How to Crate Train a Rescue Puppy With Separation Anxiety

by Rebecca Fitz

Crating is a great tool to use in training your puppy, especially if they have separation anxiety! I rescued this beagle-sheltie mix (shegle) and she was a very skittish and clingy puppy.


  • 1 Large crate
  • 1 Dog bed or a bunch of blankets
  • A adorable rescued puppy
  • Patience
  • Dog toys or treats
  • Instructions

    Step 1

    To crate train a puppy is a wonderful thing! First you need to find whatever word or phrase you like to use that means the crate.

    Step 2

    For example I used "Box" because it's quick to say and distinct. I have heard others use "kennel up" or "crate", it doesn't matter what you say as long as you are consistent and don't try to change it

    Step 3

    changing the command will confuse your puppy, so ok? You got your word? Let's start training!

    Step 4

    Place your crate in a nice and open place, especially if your puppy has separation anxiety you want to put it in the room where you are the most. Ex. Living room, bedroom or a hallway.

    Step 5

    Don't pile stuff on or around your anxious dogs crate. Mainly because it limits their vision and won't allow them to rest. Also because an unhappy dog will get bored and start chewing on it.

    Step 6

    Put your dog bed or blankets in the crate and keep the door wide open, let your dog see it and explore. Throw a treat inside to entice them to go inside, don't command or force your dog into the crate

    Step 7

    When your dog is relaxed point inside the crate and say your dog's name and the command example: "Lilly, Box" say this assertively but not too harsh.

    Step 8

    The first time you say this the dog might be confused and think you are angry, don't worry we are not trying to scare them. See how Lilly cowers and tries to walk away, she is confused

    Step 9

    It's ok don't worry this will take some practice. Try again until the dog goes in by itself

    Step 10

    When your dog goes willingly into the crate on your command praise them and let them come directly out! That's it Don't shut the crate or lock them in This will instead lock into their brain our point

    Step 11

    Step 12

    This is when she starts to understand, our goal is for her to be relaxed in the crate, she is not yet there , she is still sitting up and attentive to me, so I coo her with praise and kind words

    Step 13

    Having a companion dog if you have one is good to help your dog relax, the big black dog's name is Jake.

    Step 14

    There we go she goes inside by herself, and immediately lays down showing she is comfortable and happy inside the crate! Way to go! But wait we still have a lot to go

    Step 15

    Our goal is for her to be totally comfortable and happy in the crate. Try to keep the excitement level down around them while they are in the crate at first

    Step 16

    So you got your dog inside the crate willingly! Now how long do you leave him there? Start small, a minute, five minutes, 20 minutes never leaving your dogs sight.

    Step 17

    Praise your dog every time you let them out! Let them know you are happy they stayed in the crate and was calm

    Step 18

    After they can remain calm in the crate with you there walk out of the room to grab something to drink or something, only being absent for a few minutes

    Step 19

    I would clean whatever room I was in and by the time I was done going in and out past my dog she was used to me coming and going.

    Step 20

    After your dog is totally comfortable with your periodical absence, try leaving the house, if they remain calm leave for a little while, come back and let them out first thing, praise them!

    Step 21

    If you are going to be absent for awhile place a few toys in the crate to prevent boredom

    Step 22

    This will take a lot of patience and continuous work. But when all is said and done your dog will learn the crate is a comfortable place to be, and you will be able to crate your dog stress free

    Step 23

    A happy crated dog!

    Step 24

    When you are done you will be surprised how your dog will prefer to be inside the crate even when you aren't asking them to be,

    Step 25

    keep the crate open all the time to allow them to sleep in it if they want. There you have it, good luck out there dog trainers! 😉