable tool for teaching your dog basic obedience commands and providing him with his own place. Here are the basics of crate training:

  • Choose the right size crate for your dog. The crate should be big enough for the dog to stand up, turn around, and lie comfortably but not so big that it can potty in one corner and sleep in another.
  • Place the crate in an active part of your home where your dog will spend a lot of time. This may be near the dog bed at night or in the living room during the day.
  • Put a blanket or towel in the bottom of the crate to make it more comfortable for your dog.
  • Place dog treats on the floor of the crate.
  • Remove your dog’s chain or leash so that he will get used to being in the crate on his own accord.

How to Introduce Your Dog to the Crate

Introducing your dog to a crate can be daunting, but with patience and perseverance, it can be done. Crates are beneficial for you and your dog because they provide a space to feel safe and secure while also serving as a training tool.

When introducing your dog to the crate, start by putting some of their favourite toys or treats inside so they will be drawn to it. Next, begin by placing the crate in an open space in your home where your dog can explore it at their own pace.

Once they are comfortable with going inside the crate, you can close the door temporarily. Gradually increase the time the crate door is closed until your dog happily spends time in their crate.

The Right Size Dog Crates

A lonely puppy inside a closed crate

A dog crate is a necessary piece of equipment for any dog owner. It provides a safe and secure place for your pet when you’re not home and can be used as a training tool. But not all crates are created equal. You must ensure you select the right size crate for your dog.

A crate that’s too large will give your dog too much space to roam around in and will make potty training more difficult. A crate that’s too small will be uncomfortable and could lead to health problems. So, how do you determine the right size for your dog?

The general rule is to allow your dog enough room to stand up, turn around, and lie comfortably. You should also take into account your dog’s breed and weight. If you have any doubts about which size crate to choose, consult with your veterinarian.

Crate Time

Crate training is an effective way to house-train your dog and provide a safe and comfortable place for your pet when you’re not home. How long it will take to crate train your dog depends on your pet’s age, temperament, and past experiences.

Teaching old dogs new tricks can be challenging. Older dogs or dogs that have never been used to a crate may take longer to get used to spending time in a crate. Some basic tips for crate training are to start with short periods, gradually increase the time spent in the crate, and always ensure your dog has plenty of water and toys to keep them occupied.

What to Do When Your Dog Whines in the Crate

If your dog whines in the crate, it can be frustrating. It may seem like they are trying to get out or uncomfortable. However, you can do a few things to help stop the whining.

First, ensure that the crate is big enough for them to stand up and turn around. You may also want to put a blanket or some other soft material inside the crate so that they have something comfortable to lay on.

If your dog is still whining, you can try giving them a toy or treat to keep them occupied. You can also try talking to them in a calming voice and letting them know that everything is okay.

Tips for Making Crate Training Successful

Crate training can be a great way to help your dog learn to relax and stay calm in different environments. It can also be a helpful tool for potty training and preventing destructive behaviour. Here are a few tips for making crate training successful.

  • Start slow. Don’t expect your dog to be perfectly comfortable in the crate overnight. Gradually increase your dog’s time in the crate each day until they are comfortable spending extended periods inside.
  • Ensure your dog has plenty of toys and treats to keep them occupied in the crate. This will help reduce their anxiety and make the experience more enjoyable.
  • Don’t use the crate as a punishment tool. If you do, your dog may start associating the crate with negative feelings and become resistant to going inside it.

Training an older dog may be different, but it is possible. You need to be patient and use the proper tools to be successful. If you don’t have the time, you can seek the help of a certified professional dog trainer.