Crate Setup and Introduction

Written by Pat Schaap, Shennanigan Shelties
posted here with author's permission (Thanks Pat, for sharing!)

NOTE: Itís important to understand that the dog must be taught how to behave in the crate. You cannot just put him in and let him try to fight his way out. Any signs of discontent - salivating, barking, digging at the bottom, biting the bars, etc. - must immediately be controlled. This means that he must be in the crate some of the time when you are home - even after months of using the crate.


1 - The first time you put the dog in the crate should be when he is tired and ready to take a nap.

2 - Be sure there are toys for the dog to chew on or play with in the crate.

3 - Do not leave the dog with a mat in the crate when you start leaving the house if the dog is likely to chew it. It just encourages the dog to chew cloth.

4 - Take the dog to the crate with a leash and collar and put him in with a treat and a command such as "CRATE" or "KENNEL". Do not call the dog to the crate to put him in.

5 - The dog should not be allowed to rush out of the crate when you open the door. Use a command to exit the crate as well as enter it.

6 - THE CRATE MUST NOT BE ASSOCIATED STRICTLY WITH BEING LEFT - therefore you must continue leaving the dog in the crate some of the time when you are home.

7 - Feed the dog in the crate - this is a positive association.

8 - Using the crate as the dogís bed at night is another positive association.

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