As you prepare to return to routine, one of the best boundaries you can set is crate training! Although crate training can seem emotionally taxing for both pup and person, creating a safe space leads to a happier, healthier dog. Here are a few crate training basics:
- Crate your dog with someone home for short periods of time. Toss high value treats inside to lure them into the crate and allow the dog to get used to going in and out. Then start by leaving the room for a few minutes, and gradually work up to about 30 minutes.
- Get your dog used to being crated with no one home. Put the dog in the crate with a rewarding treat about 15 minutes before leaving. Don’t make a big deal of your departure; the same follows on the return home. Wait until your dog is calm to open the crate door.
- Slowly increase the time the dog can be left alone up to 5 or 6 hours for an adult dog. Gone for 6+ hours? Employ a dog walker to give your dog a short break or two!
Be patient! Crate training can take several days or even weeks to complete. With successful crate training, many dogs come to love their crate and will choose to sleep inside. See our full Crate Training Resource Guide for in-depth steps to prepare your return to routine.