It is a good idea to crate train your Pitbull for while you are out of the house. This will keep them safe from dangers such as chewing electric wires or getting into poisonous substances. It can also protect your furniture and other belongings from being chewed up.
We lost eyeglasses, shoes and even record albums before we decided to get a crate! Don’t wait until your furball pulls albums off the shelf! Full Story
Not For Punishment
Crate training isn’t “punishment” for bad behavior. It’s best to create positive associations with the crate through the use of treats and games. The crate should become a safe place your dog can retreat to. Be patient — crate training can take several weeks.
We all want a well-behaved dog that doesn’t chew things up or goes to the bathroom inside the house. A crate can create a safe environment for your dog that teaches them responsibility and independence.
Some people view crates as bad but remember this is not being “caged up” as punishment. As a den animal, most dogs actually enjoy being in small, enclosed places. It provides a sense of security and calms anxiety.
When I reach for my car keys our dog now heads straight to her “den” which has actually become a happy place! I reward her with a couple of Milk-Bones and tell her, “I’ll be back.”
How Crate Train a Pitbull
1. Choose the Right Crate
There are different sizes and styles of crates. An ideal style is one that is durable, comfortable, and flexible with whatever training you’re doing,” For dogs that prefer isolation (rare) an enclosed crate, such as a travel crate, would work well, while wire crates work best for most other dogs.
It is important, not to buy a crate that is too big for your dog. Depending on how big your dog is going to get, you can buy a crate with a divider so you can add space as your puppy grows.
2. Establish a Good Mindset
The more the dog associates with the crate in a relaxed manner, the sooner they will feel comfortable going in there. If you put the dog in the crate when they’re playing, then they’ll want to come back out and continue to play. But if you bring them in it when they’re calm, they will likely view it as a place of rest.
3. Make Your Dog Comfortable
Some people use dog beds or towels to create a comfy environment, but that may not always be the best option as some dogs (like ours) may tear a dog bed apart. We use an old blanket with no stuffing, but if a problem just let them sleep on the crate mat itself. Dogs actually do not mind hard surfaces.
4. Reward Good Behaviorg
Once again, positive reinforcement rules. Our trick is giving our dog a KONG TOY filled with peanut butter to provide a yummy distraction. This associates the crate with an enjoyable activity.
5. Keep an Eye on the Time
Your dog needs time outside the crate to play, eat, and use the bathroom. Start out with short amounts of crate-time. Dogs don’t want to soil where they sleep, but if there’s too long of a stretch without a walk, they might end up doing so. Eventually, you can leave her all day while you are at work but be patient (see #8 below).
6. Play Crate Games
Again, your dog should not see the crate as a negative space. Play some games so your pup goes in and out of the open crate at their own will. Try to simply throw a ball in the crate when playing fetch or hide treats inside.
7. Safety First
It is recommended to remove collars or tags when your dog is in the crate. If the tag somehow gets caught in the crate the dog could choke themself.
8. Set Your Dog Up for Success
Once you are ready to give your dog more time inside the crate, do it in small steps. You don’t want to go out to dinner for six hours the first time out. Maybe just go get a cup of coffee and come back. You could also use a camera o determine what your dog is doing while you’re gone. Don’t forget to reward them after you return.
9. Be Patient
Prepare yourself for days, weeks or even months of training. It took our dog bout 3 weeks to get comfortable with the idea. Hang in there and be consistent. Your dog will eventually look for the reward and you can go o work or play knowing your dog is safe.
Types of Dog Crates
This is the crate we use for our Pitbull.
It comes in many different sizes and styles. Meets most airline cargo specifications for easy and safe travel. This is the crate we use for our Pitbull.
Versatile wire dog crates can include double doors and a free divider panel. These highly-rated dog crates come in many sizes and are a great option for all dogs.
Soft, foldable dog crates are made with strong steel tubes, and the crate cover is made of high-quality durable fabric.
This is a good crate for smaller dogs but not recommended to crate train a Pitbull.
Good luck with your crate training and finding the perfect crate for your pets!
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Originally published April 19, 2019
Updated: January. 4, 2021