More and more people talk about the many advantages of a kennel for domestic dogs. A covered bed can be not only a great place to rest for a pet, but also a great help for its guardian. In this type of booth, you can close the pooch for the time of vacuuming the apartment or secure the pet for the time of replacing meters or bringing in furniture. A kennel cage can also become a safe hiding place for a dog during a storm or a quiet corner where no one will disturb him while eating a tasty teether. However, for it to be effective in its role, the cage must be properly introduced to the dog! How to do it?
How to convince a dog to a kennel?
Many pets are welcome to see a cage set up in the house with a comfortable bed inside. It is in the dog’s nature to look for secluded, roofed hiding places for rest. However, not every pet will immediately start using the provided kennel cage, let alone lock it in! Attempts to imprison a dog unaccustomed to a kennel can end up in crying, frustration and panic, and a pooch thrashing in confinement can seriously hurt himself. How to introduce a dog’s cage so that it treats it as a safe haven? Here is a step by step tutorial!
Choose the appropriate frame
Kennel cages come in countless sizes and can be made of either metal rods or fabric on a rigid frame. When choosing a dog cage, we must first of all pay attention to its size. It should be large enough for the pooch to stand up straight in it and lie comfortably on its side. However, it cannot be huge – the pooch closed in it should not be able to jump or run. Metal cages are perfect for dogs prone to deterioration. Fabric booths are lighter and cozier, but it is easy to rip them open with claws and bite a hole in them. Therefore, when buying your first dog cage, it is worthwhile to decide on a structure made of metal bars and cover it with a blanket or a special cloth cover.
Place the cage in a quiet place
Before buying a cage, think about where you want to put it. This place should be as quiet as possible, away from noisy TV sets and main communication routes in the house. The cage should not be placed in narrow passages and right next to the front door. On the other hand, the location of the cage should not make the dog feel isolated from their handlers. Therefore, the best place for a cage will be a quiet corner in the living room, bedroom or home office. We should not replace the dog’s bedding with the cage, because the pet may feel lost or forced to use new equipment. However, you can cover its interior with a comfortable mattress or pillow.
Let your dog get used to the new equipment
After unfolding the kennel cage and arranging the bedding in it, leave the door open (you can block it with something so that it does not close) and stop being interested in it. Watch your pet for the first day. Does he approach the new equipment curiously, does he lie in it himself, or does he carefully avoid this novelty? If the pet is suspicious and distrustful, you can put your worn T-shirt or a used towel in the cage. Thanks to this, the new space will give the dog a safe, familiar scent. At first, do not try to persuade the dog to enter the cage, do not throw food there or try to close the door. You can start introducing the cage only after the pet has accepted the presence of a new piece of furniture in the house.
Build positive associations
If the pooch has got used to the new equipment, you can start leaving him with various chews and delicacies. For a dog who has started to enter the cage on his own without prompting, throw the flavors deep inside the cage so that he has to enter it completely while looking for them. As soon as he is done eating the small treats, give him a larger teether in his mouth and check if the pet stays in the cage to eat it. If your pet still does not dare to put its paws inside the new lair, place him a few small treats at the very edge of the entrance so he can reach them without going inside. Repeat this until the pooch puts his head into the cage and eats delicacies without hesitation. You can throw another handful of flavors a bit further – so that the quadruped has to rest his paw on the inside of the burrow. Such exercises should not take more than a few minutes. However, you can repeat them 5-8 times a day.
Serve meals in a cage
The best way to teach your dog to be quiet in a cage is to feed him food and large chews. If your pet enters the cage without any problems, eats its meals in it and carries toys or treats, you can start getting him used to a closed door.
Start closing the door
Once your pooch is comfortable in the cage to eat the teether, walk up to him and wiggle the door. If the disturbed pet immediately stops eating, open the door immediately. Wait for the pooch to go back to eating and move them again, but do not close them completely. Repeat this exercise at every opportunity to desensitize the dog to stopping down the cage. For a pet that ignores the door movement, you can close it for a while – but remember to open the cage before it finishes eating!
Learning to stay in a kennel
If you can easily lock the pooch in the cage while eating, it is worth starting to slowly move away from the closed cage, and then leave the room for longer and longer periods. However, you cannot let the locked pooch get scared, panic and try to get out. Take the next steps only when you are sure that your pooch will behave calmly. It is worth trying to extend the stay in the cage after returning from an intense, vigorous walk, i.e. when our pooch is most exhausted.
How long does it take to introduce a dog to a kennel?
How quickly a given pooch accepts a new message is an individual matter. Some dogs will fall in love with this safe burrow right away and will not protest before it closes. Others will take several weeks to do this. If we want to introduce a kennel cage to the dog, we cannot rush, rush the animal or force it to do anything by force. We must also remember never to treat the cage as a punishment for the dog!
Author: Aleksandra Prochocka