The right ways to crate train your dog

- When we first told the story of Buster the escaping dog, we were met with a lot of outrage on our Facebook page. People were concerned that Buster was being mistreated or harmed because of the way he was being crate-trained.

For all of you that voiced your worries - thank you for your concern. Buster is an extremely happy dog  but he's still a puppy and is still being trained. Part of his behavior training is crate training which is entirely normal and happy.

Buster was adopted from the Detroit Dog Rescue. On Wednesday, Kristina Rinaldi, the executive director of DDR, joined FOX 2 - and Buster - to talk about crate training.

"I love crate training. This is my doing Leroy and he is crate trained. He loves his crate. It's about starting early, making the crate a positive thing for your dog and getting them used to the crate, the right size, of course," Rinaldi said.

She evaluated Buster and the crate and said that, while he was growing out of his crate, it wasn't too small for him. She said that the camera angle was low and the blankets made it look like he was much larger than he was.

Here's the checklist you need before you start crate training:

1. Make it positive. You don't want the dog to think it's where it goes potty but you want him to think it's where he sleeps.

2. The crate only needs to be big enough to stand up and turn around.

3. Rinaldi recommends giving the dog a treat when he goes in the crate and then closing the door gently. She said Leroy has been trained to go in and rest in his crate.

4. Mental stimulation. It's important to give your dog something to do. She recommends a Kong filled with frozen peanut butter and a treat. It takes an hour and a half to get through it all. By the time Leroy finishes it, he's exhausted.

5. Puppies should only be in the crate for an hour or two at a time. You should come back and let him out to go outside to go potty.

6. If your dog is older, it's still okay to crate train your dog. If you make it positive, they will come to know that's their home.

7. Keep the crate in the living room and keep it open. A lot people will put the crate in the bedroom or basement but if you leave it where you are normally while watching a movie, the dog will climb in and be comfortable and know that it's a safe place.


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