Crate training puppy is recommended for reasons of security, safety, travel, house training and comfort. It is natural for dogs to love crates! It is their “own private place” — a “security blanket” — a "den"
Crates help satisfy the “den instinct” inherited from their ancestors. The cost of a crate is a bargain when compared with costly household repairs that frequently can result from an untrained dog.
Crate training advantages for you and your pet include:
Enjoy peace of mind when leaving your dog at home alone, knowing nothing can be soiled or destroyed and that he is comfortable, protected, and not developing any bad habits.
Close confinement encourages bladder and defecation control. Pets in carrier confinement, combined with a regular routine for outdoor elimination, helps prevent “accidents” at night or when left alone.
Travel with your dog without risking distraction by a loose pet in the car. Know that your pet is safely riding with the protection of a car restraint device. Seat belts can be utilized with some newer carriers.
Your dog can:
Enjoy the privacy and security of a “den” of his own to which he can retreat when he would like.
Quickly achieve house training.
Remain in comfortable indoor surroundings when restriction is desired.
Enjoy more family outings by calmly crating pet when needed.
Enjoy travel more when he/she has the comfort of home right along with. It’s like bringing along a familiar security blanket.
Start Young - Crating a Puppy:
A young puppy (8-16 weeks) should normally have no problem accepting a crate as their “own place.” Any complaining he might do at first is not caused by the crate, but by his learning to accept the controls of his new environment. Crates will help puppy adapt more easily and quickly to their new world.
Towels or clothing can be used, but be sure what you put in appears safe. Many pet specific products are available. Never use carpet pieces, the long un-raveled threads can cause serious problems if ingested.
Avoid putting newspaper in or under the crate as it may encourage elimination.
If the puppy is left in the crate for extended periods, water containers designed to attach to the interior should be used. A free standing bowl of water will just be knocked over.
It is good to give treats and leave favorite toys, in the crate to help puppy bond with it. Do not, however, leave food in the crate.
At night make sure your puppy has gone potty outside before placing him in the crate. After you let him out of the crate be sure to take him outside (just be sure to follow rule #1 below).
When possible, feed puppy dinner early in the evening and let puppy out before crating. If the puppy eats too soon before going into his crate for the night he might have a hard time holding it until morning.
Some pets can become over protective of crates. To avoid this, accustom the puppy from the start to letting you reach in at any time.
Once puppy is house trained and crate trained, leave the den out with the door open and continue to provide treats in the den area. Once fully trained some people choose to have them sleep at night outside of the crate.
Be sure to continue using the crate on a regular basis. A puppy that has been completely crate trained but then has not been placed in a crate for months or years will likely no longer be crate trained.
Pets tend to be more clever and persistent training their people than the people are training them.
RULE #1 - Never show the puppy attention while in the crate. Never.
Repeatedly telling the whining or barking puppy, “No, stop it, quiet… No…Quiet, no……” is perceived by the dog as, “Hey, look, I’m getting their attention, that is what I want…It is working! I will keep it up”.
RULE 1b is to NEVER let the puppy out of the crate when he is fussing. Wait for that 2 second lull…eventually it will come, then let him out.
RULE #2 Don’t weaken. Don’t worry, be happy.
Remember you are doing what's best for puppy. Crate training usually happens fast. However, if you are training a dog that already has anxiety or you have broken RULE #1 repeatedly, then crate training could take months.
Just because it is taking longer than you expected and your nerves are getting weak, it is worth continuing.
This is the best and safest thing for your dog. It pays to start off right. Remember you are forming a family friend and companion for years to come.
For questions or further information about crate training, stop in at Advanced Care Pet Hospital for answers!