Dogs in general like dark, dry enclosed spaces like a small den. Your dog’s crate should be his favorite place for comfort and relaxation. Still, most dogs need a little training to show them that the crate is a safe and relaxing place to be.
Leave the door to your dogs crate open. Toss a treat or toy into the back of the crate. Tell your dog to “Go in crate” or “Kennel” Whatever wording you choose. When he goes inside, give verbal praise. Continue rewarding calm behavior by treating while he is still inside the crate. Place the crate in the kitchen or bedroom. Somewhere where there is high traffic.
Begin feeding the dog in the crate. When he is comfortable going in (and this can be any where from an hour to several weeks), then begin closing the door for very short periods of time while you are right there. With each of the steps, pay attention to what the dog indicates about his feelings. Crate training is most effective when it isn’t rushed. If he is uncomfortable at a particular step, back up to a previous one.
Once he accepts the door closed while you are there, begin going elsewhere in your home and gradually lengthening the time you are gone. Having toys in the crate is useful here. Then leave the house for a very short time and come back, working up to leaving for longer time.
Crate Training Tips
Always leave a yummy treat, toy or stuffed kong in the crate with your dog.
Never use the crate as punishment.
Never open the crate if your dog is crying, barking, whining, etc. Wait for that behavior to stop, then release your dog.
Never leave your dog in the crate for unreasonable amounts of time.
Turn on a radio or TV for background noise to help make them feel less anxious. Try a classical music station-no rap or loud rock music.
Be patient and don’t give up!