How to crate train your puppy
Young puppies 8-12 weeks old have little bladder control so it is important to introduce the crate as a happy place and only leave them inside for no longer than 30 minutes. Purchase a divider and place it so that the puppy has just enough room to turn around and lay down. If you give the puppy too much room they will use the back part of the crate. Puppies respond to positive praise so encourage the puppy to enter the crate by using treats or feeding them inside the crate. Start in small increments of time. Each time you remove your puppy from the crate give him lots of praise and take him directly outside. Give your puppy a command to use the bathroom, “busy”. Once your dog has gone then it is time to play as a reward for not going inside the crate. If you have a young puppy you may want to carry them outside and put them where you want them to “busy”. Your puppy should spend time with you outside the crate playing, training, exploring etc. Always keep the door open so that your puppy can go in on his own. You will find that when the puppy identifies this area as their “den” they will choose to go in the crate to sleep, or have some time alone. When you put the puppy back in the crate, keep the crate close to you. This will give your puppy the security they need to make the crate feel like a safe and happy place.
When to use the crate
Puppies are curious and busy little creatures. Crates keep your puppy safe and often out of trouble if you are not able to monitor their every move. Use your crate when you are away but keep in mind that the younger the dog the less amount of time they can stay in their crate. Most dog sleep in their crate at night. This is a great option since dogs don’t like to sleep where they soil.
Crate training do’s and dont’s
- “Busy” your dog before putting him in the crate.
- Do remove his collar while in the crate. Dog can get their collars caught on the crate and hurt themselves if you don’t remove the collar.
- Do remove blankets, toys and anything else your dog could eat or choke on while alone in his crate.
- Do give yourself the peace of mind knowing your dog is safe in his crate.
- Do save yourself money by not having to replace shoes, furniture and other important things in your house.
-Don’t use the crate as punishment
-Don’t put your puppy in the crate if they are vomiting, have diarrhea, or other illnesses
- Don’t leave your puppy in the crate for hours at a time
- Don’t force your puppy inside the crate by pushing or dragging him inside. Let him go in on his own. Use treats if necessary.
- Don’t punish your puppy if he “busy” in the crate. Just remove the puppy and clean it up without saying anything about it. When they are young it is best not to put anything but the plastic tray in the crate. It makes for easy clean ups
Remember the success to crate training is patients and consistency. The more consistent you are in setting a routine and making the crate a happy place the more successful your training will be. Also remember, puppies are like babies they need love, encouragement and patients to be succesful.