How to accustom a dog to the carrier?

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Accustoming a dog to the carrier is a relatively simple and very useful when traveling with a dog by car, plane or other means of transport. Apart from being the safest means of transport, the use of the carrier is also indicated in other cases, such as when the dog suffers fears.

Find out in this AnimalWised article how to accustom a dog to the carrier, basic guidelines that you should follow and other uses that you can give it. ¡Keep reading!

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  1. How long can a dog be in a carrier?
  2. Associating the carrier positively
  3. Different uses of the dog carrier
  4. What is the best dog carrier?

How long can a dog be in a carrier?

The carrier is an ideal tool to transport a dog, however, when leaving the dog in a cage, exceeding the time can affect the animal welfare, causing stress and anxiety. Therefore, it is important to know how many hours a dog can be in a cage.

An adult dog should be in a carrier between 2 and 3 hours maximum. After this time, it would be essential let him out to urinate, drink water, or stretch the legs for at least 15 minutes. On the other hand, a puppy should not spend more than 2 hours locked in a carrier without social contact and supervision..

Associating the carrier positively

Here we will show you a simple step-by-step to learn how to accustom a dog to the carrier through the use of positive reinforcement. Have treats or snacks for dogs on hand, they will be very useful:

  1. to get started we will disassemble the carrier and we will place it in a large place in the house, such as the living room. We can leave it there permanently, until we finish our education, or we can remove it and put it in whenever we want to work. Our recommendation is that you leave it there permanently.
  2. We will let the dog sniff the carrier and in no case will we force you to enter. The goal is for the dog to go inside on its own.
  3. We must ensure that the carrier is a comfortable and comfortable place, to achieve this you can place a cushion, a blanket or something similar. You can also use synthetic pheromones for dogs, very positive for nervous dogs or those suffering from anxiety..
  4. Every time the dog comes to sniff the carrier we will reward you with a candy, in this way our best friend will understand that approaching that object carries a reward.
  5. If the dog does not seem interested in entering the carrier, we will do a sowing (we will spread snacks near the carrier) and even we will leave some goodies inside. If they don't seem interested in these treats, try using other more valuable ones, like cooked chicken pieces..
  6. Every time the dog enters the carrier we will reinforce him as well with the voice. A "very good " may be enough for me to begin to positively associate this transport tool.
  7. Later, when the dog enters the carrier regularly, we can leave toys or long-lasting snacks inside, such as a raw meaty bone. As well we will assemble the carrier so that you get used to the whole structure.
  8. During the whole process do not forget to reinforce with your voice, awards and caresses.
  9. Once the dog begins to spend more time inside the carrier, we will begin to work with the door: the we will open and close while we reward you. This step should last a few days until we close it permanently.
  10. Once the dog has no problems opening the door, we are going to lock him up for a short time, for example one or two minutes. We can leave prizes inside to distract you and continue to associate the process in a positive way.
  11. Now it's just a matter of gradually extend the time.

If you notice that your dog tries to get out of the carrier, it means that you have gone too fast. Go back to the previous point and remember that it is about a long process, which can last between one and three weeks.

Different uses of the dog carrier

Aside from being useful when traveling, the carrier can also be indicated in other circumstances. For example, we can use the dog carrier like a bed when we go on trips.

In addition, if the dog suffers from a fear of rockets, for example, and has a well-associated carrier, he will prefer to stay there rather than hide in a room without a shelter that makes him feel comfortable. In this case the carrier can be used as a "nest" so that the dog take refuge whenever you are afraid. Of course, you should never lock him there, the door must always remain open, otherwise the levels of anxiety, stress and fear could skyrocket.

The use of the carrier in dogs suffering from separation anxiety may also be interesting, since dogs with this disorder can find a comfortable place in the cage to take refuge in. In this case it is also not indicated to close the cage, should be used only as a positive tool.

What is the best carrier for dogs?

The ideal, especially in case of travel, is to opt for a carrier tough and resistant, that cannot be broken or disassembled in the event of an accident. The most commonly used are rigid plastic, cheaper, but we can also find in the market carriers of aluminum, much safer but also more expensive.

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