How to Crate train a dog that will not go into crate

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Does your dog refuse to go into the crate? This lesson shows you how to train your dog to go into the crate on command if your dog will not go into the crate.
Click the following link for my Free Complete Crate Training Guide

Most dogs like the dog in the video that act in this manner believe that as soon as they go into the crate, the door will shut behind them and the owner will leave the house. This is a negative experience for your dog. It is your job to change up your dog’s perception.
To get started, you will need a leash and a really exciting treat for your dog. Think cheese, soft smelly dog treats, or deli meat.
With the leash attached to your dog, toss the high value treat inside the crate. Let your dog run into the crate to eat the food. If your dog will still not go into the crate, you either need to up the value of the treat or use physical guidance. Once the dog goes into the crate to eat the food, you can let them come out of the crate.
Now repeat this exercise ten times. Once finished with the game, end the training session with the dog not being confined inside the crate. Practice the game as often as possible.

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19 Comments on “How to Crate train a dog that will not go into crate”

    1. I would recommend placing really enticing food treats in the crate and leave the door open. Let your dog investigate the inside of the crate on their own for a few days. I would also place the dogs meals in the crate and let them eat with the door open. This will help improve your dog’s association with the crate. As your dog become more comfortable, begin practicing the exercises in the video. You can also read my crate training guide here:

    2. Just start by feeding the treats a little ways away from the crate, and slowly get closer while still feeding treats. Just go really slow. If your dog starts to get really nervous take a step back. Hope this helps!

  1. What if you place his food inside the crate and he still doesn’t go in to eat it. He doesn’t even eat when I finally get him inside the crate he’ll rather starve till I decide to get back. I need help help me!!! And also what kind of cheese was that you were feeding him?

    1. You need to practice short sessions of crating while you are home. Place food in crate 2 or 3 times a day for 20 minutes,,then take up the food until the next offering later in the day. I assure you, he will begin eating at some point. they always do. I was using string cheese in this video. Also, check out my complete crate training guide. It’s Free, click here:

  2. My adopted dog refused to go in the crate and cried when I put him inside. I followed these steps, and after about 3 weeks of steady training he now will go in, happily, on command. Thank you! (I also used this method to train my dog to go into his travel carrier)

  3. We’ve always crate trained our dogs. I have a labradoodle who is almost 3 and I’ve messed up crate training him. The only way I can get him in there is to put his food in there so when we have to leave or something I will throw his food in and then shut him in and leave. He now growls and barks at my hand when I do that. If I grab his collar to try to put him in the kennel he will turn like he will bite me. How can I fix this? He loves stuffed animals but I cannot put them In there because he shreds them. On top of this I have 5 children under the age of 10 so we have plenty of stuffed animals around. He steals those. Any thoughts there? Thank you so much for this video.

    1. It is best if your dog does not always think that when they go into the crate, that you are going to leave the house. This creates a negative association of the crate for some dogs. I would practice leashing your dog and using some really good treats to have your dog follow the food into the crate and then let them come back out of the crate. Practice a couple sessions a day where the dog goes in the crate to get treats and then comes out of the crate. End some of the sessions with the dog not being locked in the crate. You should also be crating the dog for short periods of time while you are home while the dog is given a super exciting chew toy such as stuffed kong toy.

  4. While you are mastering crate training, where do you have your dog sleep? We just adopted a puppy that was “crate trained” and will sleep at night in the crate however it is not his choice to go in initially and he whines for about 20 minutes until he tires himself out. I would like to use these methods to get him to enjoy his crate and enter the crate at bedtime on cue but am worried “forcing” him in there at night counteract the training exercises?

    1. For a newly adopted puppy, I would recommend putting him in the crate at night regardless if he wants to go in on his own without you forcing him at this time. This is mainly for safety reasons as you can’t have a new puppy roaming the house at night. Make sure you are using these exercises and crating during the day while you are home for short periods of time. If you stay consistent and give your puppy a high value treat each time you put him in at night, he will start to go in on his own within a few weeks or sooner. Whining for a short period of time is completely normal initially, and although I know it can tug at your heartstrings, you need to stay persistent at ignoring it as it is our job to teach puppies to learn to cope with being alone at times.

    2. Thanks! I did this exercise with my pup last night and by the end of it he was sitting in the crate waiting for chicken. We have an exercise pen we use to contain him (and his crate) during the day and I blocked off an area of the kitchen to watch him while I did the dishes… After sniffing around for a bit he strolled right into his crate and laid down until I was done. We will definitely make this exercise part of our routine. Whining at night was minimized too! Thanks so much for the video!

  5. I know this is an old post, but I can’t tell you how grateful I am for this video. We rescued an older dog from the Middle East and in researching crate training a dog, it’s taken me awhile to find something so helpful, informative and demonstrative of what steps I should take for both my and my dog’s success (and ease of stress!) THANK YOU!

  6. This video really helped me with teaching my young adult dog to go in his crate. He was terrified of it before, but now he goes in it on command very willingly. Now I am going to teach this to our new puppy(twelve weeks old)!

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