Many people who purchase a dog kennel do not realize that a bit of effort on their part can go along way to avoiding problems with your dog when they are introduced to their new "home" for the first time. Taking the time to train your dog to being in the kennel will make your life much easier and your neighbors will be much happier too!
Kennel training can take several days or weeks, depending on your dog's age, level or aggressiveness, and past experiences. It's important to keep two things in mind while kennel training: The dog kennel should always be associated with something pleasant, and training should take place in a series of small steps. Don't go too fast!
First, introduce your dog to the kennel by placing a favorite toy, blanket or something pleasant the dog likes into the kennel. Make sure the kennel door is open and secured so that it won't hit your dog and frighten them. To encourage your dog to enter the kennel, drop some small food treats nearby, then just inside the door, and finally, all the way inside of the kennel. If the dog refuses to go all the way in the kennel at first, that's okay, don't force the issue. Continue tossing treats into the kennel until your dog will walk calmly all the way into the kennel to get the food. If the dog isn't interested in treats, try tossing a favorite toy in the kennel. Don't expect instant results, this process may take several days.

After introducing your dog to the kennel, begin feeding the dog regular meals just inside the kennel. This will create a pleasant association with the kennel. Each meal, try moving the food further and further back in the kennel. Once the dog is standing in the kennel to eat the food, close the kennel door while the dog is eating. The first time you do this, open the door as soon as the dog finishes the food. With each successive feeding, leave the door closed a few minutes longer, until the dog is staying in the kennel for ten minutes or so after eating. If the dog begins to whine to be let out, it is important that you not let the dog out until the whining stops. Otherwise, the dog will learn that the way to get out of the kennel is to whine, irritating both you and the neighborhood.

  Now you can begin leaving the dog in the kennel for longer periods of time. Call the dog over to the kennel and give the dog a treat. Give the dog a command to enter, such as "kennel." Encourage the dog by pointing to the inside of the kennel with a treat in your hand. After your dog enters the kennel, praise the dog, give them the treat, and close the door of the kennel. Sit quietly near the kennel for five to ten minutes and then go to another area out of the dog's view for a few minutes. Return, sit quietly again for a short time, then let the dog out of the kennel. Repeat this process several times a day. With each repetition, gradually increase the length of time you leave the dog in the kennel and the length of time you're out of the dog's sight. Once your dog will stay quietly in the kennel for about 30 minutes with you out of sight, you can begin leaving the dog when you're gone for short time periods and/or letting the dog sleep there at night. This may take several days or several weeks.

  The dog has now learned to associate the dog kennel with something pleasant rather than a punishment area and the dog will adjust to staying in the kennel with a minimum of behavior problems.
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