Dog Kennel Training
Many people who purchase a dog kennel do
not realize that a bit of effort on their part can go along way
to avoiding problems with your dog when they are introduced to
their new "home" for the first time. Taking the time
to train your dog to being in the kennel will make your life
much easier and your neighbors will be much happier too!
Kennel training can take several days or
weeks, depending on your dog's age, level or aggressiveness,
and past experiences. It's important to keep two things in mind
while kennel training: The dog kennel should always be
associated with something pleasant, and training should take
place in a series of small steps. Don't go too fast!
First, introduce your dog to the kennel
by placing a favorite toy, blanket or something pleasant the
dog likes into the kennel. Make sure the kennel door is open
and secured so that it won't hit your dog and frighten them.
To encourage your dog to enter the kennel, drop some small food
treats nearby, then just inside the door, and finally, all the
way inside of the kennel. If the dog refuses to go all the way
in the kennel at first, that's okay, don't force the issue. Continue
tossing treats into the kennel until your dog will walk calmly
all the way into the kennel to get the food. If the dog isn't
interested in treats, try tossing a favorite toy in the kennel.
Don't expect instant results, this process may take several days.
After introducing your dog to the kennel, begin feeding the dog
regular meals just inside the kennel. This will create a pleasant
association with the kennel. Each meal, try moving the food further
and further back in the kennel. Once the dog is standing in the
kennel to eat the food, close the kennel door while the dog is
eating. The first time you do this, open the door as soon as
the dog finishes the food. With each successive feeding, leave
the door closed a few minutes longer, until the dog is staying
in the kennel for ten minutes or so after eating. If the dog
begins to whine to be let out, it is important that you not let
the dog out until the whining stops. Otherwise, the dog will
learn that the way to get out of the kennel is to whine, irritating
both you and the neighborhood.
Now you can begin leaving the dog in the kennel for longer periods
of time. Call the dog over to the kennel and give the dog a treat.
Give the dog a command to enter, such as "kennel."
Encourage the dog by pointing to the inside of the kennel with
a treat in your hand. After your dog enters the kennel, praise
the dog, give them the treat, and close the door of the kennel.
Sit quietly near the kennel for five to ten minutes and then
go to another area out of the dog's view for a few minutes. Return,
sit quietly again for a short time, then let the dog out of the
kennel. Repeat this process several times a day. With each repetition,
gradually increase the length of time you leave the dog in the
kennel and the length of time you're out of the dog's sight.
Once your dog will stay quietly in the kennel for about 30 minutes
with you out of sight, you can begin leaving the dog when you're
gone for short time periods and/or letting the dog sleep there
at night. This may take several days or several weeks.
The dog has now learned to associate the dog kennel with something
pleasant rather than a punishment area and the dog will adjust
to staying in the kennel with a minimum of behavior problems.
For professional dog training and dog boarding
services, we highly recommend Adam and Susanna Campbell at Campbell's Canine Camp
serving the Washington DC Metro Area, Virgina and Pennsylvania.