Depending on the dog’s age and temperament, it may take only a few days or multiple weeks to kennel train or crate train a dog. The first step is to introduce the dog to the crate and make him or her feel comfortable in it. Next, gradually condition the dog to spend increasingly longer periods of time in the kennel. Note that crate or kennel training should never be used as punishment for a dog’s misbehavior. You don’t want the dog to begin to fear the crate. In addition, a dog should never be left in the kennel for hours at a time. Once a dog is properly kennel trained, the kennel should be a place they go voluntarily and view as a safe refuge.
How to begin kennel training a dog
Kennel training a dog as early in life as possible is necessary because it will give the dog a safe den to retreat to, it will help the dog behave better during car rides, and it will enable the dog to be boarded at a kennel when the family is out of town.
First, the crate should be placed in an active area of the home, such as the family room. Place a comfortable blanket in the crate and use a soothing, positive tone of voice as you encourage the dog to enter it. Place dog treats inside the crate. Don’t force the dog inside. It may take several tries before the dog enters.
How to complete the kennel training process
When the dog is comfortable with the kennel, feed the dog meals near it so it’s associated with happy memories. Then, begin placing the dish just inside the door. At subsequent meals, move the dish a little further into the crate. When the dog is all the way in, close the door. Open the door as soon as the dog is done eating. Gradually, at subsequent meals, keep the door closed for a little longer after the dog is done eating.
Begin conditioning the dog to stay in the kennel for increasingly long periods of time other than mealtimes. Give the dog a consistent directive, like “Kennel up!” and a treat. However, never leave the dog crated longer than a few hours at a time. This will cause the dog to feel frustrated and anxious.
Kenneling an Untrained Dog
Even if your dog isn’t kennel trained, they’ll likely need to stay in a kennel from time-to-time, whether it’s so you can take a vacation, or if your pup needs an overnight stay at the vet. A luxury dog kennel from TriStar Vet helps provide a more comforting environment for untrained dogs, thanks to our glass doors, which allow for more visibility and less sound pollution.