Crate training your dog will be useful in many situations. Firstly, the crate will be a safe home for your dog. As a breeder of black labrador and chocolate labrador puppies, crate training is essential. You can crate train any breed of dog, at any age. It’s never to late to condition you dog.
A crate is a safe way to transport your dog. Likewise, a crate is a safe place when your dog may not be able to run freely. When you properly crate train your dog, they will be happy to spend time there.
Crate training usually takes just a few days. Your puppy must consider their crate to be a home not a punishment.
Your dog's crate should be just large enough for them to stand up and turn around.
You can locate the dog crate in any area of your house particularly if you attach an exercise pen. I put a soft blanket or a carpet square in the crate. Remember...nothing that the dog can shred!!!
I place a blanket or fitted sheet over the dog crate to create a cosy den for my dog.
Encourage your dog to enter the crate.
Call you dog to their crate and give them a treat. Give him a command and point into the crate with a treat in your hand.
Simply throw some food treats or a favourite toy inside the door and your dog will walk into the crate to get the food. When your dog enters the crate, close the door while they eat the treats.
When you feed your chocolate labrador their kibble in the dog crate it will create a pleasant association with the crate.
Once your dog is standing to eat, you can close the door and leave the door closed for a few minutes. Increase the duration longer each time. If he begins to whine do not let him out until he stops or you will inadvertently teach them that the way to get out of the crate is to whine and they’ll keep doing it.
When your dog is eating their meals in their crate, you can progressively confine them for longer periods.
Initially I suggest that you sit near the crate for 10 minutes. Next time, go out of sight for a few minutes. Repeat this process at feed time, gradually increasing the length of time you leave them alone in the crate and you're out of sight. When your dog can stay comfortably in the crate with you out of sight, you can begin to leave them crated while you are gone for short periods. Remember that a toilet trained puppy generally has bladder control for 1hr for each month of his age, ie 6hrs at 6 months of age.
I crate train my dogs in conjunction with an exercise pen attached thus providing a courtyard perimeter. This way, they do not accidentally soil the crate. My pups sleep in an open crate from 8weeks of age. When we take a mature dog away from home, they will sleep in a crate.