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Teaching Your Puppy to "Kennel Up"

by Robin MacFarlane

Even if you feel your dog will really never need to be crated, I still encourage you to teach the skill.

It is my opinion that all dogs should know how to be calm in a crate.

You just never know when an emergency situation will arise. Perhaps Fido will need to stay with a friend who insists on a kennel, or he will have to be boarded or stay over-night at the veterinarian's office at some time during his life.

It is much easier on other care providers and less stressful on your dog if he learns early on in life that being in a crate is not a big deal. The first part of teaching the calm and accepting behavior is to teach the dog to go willingly into the crate, so it doesn't have to turn into a wrestling match.

Start training this skill right from the moment you bring your pup home. It is easy and quick if use something enticing to lure him into the confinement area.

Just remember to practice the act of going in and out numerous times rather than just putting the pup in, locking the gate and then leaving him there for a long period of time. If that is the ONLY association your dog makes with the crate, you could be building the wrong mindset about crate time.

Instead, practice the coming and going randomly AND make sure the length of time your dog remains in the crate is variable. If some periods of confinement are only a few minutes, sometimes are an hour or so, and other times up to several hours, your pup can grow accustom to the routine of being crated. They will not learn to dread that "kennel up" ALWAYS means hours and hours of alone time.
-- Robin

Robin MacFarlane is a professional dog trainer and owner of Thatís My Dog in Dubuque, Iowa. Her best-selling dog training DVDs, JUST RIGHT and JUST RIGHT 2 have helped thousands of dog owners teach their dogs basic obedience and fix problem behaviors through a system of training that you can easily work into your daily routine.
  • Robin writes for Gun Dog Supply on our E-collars Dog Training blog
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  • Pull-Quote= Teaching your pup to kennel up willingly makes life easier for everyone.

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