How and Why to Kennel Train Your Dog

Dog – Australian Shepherd playing in the Beach

Crate and kennel training are the keys to a long, happy relationship with your dog. This type of training is necessary to teach your dog the rules of your house and it’s crucial if you need to house-train a puppy. Training a dog to enjoy his or her kennel will make everyone’s life easier if you have to board your dog, or if your pet has to be crated for medical reasons. But how do you and your dog both get used to spending time in a kennel?

Your Dog’s Safe Haven

Contrary to what you might think, dogs don’t regard their crates or kennels as “cages,” at least not the way we humans do. Most of us would understandably hate to be locked up in a small space for hours on end, or overnight. But it’s different for a dog.

For dogs, their kennel is a place of safety. Just as their wild ancestors looked for dens and caves when it was time to settle down and sleep, modern dogs also regard their kennel as a secure spot where they can escape from noise and stress. Dogs find it easier to relax in their own little home and a happy, relaxed dog is a dog that’s better-behaved.

Right-Size the Kennel

Any crate should be large enough for a dog to stand up in. Your dog should be able to lie down, turn around and play with her toys. Never try to squeeze your dog into a kennel that’s too small.

If you want the ultimate in comfort and size, an outdoor kennel is a great option. These kennels are a far cry from a doghouse, offering a sturdy, durable outdoor home for your pets where they can move freely and feel totally secure. You can find well-made kennels at The Dog Kennel Collection, which also offers commercial kennels for those who are housing several dogs.

Make it Fun

To get your puppy or dog used to crate and kennel training, start early, start slow and start by making it fun. It’s best to start training them as puppies, but even older dogs can learn that their crate is a place of safety and fun. At the beginning, it’s best to crate your dog for only an hour or two at a time. Once he’s used to the kennel or crate, you can start gradually increasing the time. 

Make the kennel even more attractive by adding toys and a favorite bed. You should also consider feeding your pet in the kennel, but be sure to allow a potty break.

Home, Sweet Home

To reduce a dog’s separation anxiety, always begin crating while you’re still in the house. Continue to show your dog attention and affection. With time, your dog will understand that being in the kennel is not punishment.

Kennel training should never be stressful for you or your dog. With a little patience and the right kennel, you can create a safe, comfortable space that your pet will be happy to call home.

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