The Pet Pros at That Pet Place have created this guide to teach new dog owners the basics and precautions of kennel training. If your pet has never been in a kennel, specific training is required. Pets that are not used to being restricted, may attempt to escape, and this can do serious damage to your pet or to the kennel.
Choose the correct kennel size for your pet.
Your pet should have enough room to stand up, turn around and curl up. Be sure to consider the full-grown size of your pet as well when making your selection: puppies don't stay small for long!
Select a permanent place in your home for your kennel.
Try to select an area that is near the main living area of your home, but is a quiet enough area where they can rest. This way your pet will feel he has his own special place, while still being part of your family. Also, place a blanket or towel with your scent on it to comfort your pet in their new surroundings.
Be sure to remove the collars, tags, and leads from your pet before placing it in the kennel.
Entanglement with kennel wires could result in injury.
Begin by keeping the kennel door open.
Allow your puppy to get comfortable with going in and out on its own. Gradually, increase the time your pet is in the cage, at first blocking him with your hand. Once he is comfortable, close the door. Stay in sight and always praise your pet for calm behavior and reward him with a treat.
Don't be surprised or alarmed if your pet doesn't take to training right away.
Depending on your dog's breed or temperament, it may take hours or days before your pet feels comfortable. Once it feels secure in the kennel with the door closed, the pup will eventually sit quietly and sleep.
Never punish your dog by forcing him into the kennel or reprimanding him while inside.
This will undermine your pet's sense of security and you'll lose whatever training you've gained.
Always take your pet outside to potty before placing him in the kennel.
Dogs will generally not go to the bathroom in the area they sleep or stay in. To force your pet into this situation can cause a lot of easily avoidable stress, and makes training much more difficult.
Leaving a pet unattended and confined for any amount of time may cause anxiety in your pet and lead him to try to escape by chewing or forcing his way out.
This can lead to serious injuries or even death - proper training and kennel introduction is critical.
Always keep a few of your pet's favorite toys in his kennel.
Chew toys keep your pet interested in chewing proper objects and discourage barking by keeping him occupied. It also helps add a level of security be the presence of familiar objects and smells (like blankets and towels).
Do not leave your pet in its kennel all day.
Like babies, puppies have to eliminate about every 2-4 hours. At best, a puppy can hold it about one hour longer than its age in months (a 3 month old puppy can hold for about 4 hours for example). Take him outside and reward him when he eliminates.
Proper crate assembly is critical.
Make sure you follow instructions carefully. An improperly assembled kennel can lead to injury.
Other Kennel Tips
During the first few days of kennel training, place the kennel in your bedroom at night to help alleviate some stress as your pet adjusts to the new environment.
Stuff a Kong toy with goodies and let him chew on it while you're away for the day. These irresistible treats will keep your pet occupied for hours: and his mind off of his kennel.
Kennels are the quickest and easiest way to housetrain your dog. Dogs will typically not "go" in the area where they eat and sleep, thus making training inevitable. If your dog does have an accident inside the kennel, your kennel is either too large or your dog was left inside too long.