How to Start Crate Training Your Puppy

Updated: Dec 13, 2021

Join our Trainer Claire for a beginner's lesson in crate training your puppy!

Breaking this Training Into Steps:

(If you're indoors and have enough room, begin by removing your dog’s leash.)

Your initial training goal is simple—you just want to get your dog comfortable with the idea of the crate. With your dog next to the crate, use either your marker word or clicker, as well as a treat, to mark and reward your dog for simply looking at the crate. This builds an association for your dog between the crate and being rewarded.

Next, begin opening and closing the door of the crate to get your dog used to the movement. If they give you a positive reaction, mark this and give them a treat.

Your first real task of this training will be to get your dog to start moving inside the crate. Usually this begins with small steps like poking their nose or paws inside. Mark this behavior and reward them with a treat.

Starting to Close the Crate.

Once your dog has become more comfortable with the idea of their crate, you can begin tossing treats inside to get them to move their whole body inside. While you have already tossed their treat inside the crate, it’s important not to mark the behavior until they have at least partially made their way inside the crate.

When your dog has begun stepping completely inside the crate, begin closing the door for a moment and then treating them. This will continue to reinforce the association between being inside the crate and being rewarded.

Have Any Training Tips of Your Own?

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