Crate training a giant schnauzer in five easy steps

Crate training a giant schnauzer

The giant schnauzer like the name suggests is one of the largest dog breeds, he loves his owner and is very protective and loyal, this makes it one of the best guard dogs.

crate training a giant Schnauzer is very easy since they are highly intelligent and strongly territorial dogs.

In fact, all territorial extra protective dog breeds are easier to crate train, they like their own personal space and that’s what the crate offers.

However, giant schnauzers are a lot of work and are not for casual owners, they like to be with their owner and don’t want to be left alone or in the yard, that’s why it’s not the best breed for people who work a full-time job.

Giant schnauzers need to have a job and as simple as it might be, along with a lot of exercise so don’t count on leaving your dog in his crate for long hours.

What you need to crate train a giant schnauzer

Crate training a giant schnauzer is a process like all others that needs some tools to be achieved properly and efficiently so what are these tools?

To crate train any dog you need three important tools, toys, training treats, and obviously a crate.

What’s important to know is that every dog breed has its own set of needs and you can’t use the same tools for all breeds.

The best crate for a giant schnauzer

The giant schnauzer is a mighty dog breed but its territorial behavior makes it feel comfortable in its crate, so unless your dog has separation anxiety a wire crate is the best choice.

When it comes to crate training with a few exceptions we always recommend to our readers the wire crate because it does a great job when it comes to crate training and it makes the introduction to the crate step very easy and therefore the whole process easier.

The male giant schnauzer according to the AKC stands as high as 27.5 inches at the shoulder and weighs 95 pounds, which is very imposing, that’s why he needs a crate that will fit as an adult.

The perfect crate size for a giant schnauzer is the 48″ crate, we recommend the Midwest Life Stage metal crate (check current price at Amazon).

The crate should not be too big for the dog and not too small, the dog should be able to stand in it, turn around and lie down and that’s it. If the crate is too big then he might use one end as a living area and eliminate in the other,

The best training treats for a giant schnauzer

It is possible to crate train a dog without treats but we do not recommend it as they are a great tool to make the crate training process easier and faster.

The treats are a good way to lure the dog into the crate at the early stages of the training and also a great to associate it with happy thoughts and reward good behavior as long as treats are used properly and in small quantities.

Training treats should only make about 10% of the dog’s daily calorie intake that’s why you need some low calorie treats especially that giant schnauzers are prone to obesity.

The training treats we recommend are Zuke’s Mini Naturals Training Treats (check current price at Amazon), they come in small bite-size which is great for keeping the quantity low, and are made of natural ingredients.

The best chew toys for a giant schnauzer

Toys are a great tool for training dogs but when it comes to crate training chew toys are the most useful ones.

Chew toys are great at keeping the dog distracted in the crate and are also good as a reward to enforce good behavior.

The chew toy we recommend is the Kong (check current price at Amazon), not only does it make a good chew toy but the hollow part can be filled with treats making it a great food puzzle that will keep your dog distracted for hours in his crate.

Chew toys are good for crate training but you also need interactive toys, because your dog will be more willing to get in his crate if he’s had enough exercise and playtime, and what better way to do that than to use interactive toys for some bonding quality time.

You can get any interactive toy you want as long as it’s you playing with the dog it’s fine but it’s best to get a small pack (check current price at Amazon) so he doesn’t feel bored with the same toy every time.

Crate training a giant schnauzer in 5 steps

How to crate train a giant schnauzer
How to crate train a giant schnauzer

Like I’ve explained earlier crate training a giant schnauzer is a process, so it needs to have structured steps, and you can’t move to the next step unless the previous pone is done properly.

There are five steps to crate training and they go from the basic introduction to leaving your giant schnauzer alone in his crate which is the goal.

The level of expertise you have in training dogs doesn’t matter, this could be your first dog ever and if you follow the steps you can get perfect results in a relatively short period.

Step 1: Introducing your giant schnauzer to his crate.

let’s start by the first start which is the first impression and we always hear the first impression is what counts and in crate training it’s true, your dog needs to like his crate and the first impression he has of this crate will surely make a great impact on the whole process.

I have a doctrine in training dogs, which is never to introduce your dog to something when it’s time to do it, this can be applicable to everything; a crate, a shower, a toy anything really.

In our case you don’t want your dog to first see the crate at night when he needs to sleep in it, this will only make him freak out and hate it and make life harder for you to make him change his mind.

You want to start early in the morning take your giant schnauzer around the crate let him sniff around, it would be best to have him with his leash on to avoid any accidents.

You need to keep doing this for a few minutes then go away and do something else then go back to the crate and let the curious nature of the dog do its thing.

When your dog is showing interest in the crate and is trying to get in then it’s time to move on to the next step.

Step 2: Exploring the crate using treats

crate training treats for giant schnauzer
Best treats for crate training a giant schnauzer

In this step, you can see why we recommend the wire crate over plastic and other types of crates, the wire crate offers an open view and the dog doesn’t feel trapped when he goes inside making it easier to explore it.

You can start by tossing a treat inside the crate and wait for your dog to get inside to get it, and when he does you want to praise him heavily and reward him with another treat so he knows it’s a good thing to get inside the crate.

Do not force your dog in the crate and make sure the door of the crate is secured open to avoid any incidents that could scare the puppy.

Repeat the same process multiple times and since giant schnauzers are a very intelligent dog breed yours will soon enough start to offer to get in the crate to get the treat and that’s your sign that he’s ready for the next step.

