Source: Shutterstock.com\/Amber Sallot\nThere are lots of joys to owning an older dog. Whether this is your first dog or the dog who’s been in your family for years, learning how to crate train an older dog might seem tough at first. However, there are some things you can do to make it easier. Here are some tips on crate training an older dog.\nHow Not to Crate Train\nCrate training can be beneficial for dogs. Before we talk about how to crate train your older dog, let’s review some of the things you should avoid when crate training. While some dog owners use crates as a form of punishment for their dogs, we advise against it. Crate training for punishment teaches your dog to abhor their crate, when it should be more for travel and security. It tends to have the opposite effect on your dog, making them anxious and nervous whenever they’re in the crate. Of course, this can lead to them getting caught on parts of their crate, and if they aren’t wearing a silicone pet tag, then this can actually pose a health concern. \nAdditionally, when you’re crate training, you should avoid only putting your dog in their crate at night or leaving them in their crate for long periods of time. Even if this is the ultimate goal for your crate training, it’s important you do this in stages instead of all at once. This way, your dog gets used to the crate before you shut them in. Even though dogs like to nest and create a den or safe space, just locking them in the crate and calling it a day isn’t the best course of action. Instead, this can cause more behavior issues.\nShop Leash \u0026amp; Collar Sets\nConsiderations for Crate Training\nHere are some additional things to consider as you prepare to crate train:\n\n\nCrate size: Your dog’s crate size is important. Even some small dogs would benefit from a larger crate, especially if they get nervous in small spaces. \n\nItems that should go in the crate: There’s more to a dog’s crate than just the crate itself. A cozy blanket, pillow, bowls or food and water and even a chew toy are all things you should consider adding into your dog’s crate to help them feel more comfortable. Avoid getting them new things that don’t smell like home or like them. When crate training, especially with older dogs, one of the best things you can do to entice them to enjoy their crate is to fill it with things they already like or that smell like them.\n\n\nSource: Shutterstock.com\/annabelle l\n\n\nExercise: How often does your dog exercise? Consider taking them out to the dog park or on a long walk before crate training so that they’re more willing to go inside the crate. They’ll be a little tired, but not wound up at all. If you’re worried about your dog escaping from you on their walk, especially as you crate train more and they come to learn that going for a walk means getting in the crate after, invest in our Tile for pets that can help you track them in the event they get away from you. Older dogs who don’t want to crate train might become fantastic escape artists.\n\nAdditional Tips for Crate Training an Older Dog\nHere are some more tips on crate training your older dog: \n\n\nShow them they can still trust you. Some dogs, especially older ones, won’t understand why you’re choosing to crate them. If they’ve never been crated before, then they will need reassurance that you’ll let them out. This is why it’s important to only do very short intervals in the crate at first. Even simply shutting the door and then opening it again can be a way to show your dog that you’ll let them out of their crate.\n\n\nSource: Shutterstock.com\/Christine Bird\n\n\nAttach their leash to the crate if needed. If they pace around their crate a lot, you can consider attaching their leash to it, but only as a last resort. You don’t want them to hurt themselves, so make sure to learn how to train a dog how not to pull on a leash before trying this method. Like we said, this is only your last-ditch effort to keep them in their crate without pacing around or making a lot of noise.\n\nWhen crating an older dog, there are a few considerations you’ll want to make. Whether you’re choosing to crate them because you want to take them on longer trips with you, you want them to have somewhere safe to spend time while you’re briefly out of the house or anything else, it’s important that you take the time to get them properly acclimated and trained with their crate.