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How to Crate Train an Older Dog at Night?

Woman kneeling petting and old black labrador retriever outdoors

Training your dog in a crate will help to keep him comfortable at night. However, as your dog ages, things may get more challenging. Fortunately, there are a few techniques you can do to keep your senior dog happy and sleeping peacefully within the crate. Keep reading to get all the useful information to crate train an older dog at night.

Need to crate train your rescue dog? Here is “How to Crate Train a Rescue Dog in Seven Steps”.

Crate Training an Older Dog at Night

Make sure your adult dog enjoys being in their dog cage if you want them to see it favorably. You may do this by giving your pet treats only as reinforcement. Another essential step in crate-training an adult dog is to give them food inside the crate since it might help them feel comfortable.

Your dog will feel more at ease in its den if it is cozy and furnished with plush bedding. Similarly, placing the crate in a room with lots of attention can be wholesome for your pooch. Read on to learn about some important steps to crate train your dog at night.

Prepare the Crate

And open crate with a small mattress and a cover over the tops

Choose a crate that is roomy enough for your dog to lay down, stand up, and turn around without feeling cramped. Put a cozy blanket inside to make it more inviting, and leave it inside with the door open so your dog can see it and investigate it before you start. That will give him time to grow acclimated to it.

Prepare Yourself

Put aside any reluctance you may have to crate train your dog. Dogs are very emotional creatures, so if you’re anxious about crate-training your dog, he’ll be too. Wait until you are in a peaceful, comfortable, and joyful state before doing any exercise.

Tire the Dog Out

Old golden retriever running on a beach

It’s crucial to exercise your dog before you begin crate training an older dog. Allowing him to run or play with his favorite toys will make him tired. Make sure that he has expended all of his surplus energy. It will be challenging to persuade your dog to calm down if you let him into his crate to rest while he still has a lot of activity.

Prepare Your Dog

Before a training session, give your dog a gentle massage to help him relax and to give him a chance to relieve himself so he won’t be distracted by the urge to use the restroom.

Build Positive Association

A dog playpen with a dog bed, dog toys, and empty dog bowls

Place some snacks and perhaps a favorite toy or two close to the crate’s opening to start. If your dog approaches the entrance to fetch a toy or reward, appreciate him.

Make Your Dog Want to Enter the Crate

Start putting goodies and toys inside the crate after he feels secure approaching the opening. Even putting his water and food dishes inside the crate could work. As your dog begins to fully enter the crate on his own, start by placing them at the front of the box and move them backward gradually.

Close the Door If You Can

Black and white sheepdog laying in a crate with the door closed

Start by briefly closing it before opening it and letting him out once more. Your dog will learn that he can rely on you to let him out again. When he doesn’t panic when the door is shut, keep doing this and then extend the duration by a few seconds. Repeat, progressively extending by a few seconds at a time. Practice leaving the door closed for a few minutes at a time when he becomes used to being in the crate, working your way up to an hour or more.

Causes of Crate Training an Older Dog at Night

Dark portrait of a black dog with a greying face

While some pet owners see crate training favorably, others might have concerns about crate training their pets. There are several strong reasons to crate train an older dog, regardless of whatever dog crate camp you identify.

Security – To make sure security and readiness in catastrophes and natural disasters, crate training proves to be very helpful.

Confinement – While recovering from a sickness or accident, crate training is needed.

Traveling – For easy travel with your dog and secure transportation, your furry friend needs to be habitual of his crate.

Safety – For offering a secure environment amid tense circumstances to your dog, a crate is the best option.

Medical Visit – Visits to the veterinarian will be simpler and safer with your older dog inside the crate.

What is Crate Training for Dogs? Click here to learn more.

Challenges in Crate Training an Older Dog at Night

Blue and white dog crate with the door open

While teaching older dogs might be more difficult than crate training a puppy, they are still very much capable of learning new things. Puppies haven’t developed regular attachments since everything is still novel and interesting to them.

Alternatively, older dogs are creatures of habit and may need assistance in unlearning old behaviors. This will help them in acquiring new habits and therefore, patience is the secret. Your senior dog will ultimately step up to the challenge, even if it takes a lot of repetition and effort.

A calmer, older dog could value the comfortable retreat of a crate more than a young dog would. Choose a low-traffic, peaceful area for placing the crate so that your dog could snooze during your next Christmas party.

Precautions of Crate Training an Older Dog at Night

Golden retriever with its head laid between its front paws

Stop, let your dog out, and take a break if he starts to panic or become upset. You experience setbacks and must restart from a previous stage or even the beginning, don’t be shocked. Once your dog is willing to stay in the crate, don’t leave him there for more than a few hours at a time, unless he has to be there overnight. Tiny dogs and older canines with weak or small bladders shouldn’t be confined for any longer than they can withstand the desire to relieve themselves.

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