They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but when it comes on to crate training, this is certainly not the case. It just takes a little time and effort.
Can My Old Dog Be Crate Trained?
We’re not going to get into the reasons your dog hasn’t been crate trained yet. Just know that the answer is yes. Your old dog can be crate trained.
Sure, older dogs can be a bit stubborn and it takes a little getting used to new things, but once given the opportunity, they will surprise you. The key to crate training is all about going at your dog’s pace and making him/her feel comfortable. Who knows, your dog might end up loving the crate!
Benefits of Crate Training An Older Dog
While it’s better to start them young, there are benefits to crate training senior dogs. These include:
- Providing a safe space for stressful times
- Giving your dog a space to recover from surgery or injury
- Helping him/her feel safe in a car
- Quicker evacuation during emergencies
How Long Should Senior Dogs Stay In Their Crates?
Crates aren’t meant to be living spaces for dogs, so when it’s not necessary, keep him/her out of the crate. Do not leave your senior dog in a crate for more than four hours since it can cause physical and mental trauma.
Easy Crate Training Guide For Older Dogs
Ready to crate train your old dog? Here’s what you need to do:
Step 1: Find a large enough crate. Ideally, your dog should be able to stand, turn and lay down without discomfort. You may add a mat, bed, or blanket to make the crate more comfortable.
Step 2: Leave the crate in a common area, such as the living room, so your dog can get accustomed to it. Leave the door open so he/she can explore it.
Step 3: Place meals inside the crate or toys that will encourage your dog to go inside it. He/she will associate it with pleasant things. Close the door to see how your dog reacts, and if the reaction is positive, give your dog a treat. If negative, try soothing techniques or open the door.
Step 4: Repeat these steps until your dog becomes comfortable with the crate!