How Do I Crate Train My Puppy?
The Ultimate Guide for Crate Training Puppies in 2018
What’s the best way to crate train a puppy? Well, we’ve put together the ultimate guide for you and have updated it for 2018!
The first question most dog owners ask about crate training puppies is whether it is cruel to keep a dog confined to such a small space.
The simple answer is “no.”
In fact, if you crate train a dog properly, he or she will love having their own space, and will eventually go to the crate willingly.
It all starts with understanding the history of dogs and how they were bred for human interaction.
In the wild, wolves will seek out a den – generally a small space where they feel warm and protected. This makes crate training natural and humane.
So don’t feel bad about leaving your puppy in his or her crate for up to 4 hours. Just make sure the conditions in the room are appropriate for the different dogs breeds and make sure you have the right sized crate and one that is durable.
Crate Training Puppies: The Right Way
While it is quite possible to train an adult dog to sleep in a crate, ideally you want to start puppy crate training from the moment you bring your puppy home.
Place the crate in an area of the home that gets lots of human traffic so your puppy doesn’t feel isolated.
Put in a soft towel for her to sleep on. The puppy is unlikely to ‘go’ in the crate, but accidents do happen. This will absorb any messes until she is housebroken.
If your pup came from a breeder ask him for a small piece of blanket with the mother’s scent on. This will help your pup settle in more quickly.
At night you should place the crate in your bedroom. Expect a bit of an uproar for the first few nights. Remember, she’s just a baby taken away from her mom and litter-mates. She’ll likely be afraid and uncertain.
Not that you should respond to every whine and whimper. If you do she’ll soon figure out that all she has to do is cry for you to come running.
After a few weeks the puppy will be used to her new surroundings and you can move the crate out of your bedroom at night.
Don’t be surprised if she again causes a ruckus the first few nights, but she’ll soon get used to her new space.
One of the biggest challenges faced by house owners who’ve recently adopted a puppy is to stop him from thinking of the entire house as one giant bathroom. Potty training requires a lot of patience and lots of dog owners are ready to give up in despair because they don’t know what technique to use or which method works best.
Crate Training is Great for Potty Training
For a puppy, crate training is one of the best and easiest techniques for potty training. If you use it right, your puppy will be housebroken in practically no time.
If you are new to the concept of crate training puppies, this article will serve as a beginners guide in helping you. Read it carefully because this just might be the solution you were desperately looking for.
What Is Crate Training?
Crate training is becoming one of the most popular methods of house breaking a puppy. In very simple terms, a crate is an enclosure, usually made of wire where you put the puppy at times when you cannot supervise him, like when you are away from home, doing household chores, or sleeping. If you are wondering whether leaving a puppy in a wire cage isn’t cruel, it isn’t. Dogs, in fact, enjoy a den like environment and given time, he will accept the crate as part of his house and enjoy spending time in it.
Size of the Crate & Location in the House
The concept behind crate training is that a dog will never pee or poop in the place where he sleeps. Therefore, while not overly small, the crate should be just big enough for the puppy to stand, turn around, walk a few steps, and lay down in. If the crate is really big, your puppy will take to sleeping in one corner and comfortably pooping in the other. That defeats the entire purpose of crate training.
As far as location is concerned, ideally, you should place the crate in the place where you and your family spend a lot of time, such as the family room. Since the dog, by nature, is a pack animal, it feels more comfortable when it is with the rest of the pack (in this case, it means you and your family!)
What to Keep in your Puppy’s Crate
Since the crate is meant to be that special place for your puppy, you have to make sure that it is furnished with the essentials. They are as follows:
- Water: If you anticipate that the puppy is going to be in there for over two hours, make sure that there is ample clean water in the crate.
- Bedding: Some puppies like the hard, flat surface of the floor, while others prefer a soft and comfy bed for themselves. Place an old blanket or towel in the crate.
- Treats and Toys: If you have your puppies favorite toys in the crate, he will be less hesitant of spending time in there. Place these toys at the far end of the crate so your puppy willingly walks into the crate. By way of treats, you can also keep a marrow bone (sterilized) with dog treats and cheese stuffed in it.
Essentials of Puppy Crate Training
Here are 4 easy pointers that are very important when you begin crate training your puppy.
- When introducing the crate for the first time to your puppy, don’t push the puppy in forcibly. Let him make the first move. You can induce him to go in by placing a treat, his favorite toy in it, or an item of clothing that has your smell in it.
- Never send the puppy to a crate by way of punishment. His association with the crate should always be that of a happy place, not one where he is sent in disgrace.
- It’s a good idea to feed the puppy in the crate. Food is a happy thing for a pup and if he is fed in the crate, it will strengthen the positive association he has of the crate.
- Never leave your puppy in the crate for more than 3-4 hours at a time. You have to let them out at intervals, so that they can relieve themselves. Their bladders are really small and they cannot control the urge to pee too long.
Crate Training Puppies: Special Bonus!
An often overlooked benefit of crate training puppies is that it helps with house-training. Dogs do not soil where they sleep, so when your puppy wakes up and needs to go, she’ll start barking and crying.
Be prepared to drop everything and take her outside immediately. It will pay huge benefits later, and make house training a cinch.
Follow the steps above and crate training puppies is a cinch.