Activities For Dogs While In Crates

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Introduction

We may ask your pet, "stuck in a crate?" Your dog will feel welcomed to the not so wonderful world of travelling with their humans. Whether you're moving or heading to the vet's office, it's bound to be a long, bumpy ride for your canine. When not travelling, many owners have to use the crate training method to house train their pet. Whatever your situation is, the good news is that a crate doesn't have to equal boredom for your canine pal. There are still plenty of things for your dog to do to stay sane despite the circumstances. Check out this guide for three awesome ideas right now to get started on your epic trip planning or speedy house training.

Settle and Relax

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Any Day
Cheap
Easy
10 - 45 min
Items needed
Cozy Dog Blanket
Optional Dog Pillow
Activity description
Sometimes, there's nothing you can really do to keep your dog entertained. You may have exhausted your training and playing options, and what minimal options there are during crate arrest. The good news is that dogs can be self-sufficient. Although they prefer the company of their humans, they can also really enjoy some time alone, to sleep and relax. Next time you're out of things to try, and your dog is in a crate, try making the crate extra cozy. Then keep interaction with the dog to a minimum. You're not ignoring the dog, you're simply letting the dog know that they can relax for a while.
Step
1
Prepare the crate
Chances are your dog already has a cozy blanket that they just love to pieces. It should be the one that the dog spends every night on on, ideally. Take this blanket, and if possible, a doggy pillow, which are readily available in all pet stores, and place them in the dog crate before the dog is even inside.
Step
2
Let your dog settle in
Once you let your dog in the crate, it's time to let them sniff, lick, and inspect everything. Having the blanket and pillow there should signal to your dog that this space is meant to relax in. After all, this is the blanket typically used to sleep on. So leave the dog alone to enjoy the new mini home for a while. This is a good way to practice for an upcoming road trip; your canine travel companion will know that their crate is a comfortable place.
Step
3
Keep interaction with your dog to a minimum
This is the difficult part. As much as you want to play with your dog, or show affection and reassure them, it's time to invest your energy on something else. By not engaging your dog, you are creating a sense of separation and independence. It may feel awful, but it will ensure your dog gets some much-needed rest and sleep while in the crate.
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Clicker Train

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Any Day
Cheap
Normal
30 min
Items needed
Clicker
Treats
Activity description
Clicker training is a great way to both train your dog to be more obedient and impressive, and to stay entertained while in a crate. Obviously, there are some movement restrictions in a crate, so there's a limit to what you can teach, but keeping that in mind, it's entirely possible to use up 30 minutes for cheap. Just make sure to focus on easy tasks, like nose boops, and one-paw shakes while in a crate. These simple tasks won't take as long to learn, even in this sad situation (the crate arrest). What a way to spend a solid half hour!
Step
1
Show and tell your dog the command
Suppose you want your dog to nose boop your hand every time you place it on the crate door. To get your dog to complete this action, place your hand by the door, with your palm facing the dog. Tell your dog to boop your hand. Eventually, the dog will start to comprehend that you want something to occur.
Step
2
Press the clicker while showing and telling
As soon as your dog touches the palm of your hand, it's time to press the clicker. This completes the action, and signals to the dog that something is coming. Right after clicking, give the dog a treat. This conditions the dog to learn that any time they hear a click, they have completed an action that equals a reward.
Step
3
Reward and repeat
Now that your dog has completed the action, and you've clicked and used a treat, it's time to keep doing this. Repeat the process until the dog boops your hand without hesitation. If you want your dog to shake with a paw, you can use the same process, only you should say "shake," while touching the dog's paw, rather than showing the dog the palm of your hand.
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Interactive Dog Toys

Popular
0 Votes
Any Day
Cheap
Easy
30 min
Items needed
Treats
Kong Wobbler Dog Toy or Similar
Activity description
As an inexpensive way to entertain your pup on a road trip or while at home, you can purchase a Kong Wobbler dog toy or another toy of a similar type, fill it with your dog's favorite treats, and place it in the crate. Despite the terrible circumstances (to some dogs) of being locked up for a long period of time, this activity can surely take care of at least half an hour, and can be used regardless of the weather. The reason this activity is such a good idea is that you, the pet owner, don't need to do anything for the majority of it. Your dog will play with the toy, get rewarded, and look up at you once its empty, which should take a while due the design of the toy. The treat opening is just wide enough to let treats slip through, but not so wide that it's super easy to manipulate.
Step
1
Research and purchase the toy
These toys are easy to find everywhere, both online and in-store. Pet stores all over the country have them, as well as grocery stores like Walmart, Giant, or Kroger. And they're not just easy to find, they're also very cheap. You can get one for a very low price, or even a pack of two or three, if you have more than one dog.
Step
2
Fill the toy with goodies
Depending on the toy model, you either have to twist and open the top (lid) or the bottom of the toy to reveal an opening. Notice the toy is hollow on the inside. Fill the toy with your dog's favorite treats. Do not overfill, or the treats will be packed too tightly and won't slip out of the side holes when the dog paws at it. About 1/4 of the way is more than enough. Then close the lid again.
Step
3
Give your pup the treat-filled toy
This is where the fun really begins. The dog is likely to watch you set up the toy this whole time, so now it's time to happily play and get rewarded. Open up the crate door, carefully holding the dog back so that no escape episodes occur, especially in a moving vehicle. Then place the toy on the bottom of the crate, right in front of the dog, and close the door again. Another option if at home, is to put the toy in the crate, and your little buddy will most likely run right in. Gently close the door, and enjoy watching your dog have a fun time!
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More Fun Ideas...

Give Your Dog A Nice View

Your dog may be in a crate, but that doesn't mean the view has to be terrible. If you have a small crate, or are able to place a larger crate down to face a window, your dog can get a view of the road, other cars, and potentially even some fellow dog travellers. When in a crate at home, sometimes the sound of a radio is all your dog will need to relax.

Extra Attention

Sometimes showing your dog you care is all you need to do. Because they're in a crate, your options for fun are limited. And your dog is surely going to feel it. The good news is you can still reach in through the crate door, rub your dog's nose, and use some classic baby talk to let them know you're missing them too.

Conclusion

To some dogs, dog crates are no fun. They keep them away from their beloved humans, keep them out of trouble, and don't allow them to move around as much as they'd ideally want. The good news is that even while in a crate, they can still play with toys, look outside, and get some much-welcomed nose rubs. Not all is lost! Even if you are going to the vet's office.