Introducing Your Adult Dog to a Crate
The rescue group where you adopted your Golden will know whether he has been exposed to a crate. If they don't know, you can try introducing a crate and see how easily your dog accepts it. Some adult dogs who have had a bad experience or suffer from separation anxiety cannot be crated, but most dogs can learn to accept the crate and even come to like it.
How long can I leave my dog in his crate?
Once your dog accepts the crate, he can be left up to four hours at a time. If you'll be away longer than four hours, hire a pet sitter to let your dog out for a potty break and to stretch his legs.
Here are some tips for successfully introducing an adult dog to a crate:
The crate should be big enough for your dog to stand up and turn around in. Place it in a part of the house where your dog can see what's going on.
The crate can be wire or plastic, depending on your taste. Put a soft towel or rug in the bottom of the crate to make it more inviting.
Feed your dog in its crate for the first two weeks so he associates the crate with good things.
Teach your dog to go in and out of the crate with the door wide open; offer a treat when he goes in the crate but not when he comes out.
Put your dog in his crate for ten minutes of every hour that you are home so that he doesn't get anxious about going in the crate when you leave for work. Minute by minute, build up the time he spends in there. If he tends to bark or whine in the crate, cover with a beach towel or sheet.
Dogs that are crate trained can be taken just about anywhere. Many hotels accept dogs that are crated, and there will be times when you are traveling by car when the safest place for your dog is a crate. If your dog must stay overnight in a kennel or at the veterinarian's office, being comfortable in a crate will be to his benefit. Even if you are sure your Golden will never need to be crated, introduce it to him anyway, you never know what life may bring.
This male four-month-old Golden puppy and his “pal” enjoy the comforts of his crate. Crate training is a great way to housebreak a puppy.