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How to Crate Train an Older Dog: A Step-by-Step Guide

Crate training is a great way to help your older dog learn good behaviour and stay safe. This step-by-step guide will provide you with all the information you need to start crate training your older dog, including how to choose the right crate, how to introduce your dog to the crate, and how to handle accidents. With the right approach and a lot of patience, you can successfully crate train your older dog.

Choosing the Right Crate

The first step in crate training your older dog is to choose the right crate. When picking a crate, there are a few important factors to consider. First, make sure the crate is the right size for your dog. It should be big enough for them to stand and turn around in, but not too big that they can use one end as a bathroom. Second, look for a crate made of durable materials that will last. Finally, be sure to choose a crate with comfortable bedding, like a soft mat or blanket, so your dog has a comfortable place to rest.

Tip: You can find crates in a variety of sizes, materials, and styles. Consider your dog's breed, age, and size when choosing the right crate for them.

Introducing Your Dog to the Crate

Once you have the right crate, you can start introducing your dog to it. Start by placing the crate in an area of your home that is comfortable and familiar to your dog. Make sure the crate is not in a high-traffic area, as this can be intimidating for your dog. Then, start by placing treats and toys in the crate and encouraging your dog to explore it. Once they are comfortable with the crate, you can start closing the door when they are inside, but only for short periods of time.

Tip: Be sure to give your dog plenty of positive reinforcement while they are getting used to the crate. Praise them and offer treats when they enter the crate and remain calm.

Crate Training Your Older Dog

Once your dog is comfortable with the crate, you can start crate training. Start by gradually increasing the amount of time your dog spends in the crate. Start with short periods of 10-15 minutes, and gradually increase the time as your dog becomes more comfortable. Make sure to take frequent breaks and let your dog out of the crate when they need to go to the bathroom.

It's also important to make sure your dog has a consistent routine. Set a schedule for feeding, exercise, and crate time and stick to it. This will help your dog understand when it's time to rest in the crate and when it's time to play and explore.

Tip: Be sure to give your dog plenty of exercise and stimulation throughout the day. This will help keep them calm and relaxed while they're in the crate.

Handling Accidents

Accidents are an inevitable part of crate training, so it's important to stay patient and consistent. If your dog has an accident in the crate, it's important to clean it up right away. Use an enzymatic cleaner to remove any odors and stains, and be sure to replace the bedding. If your dog continues to have accidents, try to identify the cause. It could be that your dog is not getting enough exercise, or that they need to go outside more frequently.

Tip: Never punish your dog for having an accident. This will only make them afraid of the crate and make crate training more difficult.


Crate training your older dog can be a challenging but rewarding experience. With the right approach, patience, and consistency, you can successfully crate train your older dog. Start by choosing the right crate and introducing your dog to it. Then, gradually increase the amount of time your dog spends in the crate, and make sure to give them plenty of exercise and stimulation throughout the day. Finally, be patient and consistent when handling accidents. With the right approach, you can successfully crate train your older dog.

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