Crate Training an Older Dog

Crate training an older dog usually goes much easier and quicker than when you are working with a puppy.

If you have adopted or rescued an older dog, it is a good idea to use a cage, as she is new to your home and may have behavioral issues that you are not aware of.

She possibly may not be housebroken, have destructive chewing patterns, or she herself, may just appreciate a quiet den to lay down in while she adjusts to her new home.

Most adult dogs don't whine, scream, and cry like puppies do.  They just refuse to get inside the enclosure!

Golden Retriever holding 2 tennis balls in mouth


They may have to be physically lifted into it, and you can bet that even when you get their front half in, you will still have to lift their back end in, as they will firmly plant their hind quarters on the floor!

I do give them a treat after they have been lifted in and the door is latched closed. 

I say a quick “good girl”, and then I go off and do my business as if they are not in the cage, or even in the house, for that matter. 

I have never had an older dog scream and cry while in their den, just the refusal to actually go inside of it, and sometimes a slight whimpering.

If for any reason your Golden Retriever does scream or whine while in there, just follow the same guidelines as you would if you were training a puppy.

Older dogs can also be slightly spoken to, while they are in their crate.  Do not use a baby-coddling voice, but in a normal voice, if she is quietly laying you can say “good girl”, but that's all.

Golden Retriever inside of an enclosure

Say it as you are walking past, ”Oh good girl”, then keep on walking.  Don't actually stop to talk to her, or she will think you are letting her out.

Generally, older dogs accept being crated faster than puppies do. 

It's just a matter of them being put into it a couple of times.

I always put them in their enclosure a few times a day, just so they get used to it quicker.  They may only be in there for 45 minutes to an hour before I let them back out again.

I do make sure that they lay down for awhile before I let them out, regardless of whether or not they actually take a nap.

By doing this a few times a day, plus having them sleep in it the whole night, usually they willingly walking into their crate on their own, within 2 days.



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