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Once you’ve decided that crate training is for you, and which crate suits your canine companion best, it’s time to look at the actual process of crate training your pup. While the length of time it takes to crate train depends on your individual animal, his or her attitude, age, and past experiences, one thing’s for sure: you always want your dog to associate the crate with something pleasant. And even with the best dogs, baby steps are the best way to make this happen.
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- Exclusions: Dog food, cat food, cat litter, dog litter, wild bird food, live fish & rock, crickets, live food and frozen food; Pet Pharmacy; select Zilla Critter Cages; Educator E-Collar products; Frontline Plus and Frontline Tritak and Doctor's Foster & Smith Fiprotrol Plus; Cali Vinyl products; Petsafe Brands (PetSafe, SportDOG, Frolicat, Drinkwell, Solvit', ScoopFree, Pet Loo, Gentle Leader, Mr. Herzher's and Piddle Place); Buy online and pick up in-store orders; Repeat Delivery orders and subscriptions; PetcoOne and WholeHearted Memberships and orders; out-of-stock items, prior purchases, Donations, Petco Gift Cards and eGift Cards and applicable taxes. Additional exclusions may apply and will be noted on the Product Detail page and/or Shopping Cart.
Bring your puppy to the crate for naps and quiet-time breaks so that he can “unwind” from family chaos. Start in increments of 10 minutes and work up to longer periods. Offer treats when he goes inside, and distraction toys, like a stuffed KONG. For years, this author has been giving her Yorkie a treat every day as soon as he goes into his crate and sits. Now as an adult dog, he runs to his crate each morning in anticipation of the goodie.
Once your dog is hanging out in her closed crate without signs of stress, it’s time to lengthen her stay. Use a favorite toy or treat to encourage her to enter the crate, then close it. Hang out by the crate for several minutes, then go into a different room for a few minutes so she gets used to the idea of staying in the crate alone. When you return, don’t open the crate immediately. Instead, sit with her again for a few more minutes and then open the door.Keep increasing the time as you do this until your dog is able to stay in the locked crate for half an hour without your presence. When she’s able to do this, she’s ready for you to leave her for short periods and possibly even sleep in the closed crate overnight. Make sure you keep the crate relatively nearby for overnight stays though. Puppies usually need to go to the bathroom overnight and you’ll want to be able to let her out.

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