Crate training a pitbull has the same basis as training any other dog, but there are a few things that you need to keep in mind. This mostly has to do with the crate itself rather than the methodology. So let’s start.
GET A REALLY GOOD CRATE
Crates come in many different types and brands. You need to focus on super sturdy ones. Pits are aggressive chewers, and their strong teeth can tear through a flimsy crate in a flash. So you should not go for soft-sided crates. Buy a sturdy crate for Pitbulls.
Also, keep into account the size of your dog and how big he may get when he is fully grown. Crates are not very expensive, but they aren’t cheap as well. So it may be wiser to buy a full-sized one and just add a divider to make it smaller.
GIVE HIM TOYS TO PREVENT BOREDOM
Remember that the crate of your pitbull is his own individual space. Make sure that it is as comfortable as possible so that your dog enjoys his time there. You can put some of his favorite toys in it to keep your pet from getting bored. Just remember to buy toys that are large and cannot be swallowed by your dog, this is important for the unsupervised playtime in the crate.
MAKE IT COMFY AND COZY
You must place some kind of bedding in the crate so that your Pit Bull is more comfortable. Crate mats are also a good option, but only a few are chew proof, so don’t buy an expensive one. Soft blankets or old towels can also work well. If your Pit Bull chews it up, then remove it before he swallows the pieces.
KEEP HIM HYDRATED WHILE IN THE CRATE
At the beginning of the crate training, you won’t leave your Pit Bull puppy in the crate for too long. In the beginning, it is just about getting him used to the crate. However, when he starts spending more than 2 hours in the crate, it is good to equip it with a water bottle, just in case he gets thirsty.
HOW TO CRATE TRAIN A PITBULL PUPPY
Now we come to the actual steps that can help you in crate training your Pit Bull puppy.
STEP 1: First, set up the crate.
STEP 2: Make it as comfy as possible
STEP 3: Put some treats in the crate to entice your Pit to go in it while using the “crate up” command. DON’T shut the door.
STEP 4: Repeat → reward → praise. You may have to do this several times to create a happy association with the crate.
STEP 5: Slowly start to shut the door, little by little.
STEP 6: Shut the door completely, but within a minute, open it. Repeat this with longer intervals. Reward and praise every time.
STEP 7: Give the “crate up” command, but don’t lure your dog. Reward him when he obeys.
Most of the dogs respond well to crate when they are trained to see it as a good thing and not as a cage.
NEVER use any kind of punishment with crate training.
You should not punish your dog anyways, but your PitBull associating the crate with “bad dog” is something you definitely don’t want.