by Bill Gibson, Head Trainer at Mossy Oak GameKeeper Kennels
The Importance of Crate Training a New Puppy
Crate training a puppy is a simple concept that is easy to do and vital to success in future training endeavors. Veterinarians and trainers agree that the kennel will be accepted as a dog's "safe zone" or den, and it will encourage routine, potty training control, and safe travel. It also helps alleviate any separation anxieties in older dogs or pandemic puppies by establishing independent time.
Especially if you're working with a sporting dog, you'll want to establish boundaries and control early on and begin crate training your puppy as soon as you get home.
Steps for Crate Training Your New Gun Dog
Show the dog his or her favorite treat or toy and encourage the dog to follow it into the crate. Don't force the dog to enter, instead keep encouraging it to go all the way to the back of the kennel to get the treat. Maintain a positive tone of voice.
Use the command "kennel" or "kennel up" as the dog walks through the kennel door. Avoid repeating the word multiple times--once should be enough!
Praise the dog for going into the crate. Shut the door and hang out quietly in the room with the dog before finally leaving it alone for a few minutes. Increase the intervals until your dog is comfortable being in the crate for up to 30 minutes at a time.
Once you've worked up to about half an hour in the crate, your new puppy should be fine to leave longer intervals and you shouldn't have to entice them with treats or toys any longer. Make sure to keep the crate a positive place, though, and not a place of punishment. To ensure crate training success, you must remain consistent.
Where to Buy a Quality Crate
If you're looking for a crate, there is no better option than a Gunner Kennel. They're the absolute safest kennel on the market and work as both an inside crate and car kennel. Plus, they even offer an option for Mossy Oak Greenleaf enthusiasts.