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Paws & Relax

Easing your dog into their new haven

Paws & Relax

Easing your dog into their new haven

Most dogs grow to see their crate as a comforting retreat

Introduce your dog to their new crate

  • Set up the crate in a familiar, comfortable area of your home.
  • Leave the crate door open so your dog can explore it freely.
  • Place treats, toys, or even a piece of your clothing inside to make it inviting.
  • Allow your dog to enter and exit the crate at their leisure without closing the door behind them.

Create positive associations

  • Begin feeding your dog their regular meals near the crate, gradually moving the food bowl inside.
  • Continue using treats to entice your dog into the crate.
  • The goal is for your dog to associate the crate with positive experiences.

Practice short, supervised stays

  • Once your dog is comfortable eating in the crate, start asking them to stay in the crate with the door closed while you're in the room.
  • Start with short durations (5-10 minutes) and gradually increase as they seem more relaxed.
  • Remain nearby and visible to minimize anxiety.

Extend time alone in their crate

  • Begin leaving your dog alone in the crate for short periods while you leave the room.
  • Gradually increase the time as your dog becomes more comfortable, starting from a few minutes to a couple of hours.
  • Ensure your dog has been exercised before crating to help reduce anxiety and promote relaxation.

Establish a routine

  • Establish a consistent schedule for crating—whether for sleeping through the night or when you’re out of the house.
  • Consistency helps your dog understand when to expect crate time, reducing uncertainty and stress.

Monitoring and adjustment

  • Observe your dog’s behavior in the crate and adjust durations or conditions based on their comfort levels.
  • Use crate time judiciously; too much time in the crate can lead to anxiety and stress for your dog.
  • Ensure the crate is always a positive, safe space, never using it as a form of punishment.

Additional tips

  • If your dog appears excessively anxious or distressed about the crate, it might be beneficial to consult with a professional dog trainer for personalized guidance.
  • Ensure the crate is appropriately sized: large enough for your dog to stand, turn around, and lie down comfortably, but not so large that they can eliminate in one corner and retreat to another.