When it comes to crate training, and the overall association with dogs, there’s a common misconception that a create is meant to provide your dog with timeouts or help them understand that they’ve done something wrong or that you’re not happy with.
And so if you’re hoping to make it so your dog enjoys spending time in his or her crate, you want to make sure you begin with the understanding that your dog or puppy’s crate needs to mean the same thing that your home and bedroom mean to you.
Sure, you can go to your home to take a break from the outside world or life in general, and sure you can go to your room when things aren’t going well and take a break there too. But the difference with that and the misconception about dog’s crates is that it’s nearly impossible for your dog to fully understand why they got placed in their crate. Rather, what is most likely to happen is that your dog is associating going inside their crate with a not-so-positive experience. This is ultimately what makes dogs not want to spend time inside of it.
Another reason can be their personality, energy level/drive, and other, more individual reasons that are best explored with a private dog trainer.
But let’s dive in and take a look at some things you can do today to help your dog enjoy the idea of their crate: 1. This is the most important one! Make your dog's crate available to them when they feel relaxed, mellow, and tired from activities they've done. This way, you can associate how they feel (rest, mellow, relaxed) with being inside the crate.
2. After your dog has burned some physical energy with a game like fetch or tug and pull, help them settle and relax by hiding small pieces of their kibble and/or treats inside their crate with towels, for them to go in and snuffle. This will help slow their brain down and encourage them to spend time there, in a calm mindset. 3. Get a crate cover, and make sure that your dog's bed doesn't cover the entire area. The crate cover will help give your dog's crate more of a den-like feel. And ensuring that your dog's crate has uncovered sections will be helpful so that if he is feeling to warm, he can lay down directly on the crate tray, as opposed to his bed.