KEEPING YOUR DOG IN A CRATE
Many dog owners are not too happy with the idea of keeping your dog in a crate all day long. However, sometimes this has to be done. Teaching your dog early on that a crate is not a bad thing is a good idea as when you do need to crate your dog during your balcony BBQ cookout, he will be prepared for it. So how can you get your dog to actually enjoy his crate?
Leaving Puppy in a Crate
What you need to do is make the crate seem like his special space. If your dog sees the crate as a cozy place to escape and get away, then he will end up going there whenever he needs a break or feels like a sleep. All dogs have certain spots in the house where they will go to escape. Some go under the bed, some hide in the basement and some will pick a corner in the living room to sprawl on. Your mission is to get your dog to start thinking of the crate as this special area.
Start with only a few minutes a day when you are first crating your dog. Having your dog spending all day in the crate shouldn't be done right away as he will think it is punishment and will resent this area. Instead, start by putting some treats in the crate and leaving him in for only a short period of time. The next day, put him in for a little longer. After a few weeks of this you should be up to several hours and thus you will be ready to leave your dog for the day.
Some dogs need to be crated up. If you do not have a backyard or an area where your dog can be alone during the day and you live in an apartment, then crating is often the only thing you can do. If you leave your dog free in the apartment he may chew things up or make a huge mess. Not all dogs need to be crated but some do and your best bet is to make them enjoy this space rather than resent it.
Dog Crating Made Easy
If you do have to keep your dog in a crate for an extensive period of time, then make sure you are giving him plenty of exercise when you get home. A dog that is crated all day and all night long is going to be quite depressed. After all, no one, dog or human, wants to spend their days stuck behind bars.
Take your dog for a walk as soon as you can or take him for a run in the dog park. Even if you don't have the energy to walk yourself, invest in a good tennis racket and buy a few tennis balls. Head down to an open grass area and hit balls for your dog to chase. This is great exercise and will keep your dog happy after a long day of being crated up.
With plenty of encouragements and treats you should be able to make your dog enjoy the crate. Just make sure you are giving him a crate that is big enough and that he can move around in. Make sure you always give him plenty of toys and mental stimulation for the day as well as a comfortable bed to lie in. This will all make keeping your dog in a crate a little easier for the both of you.