How to Crate Train a Bloodhound

Medium
3-6 Weeks
General

Introduction

Everyone loves a cute Bloodhound puppy--those long floppy ears and adorable ears make them hard to resist. And while they are puppies, they can be a lot of fun. But by the time they reach a few months of age, they are no longer quite so cute as their true nature begins to emerge. At this point, their need to work starts to take precedence. If you don't keep your pup busy, he is more likely to start tearing your home to shreds. Crate training is a great way to prevent this from happening and is a must for the safety of your pup and the sanity of your household.

Defining Tasks

The basic concept behind this task is to train your Bloodhound to go into his crate or kennel, relax, and stay there for as long as you need him to. In essence, you are taking advantage of your dog's natural instinct to find a den. The problem with this is that Bloodhounds are very stubborn by nature, so be prepared for a bit of a battle as you proceed through training your pup to stay in his kennel.

Because younger Bloodhounds are a lot more impressionable, the earlier you start training him to stay in his crate the easier it will be. Since all dogs have a keen natural desire to have their own den, your job is to teach your dog to see the crate as his den. He can use it for naps, to sleep at night, and to stay in while you are at work.  

Getting Started

The most important part of crate training your bloodhound is to make sure you have the right size kennel. Plan to buy one for use while he is a pup and one to use when he is fully grown, or a larger crate that you can make smaller with a partition while your pup is small.  Your pup needs to have enough room to stand up with some headroom, to turn around in, and to lay down and stretch out without touching the sides. You also need a few supplies:

  • Carpet – to line the crate and make it more comfortable
  • A bed – for your pup to sleep on
  • A blanket – to create a more den-like environment
  • Treats – as lures and rewards
  • Toys – to keep your pup occupied while he is in his crate

The rest is all about time and patience. Take your time and work with your pup on a daily basis. Your pup is going to be resistant, but just stand your ground and keep working with him, and in time he will learn to love his "den." 

The Lure Method

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Step
1
Set up
Start by setting up your pup's kennel in a convenient spot in the main part of your home where he can still be part of the action. At this point, you should tie the door in a wide-open position.
Step
2
Pick a spot
Pick a spot near the crate where you can toss treats into the crate for your pup to find. Show your pup the treat and then toss it into the kennel using a cue word, such as "crate" or "kennel".
Step
3
In he goes
At some point, your pup is going to let his desire for the treat override his suspicion and distrust of the crate. When this happens, he will wander in and when he does, let him enjoy the treat and then praise him and give him another one.
Step
4
Add some distance
Now that you have your dog trained to go into his crate, you need to find a way to get him to come back out. At first, he will probably bolt out, but if he doesn't you can use a treat to coax him out. Be sure to use a cue word such as "out" as he exits. This will help him to associate the command with the action.
Step
5
Make it stick
The rest is all about adding more time to how long your pup stays in his crate before you let him out. One thing to keep in mind is that you need to take your pup outside each time you let him out after being in the crate for a while, so that he can go potty and stretch his legs.
Recommend training method?

The Give a Dog a Home Method

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Step
1
Build your pup's home
Start by finding the perfect location for your pup's den. Pick a spot where he will be able to see everything going on and can still feel part of the action. Carpet the crate, add his bed, a few toys, and cover the kennel with a blanket, creating a great den for your pup.
Step
2
Introducing... your new home
Bring your pup over to his new home and gently place him inside of it. While doing so, be sure to use your chosen cue word, such as "crate" or "kennel". Let him see the toys and then close the door. Give him time to play with the toys and explore his new den. Start at short intervals of no more than five minutes at a time an slowly work your way up to longer durations, five minutes at a time.
Step
3
Too easy
If this sounds too easy, that's because nothing worth doing ever is. Chances are pretty good that your hound is going to start howling and carrying on. It is a natural reaction to being in a closed crate. Just ignore him, in time he will either run out of voice or simply get tired of his own noise. When he finally relaxes and stops trying to shatter your eardrums, praise him and give him one of his favorite treats.
Step
4
Potty time
As soon as he finishes his treat, open the door, call him out using a simple "out" command, and take him outside immediately so he can go potty.
Step
5
Complete the training
From here, you simply keep adding to the time between when he stops fussing and when he gets a treat. He will soon learn that making a fuss does not get him a treat, being quiet does. Keep extending the time he spends in the crate until you can leave him there while you are at work or overnight.
Recommend training method?

The Take Your Time Method

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Step
1
It starts with location
Find a good location for your pup's kennel, one where he can spend time with the family, even though he is in his crate.
Step
2
Pick your cue word
This is the time to choose your cue words for going into the kennel. Make it simple like "crate" or "kennel". Choose one and stick to it.
Step
3
Treat him into the kennel
Use one of your pup's favorite treats to coax him into the kennel by tossing one into the middle of his crate. If he wanders in, give him the cue word as he goes through the door. He might not stay in there for very long the first few times, but curiosity will get the better of him and he will spend more time exploring the crate and everything in it.
Step
4
Allow him to stay
When he goes into the kennel, close the door behind him. If he fusses about the closed door, let him fuss until he gets tired of it and quiets down. When he does, give him a treat.
Step
5
Keep up the good work
Keep working on extending the time your pup spends in his crate until he will stay there for extended periods of time. In time you may find him snoozing in there and that it becomes one of his favorite places.
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Success Stories and Training Questions

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