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Don’t be afraid to crate train
February is National Dog Training Education Month, meaning there is no better time to try crate training your dog. Some owners might think that keeping their dog in a crate while they are away is cruel or negligent, when in fact it can actually help many dogs feel calm and stress free.
Crate training can help a dog feel more comfortable being alone, which may help curb certain undesired behaviors. Some dogs can become unruly or destructive when they are by themselves. This can stem from boredom or from a more serious behavioral problem like separation anxiety.
Other times, crates can be helpful to provide a dog with a place of its own. Dogs are den animals, meaning they like to rest in a dark, cozy space. You can emulate this feeling by draping blankets or old towels over your dog's Super Dog Crate with Cozy Bed or Super Dog Crate Lite. Add its favorite pet products likes its Sea Shammies Plush Dog Toy to make it feel even more at ease in its crate.
Although the hope is that your dog will eventually love spending time in its crate, training it to get to this point can be a struggle. With some work most dogs take to their crates.
When you begin training, start by showing the dog the crate so it can get familiar with the new structure. Keep the door open and allow the dog to sniff, lick and move around in the space and even try to offer it treats like Greenies for Dogs or Happy Hips Treats to help it associate the crate with rewards. After it gets comfortable with the crate, start to shut the door for brief moments to see how the dog reacts. If it seems calm and content keep it in there for longer. However, if the pup starts to get anxious or seems stressed out, open the door right away and try again another day. Teaching the dog a command to go along with the crate might also make the activity more exciting for the pup. Try to teach it a word such as "crate" or "kennel" that you will say which lets the dog know it's quiet time.
If you are going to be keeping your dog in the crate while you're at work or for more than four hours a day, it's important to take certain steps beforehand to ensure it's happy and healthy. Before you leave in the morning you should feed the dog its pet food, give it some water and take it for a walk or play with it outside for a bit to help it get out some excess energy.