Crate training a Belgian Malinois can appear to be very daunting especially when you are a new dog owner or not comfortable with the whole process.
However, this should not be intimidating because there are simple ways you can implement to train them. In this article, we are going to show you how to crate train a Belgian Malinois puppy.
The list of training methods will enable you to train your puppy to have a safe haven in their crate.
Crate training has benefits, that is, it will also enable you to use the crate for training your puppy other desirable behaviors such as house training or training to stop destructive behavior.
Let’s learn how to successfully achieve this!
Can Belgian Malinois be crate trained?
Yes, Belgian Malinois can be crate trained. The process takes time and patience and if done correctly, crate training can be a valuable tool for potty training and behavioral management.
How To Crate Train A Belgian Malinois Puppy
1.Select the right crate
Selection of the right crate that is suitable for a Belgian Malinois is important to allow for the comfort of your puppy.
Belgian Malinois grow up to be big dogs therefore they need a crate that is appropriate for their size and one in which they will be comfortable to sleep and stand.
The Midwest Ginormous dog crate is the perfect crate that is specifically designed for giant or large breed dogs such as the Belgian Malinois.
The crate comes in the appropriate size, is durable, and also has a divider door that can be installed to adjust space for a puppy within it.
With this, a Belgian Malinois puppy will be comfortable and will also be able to grow to adult size with the same crate without size restriction.
2.Make the crate comfortable
After selecting a good crate appropriate for your Belgian Malinois puppy, you can further make it more comfortable for them. Do this by placing a dog bed within the crate.
The bed will create a comfortable space that will allow your dog to lie on and relax when they want to.
Also, select a location in your house that the crate will be constantly located and where your puppy will be comfortable.
This can be in a corner or in a room that is quiet away from noisy activities or movement from family members and also well-ventilated. This environment will create a relaxed space for your puppy.
Related: Are Belgian Malinois hard to train?
3. Introduce your Belgian Malinois to the crate
Once the crate is set up, introduce your Belgian Malinois puppy to the crate by walking them around it as well as encouraging them to get inside.
Do not force them in or push them in. Let the orientation be less stressful so that they get used to it.
Place treats within the crate to encourage your puppy to enter the crate and praise them when they do it.
Leave the crate door open to let them feel free to step out of it if they want to.
4. Create a positive association with the crate
Continue to make a positive association with the crate to encourage your puppy to adjust to it. This is the most important aspect of crate training, which is making crate time a positive experience for a Belgian Malinois puppy which results in them loving it.
Do this by giving them treats when they enter the crate as well as showering them with praises. This shows them that crate time is rewarded and this will encourage them to get used to it.
Positive reinforcement to crate training is also providing toys to your puppy which they can play with while in the crate.
Place their favorite toys or puzzle toys in the crate. This will entertain them as they play in the crate and they will always associate crate time as a fun time.
Also, feed them their meals inside the crate. While they’re eating, now close the crate door and afterward wait a few minutes before letting them out.
Practice closing the crate door even during rest times when they are in their crates, however, do not leave the room. Stay with them.
Continue with this process until they adjust to being in the crate with the crate door closed. Do not let them out when they start whining or barking.
Only let them out when they are calm and quiet so that they do not associate whining with the opening of the door.
5. Gradually increase the time for crate door closing
Gradually increase the time that the crate door is closed after your puppy gets used to eating, sleeping, and staying in it.
Start with 5, 10, 15 minutes, and so on while with them in the same room then open the crate door.
This should be repeated until they are not uncomfortable with the door closed.
Transition slowly to leaving the room with the crate door closed by slowly increasing the time you’re out of the room and coming back to them.
6. Schedule bathroom times
Schedule bathroom times for your puppy within the crate training process.
Bathroom times should be scheduled after meals within the crate, after naps, and every 30 minutes.
Dogs usually will not soil the area where they sleep so you will get cues from them when they need to go outside.
Look out for signs such as restlessness, spinning around, or sniffing of the groin area to take them outside.
Adjust the dividing door within the crate to allow a small space for the puppy to comfortably sleep in one area and be able to move but not large enough that they can take up a corner in the crate to help themselves.
Recommended Reading: How to potty train a Belgian Malinois puppy
7.Use command words
Select command words that you will use to instruct your puppy to enter their crate when you need them to.
A word like “crate” is still ok to direct them.
Mention this word several times when walking them to the crate and praise them when they enter it as well as reward them with a treat.
Over time they will associate the word to the action of going to the crate.
8. Gradually leave your house while they are in the crate
As your Belgian Malinois puppy continues to get used to being left in the crate for longer periods and alone in the room, gradually also start leaving your house while they are in it.
Increase the time you are outside before you return.
Except for nighttime, do not crate your puppy for longer than 4 hours at a time. Use the below length of time as a general guide for the training:
- 9 to 10 weeks: 30 – 60 minutes
- 11 to 14 weeks: 1 – 3 hours
- 15 to 16 weeks: 3 – 4 hours
- 17 + weeks: 4 hours
9. Stay consistent and patient
Training a dog a new behavior can take as much as six months for them to take up the desired behavior.
Crate training a Belgian Malinois puppy is no exception therefore stay consistent with the process and also be patient.
Don’t punish your puppy when they don’t conform immediately and don’t use the crate as a punishment cage to teach them a lesson.
This will not help and will derail the process of crate training as a positive experience. Over time your puppy will get used to being in their crate, just be patient.
Crate training a Belgian Malinois puppy helps to create a safe haven for them where they will have a place to feel secure within the house.
A crate will be a place that they can retreat to rest when tired, sick, or feel a need to self-soothe to calm down when anxious.
In addition to this, being able to create and train your puppy will help you in additional training for other desirable behaviors such as house training, training against destructive behavior, and also being able to leave them safely in your home when unsupervised.
This is a win-win situation for both a puppy and its owner.
You now know how to crate train a Belgian Malinois. By following the training methods laid out and staying consistent, you will have a well-behaved crate-trained puppy.