How To Crate Train An Older Dog

Crate training is an effective way to train a dog and teach them good behavior. However, many people believe that crate training is only for puppies and young dogs. But the fact is, even older dogs can be trained to use a crate.

Crate training an older dog requires some patience and understanding. You need to know your dog’s personality, habits, and preferences to make the process easier and more efficient. In this article, we will discuss how to crate train an older dog in simple steps.

Step 1: Introduction

The first step in crate training an older dog is introducing them to the crate. It’s essential to choose the right size of the crate according to your dog’s size and breed. The crate should be large enough for your dog to stand up, turn around, and lie down comfortably.

Start by placing the crate in a room where your dog frequently spends their time. Leave the door open and place some treats or toys inside the crate to encourage your dog to explore it. Make sure your dog feels comfortable and relaxed while exploring the crate.

Step 2: Positive Association

Once your dog has explored the crate and feels comfortable inside it, start associating positive experiences with the crate. You can do this by feeding your dog inside the crate or giving them treats when they enter it voluntarily.

Gradually increase the time your dog spends inside the crate while keeping them busy with toys or chews. This will help them associate positive experiences with staying inside the crate for extended periods.

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Step 3: Closing The Door

After your dog is comfortable spending time inside the crate, you can start closing the door for short periods while they are still occupied with toys or chews. Start with closing the door for a few seconds and gradually increase it up to several minutes.

Make sure you stay nearby while they are inside so that you can reassure them if they get anxious or stressed. It’s crucial not to force your dog into the crate or leave them inside for too long.

Step 4: Leaving The House

Once your dog is comfortable spending time inside the crate with the door closed, you can start leaving the house while they are inside. Start by leaving for a few minutes and gradually increase it up to several hours.

It’s crucial to make sure that your dog has gone to the bathroom and has had enough exercise before placing them in the crate. Leave some toys or chews to keep them occupied while you’re away.

Step 5: Gradual Increase In Time

Gradually increase the time your dog spends in the crate while you’re away. Make sure you come back home regularly to check on them and let them out to go potty.

If your dog starts whining or barking, don’t punish them as this will only increase their anxiety. Instead, try to distract them with toys or treats and reassure them that everything is okay.


Crate training an older dog takes time and patience, but it’s a great way to teach good behavior and provide a safe space for your furry friend. Remember to associate positive experiences with the crate, gradually increase the time spent inside, and never force your dog into the crate.

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With these simple steps, you can successfully crate train an older dog and help them feel comfortable and secure in their new environment. So go ahead, get a crate and start training today!