Mikkel Becker’s Top Tips for Crate-Training an Adult Dog

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Have you been putting off crate training because you're not sure how to start? With the right approach, even an adult dog can learn to love the crate! Check out this advice from trainer Mikkel Becker, and learn more at .

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33 Comments on “Mikkel Becker’s Top Tips for Crate-Training an Adult Dog”

  1. Hi, thank you for your video, I recently adopted a 9 month old dachshund and I want to crate train her, however I was wondering during the initial period of her training what do I do at night, do I keep her in her crate? or do I do that only once she get’s comfortable with it. Thanks again!

    1. gustavo arriagada you do put the dog in the crate at night so it doesn’t pee in the house at night and if they pee in the crate then you can clean up easier

    1. Thunder shirts do work well on some dogs. It depends what is causing the anxiety. My girl uses her crate (always by her choice – she gets in when she feels she has to. I NEVER send her to her crate unless absolutely necessary like running a drill for a vet visit; just the same as a fire drill in a school. Her anxiety that draws her to the crate is spatial. This would not be helped much by the compression of a thunder shirt. The anxiety that is helped by the thunder shirt is auditory/sensory. This is eased by the compression.

      When a person is suffering from anxiety caused by people around them in their personal space for example the last thing you would do is hug them. They need to get to a place they feel comfortable. This may be a wide open space or a small enclosed space. It may just mean taking a step back away from the other people.

      It’s all about knowing your pooch and providing for them. Again crate training is a great preventative for the stress and anxiety caused by emergency crating at a VET/quarantine or interstate/international transport if the need should ever arise.

      Pete

    1. some dogs like kats are more relaxed in a small place. My dog is often very nervous (recently rescued from the pound – history unknown) and she likes to live under the couch. I am beginning crate training now. The thing to remember about dogs is that when positive training is used they won’t do what they don’t want to. If your dog uses the crate (Remember they should have access to it all the time and not just when you want to put them in it) it’s because they feel calmer and safer when inside making them happier.

    2. +Howdy Partner Why don’t you just let her stay under the couch?! It’s WAY better than a cage! I would NEVER crate my dog!

    3. Hi,

      Because the point of crate training is to positively fixing her anxiety issues. The crate gives her a safe area that is only hers. The door of the crate does not get closed until she is confident and happy.

      Crate training gets a poor rap from people who do not understand the reasoning behind it.

      Crate training is VERY useful if your dog ever needs to have surgery. If your dog is used to a crate it will be happy when recovering or preparing for surgery when it WILL be put in a crate. Imagine if your dog had never been exposed to a crate and then all of a sudden it is in a new environment, you are not around and all of a sudden it’s locked in a crate?

      Crate training exposes them to this environment in a positive way so that they do not freak out when that time comes.

      Simply dismissing crate training (Or any other training method) without looking at it properly first shows arrogance on the part of the owner.

      It is important to note that you should NEVER force a dog to do anything. Anything the dog does should be by it’s own choice. This means it chooses to come when you call it because it associates you with something it wants like treats or pats or playtime (These are doggy currency). If you force a dog into a crate it is negative. if the dog chooses to go into the crate and you read it’s behaviour as positive then that is a positive thing. If at any point your dog is not comfortable or shows resistance/anxiety with the crate you then NEED to step back in the training to the last point your dog was comfortable OR stop altogether.

      Crate training is not for all dogs. It suits some but not others.

      Regarding why I do not just leave my dog under the couch … If she goes under there she can stay there for as long as she likes. I never stop her or remove her from there because she is going there because she is comfortable there. The crate is necessary in her situation because she needs to be able to stand up and turn around. She can only lie down flat and crawl under the couch.

      The cage my girl has is actually a recycled timber baby cot. It has a solid removable (for cleaning) floor and solid removable roof but gives her freedom to stand, turn around and lie down. She gets food, toys and a bed in the cot. it also has a bed sheet that I drape over the top and sides for when she is feeling very anxious.

