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Feeding your dog in his dog crate

Friday, November 26, 2010
posted by Jim Murphy

dog-crate-2When introducing a new pup to his crate, you want to make it a pleasant experience for him. Food is always pleasant to a dog.  Begin to feed him his regular meals near his dog crate.  He will begin to associate a pleasant experience with the crate.  If your dog is going in his crate regularly, then put his food in the back of the crate.  If your dog is still a little reluctant to go into his crate, put the food in the crate only as far as he will go before becoming nervous or anxious.  Each time you feed him, place his food a little further back. This way he will start to feel comfortable with the crate knowing that there is a pleasant experience waiting for him inside.

Once you notice that your dog is not nervous and is standing comfortably eating his food, you could then close the door to the crate.  At the beginning, open the door as soon as he is finished eating then gradually leave the door closed a little longer after each feeding.  If your dog begins to whine or cry, then decrease the time that the door is closed. Do not let him out until he stops whining.  Otherwise, he will learn that the way to get out of his crate is to whine.  After he gets comfortable eating in his crate, you can keep him inside for short periods of time while you’re home. Crate training is a gradual process. Never try to force your dog inside or leave him in his crate and leave before he has gotten used to it. If you do this, your dog will never get used to his crate and will associate it with something that is unpleasant. We will have more on crate training in upcoming blog posts. Patience is the key.



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