Animal HabitatsMans Best Friend

Crate Training for Dogs

By May 24, 2014No Comments

Crate trainingYou can teach an old dog new tricks. One question I’m asked most often is, can I crate train my older dog?

Absolutely, and it isn’t that hard to do.

The best method requires that your dog will want to go into their new home/crate. Make it comfy by adding a blanket or cushion, and place an item of yours in there, too. A previously worn t-shirt works well—wear it for a while before you put it in their cage. Another trick is to place a favorite treat or toy in there as well.

Always reward desired behavior. Praise goes a long way, and give an occasional treat for entering cage on their own free will. Soon your favorite pet will be happy to have a place she can call home. After all, crate training uses a dog’s natural instincts as a den animal and they quickly find safe haven in their cage or crate.


Quick tips on crate training—

  • The primary use for crate training is housebreaking. Dogs do not like soiling their dens.
  • Place the crate in an active part of your home. If possible, temporarily remove the door for easy access.
  • Crate training is a process. Introduce the cage gradually by placing food dish near-by. Graduallly move dish toward the front of the cage and then in the cage until it is all the way to the back. Think baby steps.
  • Don’t force your pet into his crate—make it a pleasant experience and don’t use it for punishment.
  • Slowing increase the amount of time she is left in crate—if she begins to whine, you left her a little too long. Wait until she stops whining, and then let her out. Otherwise she will learn to whine in order to get out of the crate (think tough love).
  • Don’t cause your pet to associate your leaving with closing him in his crate. Try placing him in crate 5 to 15 minutes before you leave, and occasionally close him in while you are staying at home. Vary your routine.
  • Many dogs fear thunderstorms and will gladly find refuge in their new crate home.


Crate training is the first step toward a happy healthy puppy and a happy home for you, too. Be lovingly patient with your pet. Our Brussels puppy, Sami, is featured above—and loves getting in her carry bag.