      Truffle’s (My dog) crate is really more of a bed. the negative stigma attached to this is in human beings minds of a crate being a wire cage associated with captivity. This is not the case with cage training. It is all positivity. Many cage trainers do use crates that are just barely the size of the dog and in rare cases of extreme anxiety this is actually a good thing but in my case Truffle’s “crate” or bed to be more accurate is around double her length long, her entire length wide and her entire length high. She is not in any discomfort and does not need to be in the crate while I am not home. She gets in freely whenever she wants and gets out freely whenever she wants. I just know when the time comes when she NEEDS to be enclosed in a crate (for example surgery) that she will not be stressed.

      How many NON- crate trained dogs will not be stressed when bundled away at the vet? How many owners realise that they need to be crated at vets? What about if the dog has a serious injury like a broken hip and need to be kept VERY calm with no walking around for months on end during rehab? Will the dog be OK with suddenly being crated for these periods? OR will the owner just have them destroyed because it’s too much hassle and the dog is not equipped to cope with it?

      To take on the responsibility of dog ownership means you have to raise that dog just the same as you have to raise a child. FAR TOO MANY PEOPLE TAKE ON THE RESPONSIBILITY OF CARING FOR ANOTHER LIFE WITHOUT ENOUGH THOUGHT TO THE LIFE THEY ARE CARING FOR.

      A long comment but I think I have expressed my point enough. Feel free to disagree but please if you are against crate training that’s fine; it’s your opinion but think about the points I have made and consider how your dog will feel in a high stress environment when they are thrown in that situation.

      Pete

    1. +Howdy Partner My dogs are not scared or anxious at there vet, they knew her since they were puppies and she is a very sweet person! And my dogs stay in a fenced backyard, so they don’t go and bite other dogs and when I walk with them I walk with them on a leash! I said I would cry because I would not bear to see my beloved dog in a cage! And fine, some dogs might like to stay in it, but I still consider it wrong! I am never going to crate train any of my dogs, and nobody is ever going to convince me to do it, because I will not be able to put my dog in a cage!

    2. I know I said I would not comment further BUT …

      You said you let your dog

      When you said “I would cry because I would not bear to see my beloved dog in a cage!” and “I will not be able to put my dog in a cage!”

      This is exactly what I meant when I said this says more about you than your dog. Your dog has no emotional connection with a crate but you obviously do. I highly recommend you do NOT crate train your dog because you seem unwilling to let that connection go. If you were to crate train your dog you would be inadvertently making it a negative concept for your dog as you would transfer the negative energy to your dog around the crate.

      When you said ” I don’t use slip chains either, I just let them walk around freely!” this means that you don’t use any control measures. How do you use a leash when the dog is allowed to walk around freely? Allowing them to walk around freely is dangerous; You wouldn’t let a toddler walk around freely would you?

      Always remember there is a difference between a crate and a cage. The two words have completely different meanings but you are interchanging them. This speaks to your understanding of the concept. This is exactly why I suggested you should do the research with an open mind and THEN decide.

      When I was first learning the concept I did not believe it was useful and doubted the humanity involved but it has many more positives than you realise once you get to learn it properly and you have learned more about canine communication

      Remember that taking on the responsibility of being a dog owner is taking on the ultimate responsibility of a fulfilling and happy life. You need to do the right thing for your dog whatever that may be.

      Pete.

    3. IRuinEverything yeah but there’s nothing wrong with letting your dog out of the crate once or twice in a while

  2. It really bothers me how a lot of people are shaming on people who crate their dogs without doing any research on the topic.

    If done correctly, crate training could be very beneficial for SOME dogs. Every dog is different. Crate training can be used to help dogs with anxiety and stress when done CORRECTLY. Especially when the said dog cannot be left alone in the house unattended. Whether the dog is destructive (which is a big thing and not only just in puppies) or whatever be the case.

    I’m sorry, but this was really bothering me and I needed to say/write it. Please guys, do your research before making such a negative comment towards people !

  3. If people had to hire a dog walker or pay for doggie daycare every time they needed to leave the house for more than 4 hours 90% of dogs would be homeless because no one would be able to afford to keep them

  4. how do you punish your dog? 0-0 well then there is no way to punish your dog is there because out side is a happy place to isnt it

  5. My dog is 11 years old and hes been an outside dog his entire life I recently decided to bring him inside and start housebreaking him I’m using the crate and he loves it I think hes just grateful to be inside he’s very old now

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