Step 3: Making the crate great

Crate training is all about making the crate the best possible place for your dog, which includes using toys treats, and food.

Dogs usually rate things and places based on experience, meaning if they have enough good things happen in a place they’ll surely love it.

That’s why you need to start feeding your giant schnauzer his meals inside the crate, you can at first leave the crate door open until your dog is used to eating in there and then start to gradually close the door.

The best way to do this is to lure the dog inside with treats praise him then serve him his food inside and then give him a chew toy to relax.

Before your giant schnauzer goes inside the crate to eat he needs to have enough playtime and exercise, as a breed need a lot of exercise and will not stay in the crate if they’re still energetic.

When your dog is feeding you want to stay next to his crate and start closing the dog slowly, watch out for the dog’s reaction and gradually close it until he’s ok with eating his meals inside with the crate closed and that’s your sign to move on to the next step.

Step 4: Spending time in the crate closed

Now that your giant schnauzer is feeding inside the crate with the door closed, you want to increase that time and the way to do it is toys.

Once your dog has finished his meal you can give him his kong to chew on and you can stay around praise him and talk to him as he relaxes inside.

The kong food puzzle does a great job in keeping the dog distracted inside the crate after his meals and you can use that to slowly increase the time he spends in there.

You can also move away from the crate for a couple of minutes to test his reactions but take things slow and at the first sign of rejection go back in there and make sure your dog is calm.

crate training takes time and it’s a step-by-step process so don’t rush it and make sure you’re doing it gradually.

When your dog is spending 30 minutes in the crate with the door closed and is enjoying his chew toy showing no signs of rejection or tension you can move onto the final step.

Step 5: Alone in the crate

The final step is that your giant schnauzer is able to spend time alone in the crate without anyone around and that’s what this whole process is about.

You don’t just get your dog in the crate and take off to work or whatever you have to do, you need to slowly increase the time he spends in the crate.

If you do a great job exercising your dog and making the crate a great place your giant schnauzer would have no objections to staying in there alone.

Start by leaving after the dog finishes his meal and is playing with his chew toy, leave the room for short periods of 2 to 5 minutes then go back in there.

If things are going well make that time longer and interact less with the dog while inside, this time make it 10 to 15 minutes.

If everything is going as planned you only need to pass by to let him know you are here you’re just doing something else.

keep doing the same thing and increase the time until your dog is able to spend at least 30 minutes alone in the crate and that’s the time needed to try the home alone in the crate.

You can go out for a quick errand of 30 to 45 minutes but before you leave don’t make a scene out of leaving, just leave, and the same thing when you come back wait at least five minutes before you interact with your dog.

This is very important so that your dog doesn’t associate being in the crate with you leaving him alone, it needs to be natural and time in the crate is a time to relax and has nothing to do with where you are and that’s exactly why you need to crate him even if you don’t have to leave the house.

Crate training a giant schnauzer at night

Crate training a giant schnauzer at night
Crate training a giant schnauzer at night

Crate training a giant schnauzer at night is easier than it is during the day, the dog is already tired and ready to sleep so he’ll be less resistant to being in the crate.

You need to make sure the puppy does not drink any water just before he goes in the crate, the less water he drinks the less likely he is to wake up for a potty break during the night.

of course, our dog needs to drink enough water just stop watering him at least two hours before he goes to bed, and make sure he eliminates just before he goes in the crate.

Giant schnauzers are a large breed and they have bigger bladders so even small puppies can generally make it through the night or wake up once to pee.

But you need to place your dog’s crate in your bedroom or very close to it at least in the first couple of weeks until he’s used to sleeping in it.

When the crate is close you can hear your puppy if he starts whining in his crate which is very common in the first few nights, so how do you deal with it?

You start by ignoring it for five minutes and if the puppy is still whining then you can gently tap on his crate or talk to him and when he stops praise him and reward him a treat.

This usually is enough but if the dog needs to go out for a potty break wait until he stops whining before you let him out or else he’ll know that the way out is by whining and would not stop.

The trip out to pee should be only about peeing and nothing else no playing no food or games once business is over he should go back to his crate.

How long can a giant schnauzer stay in his crate?

Giant schnauzers are very attached to their owners and don’t like being left alone, they can spend some alone time but you can’t expect them to stay in the garden.

The giant is not the ideal dog breed for the casual dog owner who only wants to be with a dog once a day for a short walk.

they need a lot of exercising and affection and do great when given a job, if you are an energetic person that goes hiking or cycling often then it’s the perfect partner for you.

Crate training works great for giant schnauzers because they are very territorial and love to have a personal place of their own but they can’t be left in there for more than 2 to 3 hours a day.

A great solution would be to get a playpen to give your giant schnauzer enough space to stretch and play around when you’re not around.

We recommend the Midwest Wire Playpen (check current price at Amazon) because it can be folded flat and easy to set up but also because it can be attached to the Midwest crate we suggested earlier making a den-like space for your dog.

How hard is it to crate train a giant schnauzer?

The giant schnauzer is one of the easiest dog breeds to crate train, they have a very territorial instinct that makes them love to have their own place.

You can use that to your advantage and work on it to make the training easier, but you do need to make sure it stays a personal space.

The only thing that could present a challenge is the fact that giant schnauzers don’t like to be left alone and are very attached to their owner.

However, they can be left alone for a couple of hours if you do a great job exercising them before they go in the crate.

If you can play a lot with your dog and provide plenty of activities during the day you’ll have no problem with crate training your dog.