KONG Solutions: Crate Training

By Sarah Taillon

Dog crates can elicit a number of responses in pet parents. For some of us, it seems cruel to lock up our dog in what looks like a tiny jail cell. However, pet experts agree that dog crates are safe, effective and even reminiscent of dogs’ ancestral dens. In addition to house training, crates are helpful for travel, sleeping and keeping dogs out of trouble when pet parents are away.

Dogs do need to be trained to use their crates and how you approach crate training will have a strong effect on your success. But how to get started? Read on…

A good rule of thumb when beginning crate training is to create a positive association with the crate. This is where a treat-stuffed KONG will come in handy:

1. Start a dog’s crate training by stuffing a KONG toy with a favorite treat.

2. Let your dog see and smell the stuffed toy, then place the KONG in the back of the crate, leaving the door open.

3. As your dog chews on the KONG inside the crate, they begin to feel more comfortable and learn that crate time is KONG time. Repeat this until your dog is happy to settle in the crate on their own.

4. Once a positive association has been developed, practice closing the crate door and leave the area for a short interval, increasing time away as your dog shows they’re relaxed.

• Freezing the stuffed KONG will extend the treat time and keep your dog occupied as they spend time in their crate.

Does your dog love the crate? Share your crate time photos using the #KONGcratetime and be you could win a KONG gift pack worth $100.