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Improving Shelter Dog Kennel Behavior with Enriched Kennel Time

by Dakota Storage Buildings, on November 22, 2022


Shelter dogs are going through a hard time. Dog shelters are often isolating places that can confuse a dog and make them crave more human companionship. However, you can make their kennel time much easier and even enriching for them. Shelter dog kennel behavior can be used to help the dogs to feel more secure and comfortable where they are. While there is often a small staff and plenty of dogs to look after, there are changes that can be made for a better experience. Their kennel time may be long each day, but it doesn’t have to be a waste of their time.

Kennel Design

The experience for dogs in dog shelters depends to a certain degree on the design of those shelters. You can often improve shelter dog kennel behavior by making sure that the dogs are comfortable. Dog shelters should be designed with the dog in mind as well as the ease of the staff.

They need separate areas for sleeping and eating and for relieving themselves. This is important for dog training as well as better for their health. Having two different sides can also allow staff to clean one area while the dog is in the other so that there aren’t any problems with unpredictable dogs. A dog kennel that has access to a covered outside area is ideal for their well-being.

Enrichment in the Kennel

Dogs new to the shelter may have been through a tough situation, and they are now scared and confused. This may lead to bad or unpredictable behavior that can be eased through an enrichment program. One of the best ways to encourage better behavior is to note anytime a dog has good shelter dog kennel behavior and let the dog know they did well.

You can do this by making a certain signal and giving the dog a reward at the same time. One way to do this is to have a clicker outside the kennel along with a small pail that contains treats. Then, rewarding good shelter dog kennel behavior can happen quickly, and the dog can associate the good behavior with the reward. To enforce the good behavior, write on a card what the good behaviors are and how staff are to reward the dog.


Make sure that the dogs have fresh water at all times. Placing these at the edge of the dog shelters so that it is easily accessible from the outside will ensure they can get their water at any time. This kind of predictability can also help with dog behavior. It’s also helpful to try to have the dogs on a schedule so they know what their day is going to be like. If you can’t easily schedule their time, you can make a ritual around their meals and other activities so they understand what’s going on. This can be soothing and help them to behave better.

Having some outdoor time in a play yard each day can also be helpful for them to get out some of their pent-up energy. You may not have much time for outdoor recreation, but having some will help with boredom and can give them more predictability.

When you need a sturdy, reliable kennel, Dakota Storage Buildings builds durable models that are comfortable for dogs. They include the indoor and outdoor spaces that dogs need for their comfort and their curious minds.

Ensure Your Working Dog is Healthy & Happy

Topics:Dog KennelsDogs & Canines

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