Dog trainer explains how this simple trick can make crate training a walk in the park

best dog crates
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For many of us dog owners, crate training a new pup can be a stressful and challenging experience. Not only do we sometimes not know where to start, but the crying, barking and general protesting that our canine companions may use to express their displeasure, can be enough to have us throwing in the towel.

But armed with the knowledge of Amy Jensen, expert dog trainer and owner and creator of the online puppy school Baxter & Bella (opens in new tab), learning how to crate train a dog just got a whole lot easier. With a popular podcast and a growing social media following, Jensen’s top tips are helping dog owners around the globe breathe a sigh of relief as they make the transition into pet parenthood.

While investing in the best dog crate is important, Jensen reveals that this is only one piece of the puzzle. In a short video on Instagram (opens in new tab) captioned “Struggling to have your puppy stay in their crate? Make it a game!,” Jensen shows how using treats and games can help your puppy to form positive associations with their crate.

“We want to make sure our dog is running in, getting a treat, and they’re getting let right back out again and going to do their favorite activity,” she explains. 

On an episode of the Puppy Training Podcast, entitled “Three Common Mistakes People Make When Getting a Dog (opens in new tab),” Jensen says that training is all about consistency, patience and persistence.

“Don’t slack off too soon. Keep at it. We help dogs LOVE their crates - it is their bedroom where their favorite things are! Crates help prevent accidents and encourage your dog to hold it until it’s time for a potty break.” 

When it comes to crate training, having a plan is key, stresses Jensen. “When you are ready for them to come out of their crate, have a plan in place. What are you going to work on? What are you going to play? Keep the training or play session short, five to 15 minutes, then it is downtime again.”

Jensen’s crate training video has amassed 650 likes, with people commenting on how helpful the treats and games trick is. “I love this account for training ideas and other good things to know!,” wrote one user with another adding “I love this! Daisy will too!”

Remember, crate training can take time, and just how long will depend on the age, personality, and background of your dog. For more useful tips and advice, check out our guides to ‘how to crate train an older dog’ and ‘how to crate train a rescue dog.’

Kathryn is a freelance writer who has spent the past two years dividing her writing time between her two great loves - pets and health and wellness. When she’s not busy crafting the perfect sentence for her features, buying guides and news pieces, she can be found hanging out with one very mischievous Cocker Spaniel, drinking copious amounts of Jasmine tea and attempting to set numerous world records for the longest ever FaceTime calls with her family back home in NZ.