Need some tips for crate training your golden retriever?
We’ve got you covered below!
Let’s take a look at some training strategies to use when teaching your golden to love his crate.
FYI, these tips work for all energetic dog breeds, not just retrievers.
Related: The Best Soundproof dog crates
Crate Training Your Golden Retriever
Before we get into tips for crate training your golden, let’s clear something up. Crates are not cruel.
A lot of people think that they’re a form of punishment, and we all know that punishment-based training doesn’t work.
It’s natural to assume that crates have no place in positive reinforcement training, but that’s just not true.
On the contrary, crates are actually one of the safest places for your Golden. In fact, they help satisfy gratifies his natural instincts to situate himself within a den.
So, now that we’ve gotten that out the way, let’s check out some tips to make crate training your golden a lot easier.
1. Situate it where you plan to use it
When you get your puppy and bring him home for the first time, you should already your crate there and situated where you want it to be.
Set it up in a central area, but never in areas that have a lot of traffic. Most people who use crates tend to leave them in the kitchen near a door, so the Golden can go outside whenever he needs to relieve himself.
2. Encourage your golden to explore the crate on his own
Once you bring the puppy home, you should put him inside the house and allow him to start searching for the crate.
If you have a crate and leave it open, your golden may very well choose to check it out on his own.
He could find solace in it when he’s scared, or comfort when he’s tired.
If he’s not naturally curious about it, you can always bribe him to check it out! Make it enticing by placing small treats or crate-safe toys inside.
Remember, though, when he’s first exploring it, don’t shut the door. We want him to feel comfortable in it first.
Then you can move on to closing the crate while he’s in it.
3. Don’t overuse the crate
Even if your golden loves his crate, it’s important to keep his time in it to a minimum.
This is especially important during the early training stages.
You want to build trust in both you and the crate and locking him up for hours on end isn’t the way to do that.
So, start with just a few minutes at a time, then half an hour, then an hour.
4. Give him breaks
As The Nest explains, most dogs can handle spending half a day in the crate as long as they get enough exercise during other times.
However, it’s better to give him breaks throughout the day, if possible.
Plan to go home for your lunch break, for example. Or hire a dog walker to come give him a bit of a break.
5. Wait until he’s calm to let him out
While you should be training him to get used to the crate, you should never allow him out if he is barking.
Instead, use the quiet command. Then, as soon as he stops barking, open the door and give him a reward.
Even though it may take some time, crate training is great for your Golden.
If you use a bit of patience and never use the crate for punishment – your Golden Retriever puppy should catch on to the crate pretty quick.