​Crate Training
Make sure puppy or dog has had Exercise, Enrichment, food, and has pottied also start with a tired, satisfied pup.

Blanket over the crate Soothing music Chewies and toys Snuffle mat

Action for moments of Desperation:

What do you think your pup might need?
Potty: ​leash on, quick trip outside
Sooth isolation distress: ​move the ​crate​ closer to the human, don’t take pup out Tired Toddler syndrome: ​cover the crate with blanket


Play with the pup before crating, when they get tired usher them in Transfer a sleeping puppy to the crate
Utilize the crate during expected downtime (when they are tired)


Gradually expose the pup to longer and longer times in the crate No food, just time (avoid food dependance)
Games without any food
Go slow – move at dog’s pace

Crate location

Crate Training – games

Story Time​ – human sits by crate, reading something, not talking to the pup (you can use food to start but fade out)

Goods are inside ​- crate door is locked, dropping really good food in crate, when dog “asks” (sits at your feet, paws to get in the crate, etc.) to go in crate, let dog in to get the goods

Human’s busy ​- once a dog is comfortable in crate, put crate in a high traffic location, close the door and drop good treats in, walk away, do something, come back and drop more treats, (things to do, fold laundry, do the dishes, etc.) When you move to only desensitization there are no treats. You are building the time in the crate, working at your pups pace and comfort level.

Best Practices:

Are the pups needs met daily
Settled dogs get release – no dancing feet, no pushy pups (see below on training)
All good things happen in the crate: new toys, chew time, other enrichment and even your pups meals should be happening in the crate

Training for a Settle (to be released)

In and out for treats
Add the release cue for the “out” treat and kennel or crate cue for the “in” treat
Ask for a sit or down while in the crate, then release the “out” treat
Once your pup is comfortable, add closing the door
Once the door is closed ask for the sit or down, as soon as pup does, door gets opened and the “out” treat

Rule out Separation Anxiety guidelines: ​if your pup is showing these, we will need to address it with another option.

Non-stop vocalization (hours) Non-stop pacing (hours)
Not eating
Uncharacteristic soiling of the crate Biting at exits, self-harm                                                          Dilated pupils