What are some tips for crate training an older dog?


Quick Answer

Tips for crate training an older dog include acclimating the dog to the crate and lengthening the crating period. The crate should also be placed near the dog's feeding area.

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What are some tips for crate training an older dog?
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Full Answer

Start by introducing the dog to the crate. Put a soft towel or blanket, especially one that the dog likes, inside the crate. Encourage the dog to enter the crate by putting food, treats and toys inside. Never force a dog into the crate to avoid reinforcing negative associations.

Once the dog becomes accustomed to being inside the crate, start shutting the door for short periods of time. Start with 30 minutes, and then gradually move to 45 minutes, one hour and so on. Any time the dog becomes anxious, open the crate door immediately. Eventually, place the dog inside the crate prior to leaving the house for a short amount of time. Praise your pet copiously upon returning.

Work on crating the dog overnight. This allows for a longer crating period with human supervision in the home. The trick is knowing the difference between whining to be released and whining to be let out to eliminate waste. If the whining stops after a few minutes, there's probably no problem. If the whining persists, the dog probably needs to be let outside.

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