How to Crate Train a Scottish Terrier

Medium
3-6 Weeks
General

Introduction

No matter how young or old your Scottie happens to be, crate training him can come in handy for many reasons. First, your pup can be taught to see his crate in the same way as he would a den in the wild. Secondly, it gives you and your home a safe place for your dog when you have to leave to go out for a while. If you leave your pup loose and alone in the house while you are gone, he may become anxious and start chewing on things or making messes in the house.

How your Scottie responds to the crate will depend heavily on how he is introduced to it. Your goal is to teach him to see his crate as is most favorite place in the world. To help with this, you need to do everything in your power to make the entire training experience as positive and fun as possible. 

Defining Tasks

The main goal of crate training has less to do with making your pup realize that, no matter what, he has to stay in it than working hard to make sure he sees his crate as his safe place or den. To do this, you should never use his crate as a form of punishment. At all times, you need to ensure every aspect of the training process is positive, this will make a significant difference in how quickly your pup learns to make the most of his crate.

Not only do you need to teach your pup to stay in his crate, but you will be training him to stay inside for increasingly longer periods of time. This will allow you to go work, go shopping, or take care of many other errands. 

Getting Started

Having the right crate and having it set up comfortable are two of the most important parts of crate training. The crate should be big enough for your pup to stand up, lie down, and move around in. But, at the same time, you don't want a crate that is so big he starts using one corner of it for his personal bathroom.

At the same time, you need to make it comfortable. Your pup will love a crate pad or wall to wall carpeting, a nice plush bed, a water bottle, maybe a food dispenser, and of course, a few fun toys to play with. 

The Crate Love Method

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Step
1
Feed in crate
Feed your pup all his meals inside his crate. You can use either a food bowl, food dispensing toy, or a hanging food dispenser.
Step
2
Leave the door open
By leaving the door open, you give your pup the option of coming and going as he pleases while he eats his dinner.
Step
3
Let him take his time
Let your pup get used to going in and out of his crate like this for several days. This lets him take things at his own pace.
Step
4
Close the door
Time to close the door and let your pup get used to being closed inside.
Step
5
More time
Each time you close the door on your pup, extend the time you ask him to stay in his kennel before you let him out. Always take your pup outside as soon as you let him out of his crate to reinforce the need to go potty outside only.
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The Adjust to Your Crate Method

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Step
1
Have the crate set up and ready to go
Place the crate in a quieter spot in your home and set it up to be a nice comfy den. Be sure to put a few toys and treats in the crate and close the door.
Step
2
Introductions all around
With the crate all set up and ready for its new occupant, go ahead and bring your pup home and be ready to introduce him to his crate. When he starts to paw at the crate, open the door and with a "Good boy!", let in go inside at his own pace. Praise him for walking inside and let him enjoy the treats. Leave the door open for now.
Step
3
Coming on out
When he decides to come back out of his new "den", simply let him out-- no praise, no treats. The last thing you want is for your pup to think that things on the outside are better than those on the inside.
Step
4
Alone time
Once your Scotty has demonstrated his willingness to go into the kennel, close the door behind him while he is eating the treats and praise him.
Step
5
What if he fusses?
This is normal, as very few dogs like the idea of being locked up in a confined space. Just ignore him and let him get it out of his system, he will eventually calm down. When he does, then you can let him out.
Step
6
Introduce the cue and extend the time
Start adding the cue word, "Crate!" as he walks into the crate. Start slowly adding five to ten-minutes to the time he spends behind the locked door. With practice, your pup will soon come to enjoy the time he gets to spend in his "den."
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The Home Sweet Home Method

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Step
1
Set up his new home
Find a spot in your home where everyone spends the most time, but out of the main flow of traffic. Set it up with all the creature comforts any good dog should have. Be sure to hide a treat or two under a pile of toys for your pup to find.
Step
2
The keys to the castle
Time to give your pup the keys to his castle, metaphorically speaking. With the crate door open, gently place your pup in the middle of his crate next to the toys. Close the door and step away. Let him find and eat the treats, then spend about five minutes exploring his surroundings.
Step
3
Yelp, yelp, yelp
Oh, my goodness, what is that awful noise? Your pup may decide to let you know he thinks it's time to be let out of his crate. When he does, go ahead and let him blow off steam. In time, he will stop trying to voice his opinion. When he does, praise him and give him a treat.
Step
4
Let him munch
Let your pup enjoy his treat and then open the door to the crate and let him out. Be sure to take him straight out to the yard to go potty.
Step
5
Work it puppy, work it
The rest is all about repeating the above training extending the time your pup spends in the crate until he can stay in there for as long as you need him to. Ta-da! you have successfully crate trained your Scotty!
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Success Stories and Training Questions

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