In the previous article we explained what an indoor kennel is, what it can be used for and when to use it. Now let’s see how we can train him to use it.
Obviously you can never get an adult dog, close him in the kennel and expect him to be completely at ease. Dogs need to be slowly accustomed to using it. The ideal would be to begin the process gradually when they are still puppies, but if you have a great deal of patience, you can even teach an old dog this new trick!
Here are some steps to follow to get your dog accustomed to an indoor kennel:
- Start by putting a food dish inside the kennel and feeding him there so that he will get a chance to get to know the environment. The dog will focus on the food, not worry about where he is eating;
- Once you see that he is calmly eating habitually in the kennel, try closing the door while he is eating. If he stops eating and tries to get out, open the door and try again the following day. If, on the other hand, he seems fine with the door closed, then it has worked. Let him out right after eating and give him some extra cuddles so he knows he’s been a good boy;
- After a few days like this, try leaving tidbits in the kennel so that the dog goes in there and looks for food automatically. Once he gets used to it, close the door (for a short while) while he’s in there looking for food. If he gets agitated, open the door immediately. Being inside needs to feel like his choice, it should never be forced on him!
- After a few days of this sort of training, while Rex is looking for tidbits of food inside the kennel, give him a real treat, like a leather bone. If he keeps it inside the kennel to chew on, that’s a really good sign. It means he’s starting to feel like it’s his own personal refuge. If, on the other hand, he wants out, close the door for a few minutes but don’t go far. If at this point he doesn’t go back to chewing his bone, take the bone away when you open the door and then close the door so that he cannot get back in. At this point it will be the dog that wants to get back inside. Repeat this exercise again over the following days.
- Continue using these techniques until you realise the dog is happy to stay inside and goes there by himself.
Remember that the kennel needs to be in a safe and quiet place. It has to be a real refuge for him, a place where he feels safe and protected. This is also why, when he is inside eating or resting, do not ever disturb or pester him.
If you are patient and persistent in your actions, you will be successful in your effort! The dog will consider the kennel his den and he’ll happily go there by himself and even stay there with the door closed when you need him to for whatever reason, and even be transported in the car. The following article will provide you with some tips on how to choose the kennel that meets your needs.