dog in crate with blue blanket getting trained

Crate Training

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KONG and crate training pairs like peanut butter and jelly.

Your dog’s crate is their den of serenity, a safe spot of their own where they can relax away from the outside world. And though the instinct to curl up in a secure place stretches back to wolf ancestors, today’s dogs benefit from correctly introducing crate time and teaching them to enjoy their sanctuary. Once they learn to love their crate, it’s invaluable for house training, as well as keeping dogs from finding mischief when pet parents are away. Portable crates even provide a safe place and a great solution when traveling.

How to Use KONG to Introduce Your Dog to Crate Time

The key to successful crate training is to help your dog create a positive association with being inside the crate.
Here’s how to do it:

  1. Stuff your dog’s KONG with their favorite treat
  2. Let them see and smell and delight in their favorite treat
  3. Place the KONG in the back in the crate with the door open
  4. As your dog chews on the KONG inside the crate, they begin to feel more comfortable associating the crate with a safe and comfortable place
  5. Repeat until your dog happily settles into the crate with their KONG on their own
  6. Once the positive association between KONG and the crate develops, practice closing the crate door and leaving the area for a short time
  7. As your dog shows he or she is relaxed and enjoying their KONG in the closed crate, gradually increase the amount of time you spend out of sight
  8. Before you know it your dog will be waiting to get inside of their crate

Freezing the stuffed KONG will extend the treat time and keep your dog occupied as they spend time in their crate. For KONG stuffing ideas click here.

For more ways to use KONG to encourage appropriate behavior, please visit KONG Classroom.

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