Chateau Academy: Crate Training Your Dog

If you are not going to live in China for the life of your dog, this is an absolute MUST READ.

Chateau Canine’s PJ, National Dog Training Federation certified Dog Trainer and Behaviourist, Founder and Head Hound of Chateau Canine walks us through Crate Training.

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Article/Video Summary:

  1. There are many reasons to crate train.
  2. There are many techniques to crate train – Chateau Canine uses two proven techniques
  3. Successful crate training can take a long time. Preparation and starting early is key.
  4. Avoid getting caught out in a sudden relocation and your dog suffering for it.
  5. Why crate training can be good for your dog, your household and your future travel plans.

What are the main reasons for wanting to crate train your pet?

Firstly, you or your family will be traveling to another country – unless you plan to drive or sail, you will need them crated in the aircraft regardless of whether they are going in cabin, checked luggage, or cargo. If you have your own plane, then feel free to not worry as much about transport. For the rest of us, start preparing now.

Secondly, you would like your dog to have its own “safe place” in the house where it can retreat to if necessary when encountering challenging scenarios (fireworks, crazy neighbours etc). Especially timid or dogs lacking confidence can often do very well in their development when they have somewhere to go back to genuinely rest and relax. Rest is vital for our furry companions, watch our video 8 Things Your Dog Needs: Part 6 – A Safe Place To Sleep to understand more about this topic.

Thirdly, you want to be able to keep your dog happily in a different part of the house while you have guests to your house. For example, a friend who is afraid of dogs comes to visit, a worker comes into your house to repair something, you are doing some cleaning or renovations etc.

Finally, you want to use crate training in parallel with potty training.

What are some techniques for crate training?

There are a wide range of techniques used to crate train, Chateau Canine has successfully crate trained dozens of dogs by utilizing two main options. These is the Bowl Option, or the Bed Option.

The Bowl option utilizes the daily habit of feeding your dog to create a regular pattern of behaviour, going to the crate to have a good feed. As long as the eating experience for the dog is positive, this positivity associates quickly with the crate and can be built upon. This is ideal for foodies and dogs that love their daily meals.

The Bed option utilizes the dog’s innate instinct to develop a den and builds a place for added comfort and security for the dog. This is ideal for dogs that are perhaps lacking in confidence or a bit more timid.

Watch the video above to see how these two techniques are implemented.

How long does crate training take?

Chateau clients regularly ask me how long does it take to crate train a dog? The answer is different for every single dog to be honest, a few just jump straight in there and have no problem with it at all. However many dogs, especially those pups that have been rescued and have more complex backgrounds, it can take a very long time to get them really comfortable with the process. Months even.

Can I teach crate training myself?

Yes, definitely! BUT…Chateau Canine often gets approached by owners who have rushed the process and have experienced failure with crate training. Starting this process out as early as possible and being prepared in advance is critical. If you do have a last minute change of plans and need to leave the country quickly, our advice is to work with a professional to get the job done right, maximizing the effectiveness of the training, and minimizing the stress on the dog during their travel.

When done well, crate training can have the following benefits for your dog, you and your household:

Gives the dog their own space, can be combined with place training, potty training, confidence development and a range of other valuable skills for your dog to master. You can isolate the dog when needed, minimizing the risk for your dog or guests in the house. It can be the difference between a very stressful departure from China, or a smooth relaxed calm move to your next adventure.

A final thought:

Please take the time and watch the video above to see how crate training can be a wonderful addition to your dog’s skills. It is not jailing the dog and the video discusses quite clearly the difference between crating your dog and jailing your dog. Please try to keep an open mind and see how it can be beneficial when done properly for specific, humane purposes.

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