4 Tips to Overcome the Challenges of Crate Training a Rescue Dog Overcoming Obstacles With a Rescue Dog โ€”Your Guide to Crate Training it Successfully

4 Tips to Overcome the Challenges of Crate Training a Rescue Dog

Is your rescue dog showing aggression or separation anxiety when youโ€™re trying to crate train it? The tips mentioned in this guide will help you overcome those difficulties and crate train it successfully.

Welcomed a rescue dog into your home? That’s one of the greatest things you can do! Annually, two million dogs are adopted from shelters. In 2023, more than 1.5 million canines were adopted from shelters. That’s a whopping number. 

Most shelter dogs have been abandoned or suffered abuse in their past life. When you adopt a rescue dog, you’re saving a life. You’re giving it a safe and loving home where it can be happy and healthy again. 

Adopting a rescue dog is rewarding, but it’s also challenging. One of the challenges that pet parents face after welcoming a rescue dog is crate training. When pet parents try to crate train their dogs, they usually show aggression or separation anxiety. This complicates the process. 

Are you also finding it troublesome to crate train your pooch? No worries; we’re here to help you out! Here, we’ll share a few tips that will help you overcome the challenges of crate training a shelter dog. 

#1 Choose the Right Crate

Even if you have an old crate in your home, consider buying a new one for your adopted dog. That is because it’s essential to find the right dog kennel for your Fido’s comfort before you start crate training. 

When you start searching for carriers, you’ll find a lot of options. They might overwhelm you, but you can choose the right dog crate by taking into account two factors—type and size. 

There are several types of dog kennels. But wire crates are the most popular. Whether you have a large dog or a small dog, go for a wire crate. It’s sturdy as well as chew-proof. You will also benefit from wire crates if your new furry friend tends to chew a lot.  

Next, you will have to decide on the size, which is the most crucial factor. Your chosen crate should not be too small or too large but just the right size. It should have enough space, so your Fido can stand up, turn around, and even lie down comfortably. 

Avoid choosing a crate that is too large. Too large a crate can make your rescue dog feel exposed and vulnerable, increasing anxiety and stress. A snug, appropriately sized crate, on the other hand, will provide a sense of security, mimicking a natural den environment.

iCrate with Divider Panel is an excellent option for both large as well as small dogs. It is available in various sizes from 24” L to 48” L. Moreover, this quality product comes with a divider panel. This makes it perfect for canines at all life stages. All you would need is an allen wrench to adjust the divider or easily remove it. Refer to the assembly instructions mentioned in the product manual. The shipping cost is also free.  

Pet parents won’t have to buy a new crate for the rest of their canine companion’s life. 

#2 Make it Comfortable

Shelter dogs are fearful and anxious about unfamiliar environments or places. They express fear in numerous ways. As per the American Kennel Club, dogs may bark, pace, whine, shake, hide, or cower when they are fearful. 

Denise McDaniel, a certified dog behaviorist and expert trainer, advises pet parents to make the crate a comfortable space for their canine companion. 

Adding bedding will make the crate comfortable. Choose a soft, washable mat or blanket that fits the crate perfectly, ensuring it provides ample cushioning without being too bulky. 

The DreamZone Fleece Pet Bed is the perfect match for most crates because of its size, which is 30” x 22”. It’s made of super-soft acrylic fleece, which is washable and trimmed with silky polyester, making it a durable option. 

However, avoid going for a mattress that is too plush if your puppy or older dog isn’t fully housetrained. The extra cushioning would absorb the urine, making it difficult to figure out if it was soiled. 

When you add comfortable bedding to the crate, your pooch will be attracted to it and tempted to spend time in its new space. 

#3 Add Treats and Toys

Adding treats and toys into the crate can make it an enticing place for your Fido. Make sure to add its favorite treats and toys. That way, it would be lured to enter it no matter how reluctant it had been. 

High-value treats designed specifically for training will help you in this regard. Place them inside the crate to encourage your dog to enter voluntarily. This will encourage it to enter the crate. 

The Pro-Treat 100% Pure Beef Liver Treats can help lure canines into the crate. These treats are high in protein and made of 100% beef liver. They are also nutritious since they are formulated without fillers, preservatives, and additives. The reward-sized design makes obedience coaching easy for pet parents.  

To keep your pooch occupied in the crate, make sure you add some of its favorite toys. It will be focused on playing with the toys and will drift off to sleep when it gets tired. 

The TireBiter Paw Tracks Dog Toys keeps canines engaged in long-lasting play. This toy is durable enough to withstand the powerful teeth of dogs. As a bonus, it keeps the teeth and gum clean. 

Whenever you purchase toys, make sure to always choose durable options. Or, your Fido might bite them, which could result in a choking hazard. 

#4 Crate Your Dog at Night

When your Fido starts entering the carrier, it’s important crate it overnight. Once it gets through the night in the dog kennel, crate training will be successful. 

Rescue dogs are terrified of isolation. Avoid placing the crate too far away from you. Instead, place it either in your bedroom or outside it, so your Fido can sense your presence. This proximity will help alleviate feelings of isolation and anxiety during the night.

Janis Jackson, a resident of Florida, shares his experience with crating adopted dogs. Jackson adopted two New Yorkie puppies. He wanted the pups to sleep in a large pen in the living room. But they cried, after which he moved them to his bedroom. Since that night, there has never been a night when the two puppies don’t hop in the crate during bedtime. 

Make sure you prepare the crate with comfortable bedding and a favorite toy or two. Also, don’t forget to take it out for a potty break right before bedtime to reduce the likelihood of accidents.

In conclusion, crate training a dog isn’t easy, but it’s a whole new ballgame when it comes to rescue dogs. You can, however, overcome the challenges of crate training your adopted dog by following the tips mentioned above. 

Keep in mind that shelter dogs are slightly different from non-rescue dogs. They might take longer to adjust to the crate, so be patient. However, be attuned to your dog’s signals and adjust your approach as needed. Remember, the goal is to make the crate a secure, comfortable haven for your rescue dog, helping it feel safe and confident in its new home. 

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