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    Crate Training

    The Information below is also available in PDF format - a free download

    PDF Document Icon - Crate Training


    Written by Pet Behavior and Training Services, Inc.  for use by the Montgomery County Animal Shelter

    A HOME WITHIN A HOME  the denning instinct

    In the wild, puppies are born in a small area known as a den.  Even adult dogs try to find a protected area to sleep in.  This instinct is handed down to our family dogs.  Ever notice how dogs like to get under a bed, end table or other small enclosed area.  A crate can provide your dog with his own den.  It gives him a place to call his own, and a valuable way to control house soiling and destructive chewing in your absence or whenever you can't supervise.

    Later, when the dog can be trusted alone in the house while you are sleeping or gone, you will find other uses for the crate.  Many dogs prefer to ride in a crate in a car.  When visiting relatives, the family dog that can be crated is often more welcome than one that must have total run of the house privileges.  Many dogs continue to use their crates (with the door open) whenever they want to "get away from it all" and just relax.

    WARNING  You may want to take the precaution of removing the dog's collar when it is in the crate to prevent it from becoming caught.


    • As with all training, it is important to make your dog's experience with the crate a pleasant one.  It should be his "safe" place.  Never use the crate as punishment.
    • To introduce the crate, toss some wonderful tidbits of food right inside and encourage him to go after them.  Practice this many times.  Say "crate up" or "bed".  When he is comfortable going in and out, try closing the door for a few seconds.  Offer him a treat through the crate door.  Open the door and allow him to come out.  Practice this over and over using treats and lots of upbeat praise.
    • Gradually increase the amount of time he spends in his crate, while you are busy in the same room.  Give him a special chew toy (a Kong or sterilized bone with a bit of cheese or peanut butter stuffed in it).  This should keep him happy in the crate.    Practice this many times. Start with one or two minutes, work up to 20 minutes.
    • Now you are ready to crate him with his special toy and leave the room.  Return after a few minutes, open the door.  Gradually build up the time he will stay in the crate while you work around the house.  Sometimes you will be in his sight and sometimes out of his sight.
    • When he is relaxed in the crate while you are working around the house, you can try leaving the house.  Return after a minute or two.  Say "I'm back" and let him out.  Gradually build up the time he will stay in the crate while you are gone.


    • Do not isolate your dog by putting his home away from yours.  For the dog that likes to be in the middle of things, place his crate in the corner of the family room or kitchen.  For the dog that has trouble relaxing in the midst of commotion, try your bedroom.

    While this sounds like a lot of training, it usually only takes a few days to a week or two to complete.

    If you need further information or help with training, you may call us for an appointment at 937-293-5686.  If you live outside the area, ask your veterinarian for referrals to a pet behavior specialist.

    Pet Behavior and Training Services, Inc.
    1407 Business Center Court
    Dayton, Ohio 45410

    A non-profit organization specializing in the behavior of pets

    Montgomery County Animal Shelter
    6790 Webster Street
    Dayton, OH 45414

    Bark Park Big Hill - Closing

    The time has come. Some of you may have noticed the large "patches" on the hill. With the constant rain and weather, the hill hasn't been keeping up appearances. We received word from the Solid Waste folks that November 12, 2014, the main hill will close for the winter. In the interim, please stay away from the patches and any cones that have been put out. These mark areas that are either undergoing refurbishment or repair. On a positive note, a grant application has been submitted for new furniture and replacement trash receptacles for the park. We will keep everyone posted on the developments. Sonny's Acres will remain open throughout the winter season.

    Mingle With Our Mutts

    Please join us the Second Sunday of each month from Noon - 2 PM for Mingle with Our Mutts we will have lots of adoptable dogs and cats looking for new homes.