JRT’s love their crates and use them as dens. When the door is left open and there is a comfortable bed inside, the dog will seek the crate for privacy and rest. Either a wire crate or a molded plastic carrier is suitable, as long as it is large enough for a grown Jack Russell to stand up in and turn around comfortably. If the crate is too large the dog may choose to sleep at one end and eliminate at the other.
The bed or pad inside should be one that is not easily torn. An added baby blanket will let a puppy snuggle in and will help provide warmth and protection from drafts, especially in cold weather. A crate should not be used for more than a few hours at a time and should never be used for punishment. The crate should be a safe and happy place for your dog – a place where he will go willingly, whether you put him there or he goes in of his own accord.
Where you place the crate in your home is important for your dog’s comfort. Keep it out of drafts and direct sunlight (for a wire crate, a sheet or blanket can be used as a cover for privacy and draft protection, and removed when not needed). It is also very important that the crate be in a “people area”, not in a place where the dog will be isolated from his family.
Choose a time to start crate training when the dog is ready for rest, after he has relieved himself and has had plenty of exercise. Start by feeding your dog in the crate with the door open. He will quickly associate the crate with this reward.
Now that he has been eating his meals in his crate, you can use a small treat and happy voice of encouragement, and add a command, and he will enter the crate. At first, just quietly close the door and don’t latch it. Later, when he is comfortable with the door being swung shut and he is busy with a treat or a meal, latch the door a few minutes at a time. If he fusses, wait until he settles down to let him out.
By offering him special treats and chew toys in the crate, he should not be upset by the door closing. Take these special crate toys and goodies away when he is not in the crate. When he is in the crate and occupied with a treat or special chew toy, leave the room quietly and return. Teach him this important  lesson without discussion: When you leave, you always return.

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This entry was posted on Monday, March 4th, 2013 at 12:54 pm and is filed under Caring for Your Jack Russell Terrier. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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