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How to Crate Train Your Dog

Training Tip Tuesday

By DCSPCA Canine Lead Trainer Jodi

Here’s how to get your dog to love going into their crate!

Crate training your dog can be very useful in numerous situations. For a dog with separation anxiety, the crate may be a comfortable safe haven. For a young puppy, a crate can protect them from getting into trouble when left alone. When traveling, a dog might need to stay in a crate in a hotel, or other temporary housing.

Here we see Jodi working with STARGAZE, who is available for adoption!


The first thing you want to do is to build a positive association with their crate. Use treats and just toss them into the crate. The dog learns that being in the crate equals treats and good things.


Do this until the dog starts going into the crate by themself. Even without treats, they will start going in the crate on their own. They start to anticipate getting the treats, so they will go in there without the treat. This takes the dog from being a passive player to being an active player in the game.


When they go into the crate, reward them! Linger on this step for a while as the dog goes in and out all on their own.


Then close the door very slowly, open the door, reward, close the door, lock the door, open the door, reward. Repeat. The dog starts to realize that all they must do is sit in their crate and the rewards come to them!

Take your time when you are crate training. Don’t rush it. It’s nice to have a dog that loves being in their crate.

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