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There’s a lot to consider when planning a move with your dog, and one of the first things you’ll want to address is whether or not your furry pal is comfortable in a travel crate. Not every pup has the chance to be crate-trained early in life, but when it comes to travel this is a must.
If your dog is unfamiliar with traveling in a crate, here are a few factors that will help make the training process as smooth and easy as possible.
Introduce your dog to the travel crate as early as you can by placing it out in the open in a room she frequents. Making it a familiar part of the landscape will remove the feeling that anything particularly eventful is happening.
Make it a Happy Place
Putting a soft, comfy blanket into the crate, stocking it with your dog’s favorite toys, and even tossing a few treats in there from time to time will help her come to see the crate as a safe and positive place to be.
For dogs who are especially fearful of the travel crate and what it implies, start by leaving just the bottom of the crate out in the living room. As your pup grows to accept its existence and isn’t bothered by it anymore, attach the top and the door when you feel the time is right. Gradual training makes sense for many dog-owners and this method is just as effective in the end.
Change isn’t going to happen immediately, especially when starting from zero with a dog who isn’t crate-trained, so take a deep breath and do your best. Remember that dogs pick up on your own state of mind, so the more you treat crate-training like a fun game with no immediate deadline in place, the sooner you’ll have a travel-ready dog.