Crate training an older dog differs slightly from crate training puppies but follows the same basic principles. It is important to note that older dogs already have some bad habits and one needs to give himself more time to eliminate them and overwrite with the good ones. That is why more patience and consistence is required while crate training an older dog. Additionally, some older dogs will simply resist this method of training and you won’t be able to do anything about it. Having mentioned all of these optimistic perspectives let’s try to get your dog inside the crate:)
Crate Training An Older Dog Step 1 – How To Purchase The Right Crate?
First and maybe the most important part of crate training an older dog is the process of buying and using the crate. The best option is to go for a wire crate as it is more resistant to biting and chewing than the plastic one. Make sure you will also get a smooth floor so that your dog will be able to lie comfortably on it.
The crate needs to be big enough for your dog to sit and turn around easily but not bigger than the sleeping pad you will put inside. If you go for a crate that’s too big your dog may use one corner of it as a toilet if forced to. This will overwrite what he was taught during the house breaking training.
Crate Training An Older Dog Step 2 – How To Make It A Cosy And Friendly Place?
While crate training an older dog you will also need to put inside it a heavy dish with water and some food as well as chewing toys and something that will remind the dog of you (old t-shirt would be perfect). Place the crate close to the main social area in your house so that the dog can always feel the presence of you or your family members and remember to move the crate to your bedroom when you go to sleep. This way you will boost the sense of security your dog should be developing and be able to control his physiological needs. Make sure you take the dog outside when he starts to circle and sniff around as it means he really needs to eliminate
Crate Training An Older Dog Step 3 – How To Convince The Dog To Move In?
In order to begin the proper part of crate training an older dog – helping the dog to move in to his new home, you need to follow few easy steps. First, put some sort of a treat inside the crate. This can either be a snack or chewing toy stuffed with food. Praise the dog as soon as he enters the crate and let him out if he doesn’t want to stay inside.
Start putting his meals inside the crate regularly so that he can adjust to it and, as soon as he will lay down on his sleeping pad, slowly close the door while still praising the dog. Stay there with him and open the crate door after a while. Next time he does that close the door and leave him for a while.
Don’t come running if you hear him whining, you cannot reward such behavior because he will learn how to use it against you in the future. Wait till he stops and then open the door and let him out. By using this method of crate training an older dog your pet should feel comfortable staying inside the crate within a week or so.