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How do I get my dog used to a travel crate

 Tips for getting your dog used to the travel crate

Getting your dog to feel comfortable in a travel crate is one of the most important things you should teach him. It is very helpful to prevent you from feeling uncomfortable, stressed, or trying to escape. Keep in mind that a travel crate doesn't have to be a prison for your dog. It should be his den, the place where he feels comfortable and safe. 

In this dog57 article, we'll show you some tips for getting your dog used to the travel crate, and making weekends more joyful and positive. 




Show cage and pre-flight steps 

It is very understandable that a dog should not be crated if it has not been in a crate before. This can confuse him and make him think that he is being punished. We have to get the dog accustomed to staying in it gradually, that's why we offer you this simple step by step: 

Provide the cage for your dog 

Set up the travel cage so that the door remains open at all times. Some cage models allow the door to be removed, so this will be easy. If it is not possible to do this with the cage you have, attach the door to another part of the cage so that the cage does not close. This will help your dog feel safe when entering. 

Make him feel attracted to the cage 

After removing the door, or holding it so that it cannot be closed, but some of your dog's toys inside the travel crate. Also, throughout the day, leave a little food inside. This will make your dog happy every time he discovers a little "treasure" inside the cage. 

If you see your dog approaching or entering the cage, pet him and play with him. You can also give him a food reward. At this point, you should not close the cage door yet. 

Always leave the cage available, the door open, and a blanket inside. This way, he would be able to enter to rest when he wanted, and he would be able to leave without a problem. Be patient if your dog is afraid of cages. Do not force him to enter. This will only increase your fear. 

What do you do if the dog does not want to enter the cage? 

If your dog is very reluctant to enter the crate, feed him facing the crate. Simply place his bowl in front of the cage when you give him his food. When he feels comfortable, you can put the board inside the cage: first in the front (near the door), then in the middle, and then in the back. Do this gradually. 

If you have removed the top of the crate, you can put it back in when your dog voluntarily enters and is comfortable in it. Of course, place the top when your dog is not in the crate and repeat the above procedure (put food and toys in the crate) for a longer time. 

With stressed dogs, this whole process can take a few days, but most dogs get used to getting into the crate very quickly. 

How do you close the door? 

When your dog is comfortable in the crate, you can start fiddling with the crate door. With your dog inside the crate, move the crate door slightly, but don't close it. If your dog stays inside, throw a small piece of food into the cage. 

Little by little, the dog will feel more comfortable moving the door. Then take the opportunity to close it (without modifying it) and open it immediately. Each time you do this, throw a food treat into the crate if your dog stays inside. If your dog goes out of the house, simply ignore this behavior. 

Then, when you can close the cage door for a moment, start adding some time before opening it. Just wait half a second before opening it. When your dog is comfortable with this, repeat the procedure but wait a second before opening the door. Gradually and in different sessions, extend this time one second at a time, until your dog has calmed down for ten seconds with the door closed. 

Gradually increase the time spent in the crate, but do not leave it locked while you leave. Keep in mind that you do not have to put the dog in a crate for a long time, as the dog may associate this activity as a punishment. It is very helpful to incorporate blankets and towels as if they were a shed. This way you will get used to it faster. 




Tips for getting your dog used to the travel crate 


The crate is not a place to lock your dog. Practice this exercise until you can keep your dog in the crate for a few minutes. You can then easily increase the time because the dog will feel comfortable in his crate. 


The maximum times a dog can spend in a crate are: 


Puppies nine to 10 weeks old: 30 to 40 minutes.

Puppies from 11 to 15 weeks: from one to two and a half hours.

Puppies 16 to 17 weeks: three and a half hours.

Puppies and dogs 18 weeks and older: Three and a half to four hours. 

The maximum time the dog should spend in the travel crate should not exceed five hours. And this is only on rare occasions. Of course, this time is longer when the dog is traveling by plane, but this is a special case in which nothing can be done. Never force your dog into the crate. If you force it, you will create an aversion to the cage. 

Never leave your dog in the crate with a collar on. It doesn't matter what kind of necklace it is. Of course, the exception to this rule is when you have to put it on an airplane or other means of transportation. In this case, put a collar on it with an emergency release device and an identification tag. 

Never leave small items in the crate that your dog could choke on. Ideally, you should only leave him with large toys that are not easy to destroy, such as Bones of Kongs or Nylabones. Do not leave anything inside the cage (not even a large toy) during excursions. 


Never put your dog in a crate if: 


Less than nine weeks

diarrhea

vomit

You need to leave it longer than the maximum time indicated

He didn't rest himself before he was imprisoned

He didn't get enough exercise and companionship

The temperature is too high or too low 

Discover some natural dog snacks you can offer your dog or some delicious oatmeal and honey cookies. 

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