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How To Crate Train An Older, Adult, or Rescue Dog

When crate training an older dog, one of the most important things to remember is that the process will take time. If your dog is ever scared, or feels forced to go into his crate, you will struggle to train him. The key with crate training an adult dog is to try to encourage your pet to have some really positive emotions about being in the crate. This can help keep them calm when in the dog crate.

Making Your Pet Comfy Whilst Crate Training An Adult Dog

To train your adult dog to see their dog crate in a positive way, make sure they have some fun in there! You can do this by using it as the only place you reward your pet with treats. Offering your pet food inside their enclosure is also a key step in crate training an adult dog as it can make them feel at ease. Ensuring their den is comfy with soft bedding, including their most loved dog bed and cozy dog blankets will encourage your pet to feel relaxed in this space. Putting your dog crate in an area of the house that gets lots of attention will also help your canine feel calm. Eventually you will be able to invite your dog into his crate when you want him to calm down after a long walk or just before bedtime.

Investing in the best possible crate will give you a head start. The Fido dog crate range is a great choice for all dog owners.

learn how to crate train an older dog with ease
Learn how to crate train an older dog with ease

Introducing Your Adult Dog To His New Crate

The first step in crate training an adult dog is introducing them to their new crate. As a new space they may be nervous, but with our step-by-step guide you’ll have them feeling comfortable in no time.

Step One: Tempt Your Dog In

Begin by tempting your older dog into his crate with a treat and lots of praise. Make sure that you fuss him once he is inside so that he feels at ease. If your dog seems scared or anxious, reassure him with a soft voice until he calms down. After only a couple of minutes of crate training your adult dog, invite him back outside. It is always best to start with small intervals as you slowly work up to the end goal of keeping your dog in his crate overnight. When your dog comes out to you, give him lots of praise but don’t give him a treat - dog treats should only be given when he is inside the crate. Repeat step one until your dog is comfortable going in and out of his crate without getting frightened or apprehensive.

Step Two: Closing the Door

When you feel that your dog is comfortable enough being inside his crate with the door open, you can begin to close it. The next step in crate training an adult dog is to invite him into his crate and then close the door for 30 seconds. It can be a good idea to give your dog a chew toy or even a large marrow bone. This might encourage him to stay inside for longer than you expected. Stay in sight to reassure him that he can easily leave if he gets frightened, and after the 30 seconds are up (or longer if your dog is preoccupied with chewing his dog toy), open the crate door and invite him out. If your dog gets at all worried while he is in his crate, try calming him down by talking to him in a soft voice. If this doesn’t help, open the door, invite him out, and then go back to step one of crate training adult dogs.

Step Three: Leaving Your Dog in His Crate

Repeat step two while slowly increasing the length of time you leave your dog in his crate. Whilst crate training an adult dog, always stay with him and praise him when you open the door to invite him out. It may take some time, but if you can stick to this routine, then in time your dog will learn to love his crate. He may well begin to use it on his own accord, if you make it a place that he enjoys.

Older dogs who haven't used a crate before will take a little time to get used to the idea

Training An Older Dog To Sleep In A Dog Crate At Night

The best way to get your older dog sleeping in his crate at night is to make him feel as comfy in there as possible. He will come to love his new den, if it’s warm, safe, and enjoyable. Place a soft blanket inside and only give treats when your adult dog is crate training to reinforce the positive association.

Step One: Tire Your Adult Dog Out

Before you start crate training an adult dog it is really important that you exercise your dog. Tire him out by letting him run or play with his favorite toys. Making sure that he has used up all of his excess energy. If you invite your dog into his crate to rest and he still has lots of energy, you will find it very difficult to get him to settle.

Step Two: Tempt with a Bedtime Treat

Once your dog has used up all his energy, tempt him into his crate with a treat. Once he is inside, fuss him and give him lots of praise. If your dog is not entirely happy yet, you don’t need to close the door. Sit with him until he is calm and settled and then reward him with a treat. If you have tired him out, he will want to have a little snooze which is the ideal situation for crate training an adult dog. When he falls asleep, close the door behind him and watch over him until he wakes up.

Step Three: Extend Crate Time in Prep for Night

The next thing to do is to try extending the length of time that your dog is in the crate. Start with an hour when crate training your adult dog. If your dog wakes before the hour is up, sit with him until he nods off again. As soon as he falls back asleep, quietly close the door and watch him until he wakes. If he decides that he doesn’t want to go back to sleep, invite him out of the crate; and next time make sure that you have really tired him out before you start!

Step Four: Get Your Dog Resting Quietly

Keep extending how long you keep your adult dog in his crate during training until he can rest quietly for a few hours. Once he is at this stage he should be ready to stay in his crate overnight. But remember - persistence and repetition are key when training an adult dog. As long as you make your adult dog’s experience of being in his crate relaxing and enjoyable, he will soon be confident using it of his own accord.

Crate Training for Adult Dogs & Puppies

Whether you’re crate training an adult dog, or looking to get your puppy used to a dog crate, you can easily follow our step-by-step guides that are suited to your pet’s needs. Once your adult dog is crate trained you may be looking to use a dog crate in a car. Crates are an excellent solution for transporting your dog in a way that’s safe for both you and your pet.

Omlet Pet Care

We aim to bring you and your pets closer together, from chicken runs to protect your flock in the backyard, to outdoor cat enclosures that allow your pet to roam. You’ll find the perfect ways to treat and care for your dogs, cats, and chickens with Omlet.

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