Your dog's crate can be a safe place for rest and relaxation, but only if you make it comfortable. By making the crate a comfier, more welcoming environment, you make it easier for them to want to use it as a resting place.
Place the crate in an area where people spend time, like the living room. This keeps your dog from getting lonely inside, or from associating the crate with punishment.
Line the bottom of the crate with washable bedding, so puppy has a soft and comfortable place to curl up and rest.
Make sure that the crate is big enough for your puppy to rest in comfortably. If he has to curl up into a tiny ball to fit inside the crate, resting in there won't be easy. The crate should be big enough for him to stand up, turn around and lie down.
Teach your puppy to associate the crate with rewards. When he goes in the crate, give him a treat or a special toy that he only gets when he's inside.
Exercise your pup before putting him in the crate. A dog with pent-up energy won't want to rest or be confined, but he recently has had the chance to burn off some energy and eliminate outdoors, he will be more receptive to going in and laying down.
Spend time at home when puppy is in the crate. If you only crate him when you're leaving home, he will associate the crate with isolation.
Never use the crate as punishment. This isn't what the crate is for, and if you use it that way, your dog will associate going in there with punishment.
Items You Will Need
- Washable bedding
- Toys and treats
- Never use the crate as punishment. This isn't what the crate is for, and if you use it that way, your dog will associate going in there with punishment.
Tom Ryan is a freelance writer, editor and English tutor. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in English writing, and has also worked as an arts and entertainment reporter with "The Pitt News" and a public relations and advertising copywriter with the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.