Can New Puppies Get to Love Eating Meals in Their Crate?

by | Mar 4, 2024

Let’s ask the question “Can new puppies get to love eating meals in their crate?”  They sure can, if you take it slowly and make it fun for them to play games in and out of their crate!

Crate training is one of the first training sequences I teach my new puppy.  I do not overwhelm my puppy by shutting the crate door on my perhaps bewildered pup as I introduce the crate to him or her once home from the breeder.

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This would be too overwhelming as this puppy has just left its mum and siblings and is now with a total stranger unless, of course, you have been able to visit your new puppy several times before the day of pickup.  Your new puppy would then know you a little bit, but probably not enough to willingly embrace each new situation you start with your new puppy.

Your puppy may have had a long day of travel to get to your home, so he or she may be very hesitant to try new experiences.  Slowly does it.

Hopefully, you have brought home with you, a toy or small rug that has the mother’s smell on it, or even better the added smell of the siblings.  I would carefully place this in the crate, and if the puppy is hungry just place a small piece of food in the crate and encourage the puppy to go and explore.

If your puppy does venture inside the crate, have another small piece of food ready in your hand and call your puppy back out to you.  You will need to be sitting close to the crate as it is best to be on the same level as your puppy.  This will help your puppy to feel more secure.

If your puppy happily bounds back out to you, fantastic.  Reward with the piece of food and praise your puppy with a happy voice.

This way, we can answer the question “Can new puppies get to love eating meals in their crate” with a positive answer. 

If on the other hand, your puppy is reluctant to go inside the crate I would get as close to the crate as I could, put the food or the toy or blanket in my hand, and put my arm inside the crate so that my puppy could follow my hand with the offered goodies.  This may take a few words of encouragement though, so keep the encouragement going.

You may even need to divert their attention from this and take him or her outside to have a toilet break and a sniff around, preferably on a collar/harness and leash so that they can remain close to you.

After all, you are now building a relationship with your puppy, and helping your puppy to feel secure by being with you.

Keep playing this crate game, and I call it a game, as I make it a happy and fun time.  You will find you can be very inventive with this game and your puppy will be more than happy to respond as the days pass.

Of course, once they know it is meal time, and they are eagerly looking forward to their meal, your puppy will happily follow their meal into the crate and enjoy the experience. 

Over time, you can simply close the door for a short intervals and your puppy will get to know that being in a crate is safe and secure and good things happen in their crate.

When I am busy I put my puppy in the crate with some toys, and some chew toys to keep them engaged for some time so that I can then happily go about doing the chores I need to get done.  So, “Can new puppies get to love eating meals in their crate?”. 

My response is a resounding yes, all my dogs love their crates as it is their safe haven. 

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Until next time…

With Love, Success and Inspiration,

Robin Oliver

Robin Oliver Pet Dog Training

www.robinoliveronline.com/blog

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With Love, Success and Inspiration,

Robin Oliver

Robin Oliver Pet Dog Training
Professional Dog Trainer

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