The gold standard approach
A crate should always be viewed as a positive safe haven for your dog.
Never use a crate as a means of punishment.
Clean their bedding, toys and crate weekly.
A wire dog crate should be away from direct sunlight, vents & drafts.
Best to place in an area that is frequented. Corners are best. I.e. Kitchen/ family room.
To cover or not cover a crate – It depends on the dog. If they’re going to pull it in and chew then don’t do it.
Door open and toss HVF (high value food) near crate.
Door open and toss HVF inside the crate. Praise dog whenever he/she approaches the crate. I.e. Good crate!
Place your dog’s toys inside the crate so they will be more inclined to associate it with a good place. Praise!
Feed 1 meal inside the crate. Place the plate at the doorway / opening of the crate.
Door open – Feed 1 meal inside the crate. Every few days, move the dish towards the back of crate.
Door open – Feed 1 meal inside the crate. While dog is eating quietly close (do not lock) the crate door.
Feed 1 meal inside the crate. While dog is eating, quietly close and lock the crate door. 30 – 60 sec
Encourage your dog to go into his/her crate when you are home. Offer a stuffed kong. Follow steps above, gradually build up time. 20 minutes.