Basics of crate training for puppies
Crate training is generally recognized as one of the best ways to housetrain your puppy. Despite this, there is still a lot of reluctance among pet owners to adopt crate training for puppies as part of their training regimen. They feel that it is in some way cruel to their pet. However, it is important to keep in mind that teaching your dog to accept temporary confinement without anxiety is an important skill for a well-behaved pet. As well as living as part of human society.
Reasons why you should crate your puppy
If crate training for puppies is adopted humanely and responsibly, it can have many benefits for both the dog and its owner. These include:
- Providing a ‘home away from home’ for the pet. The crate will serve not only as a place to rest, away from a stressful environment. But also as the dog’s ‘den’ where they can play with toys.
- Establishing a regular routine that makes training easier. Since dogs will not poop where they sleep, you can take it out after it eats and it will be ready poop where you designate.
- Making it easier and safer when your dog travels with you. Contrary to the impression that many movies give, the safest place for your dog is not the passenger seat of your car. It is in a crate where he is in a stable environment rather than constantly bouncing around inside the vehicle. In addition, having a crate trained dog will make it easier for you to find accommodations. Many hotels and motels will be willing to allow a dog if it can be crated when you are not in the room.
- Ensuring the safety for a new dog. By restricting the puppy from potentially unsafe parts of the house during times when you cannot supervise it. You have an assurance that it will not chew on electric cables or get into another mischief that can be dangerous.
- Restricting the dog’s movements when it is not yet properly trained. If you have guests over and your dog has not yet been socialized completely, you can keep your dog in the crate temporarily. Or use it to introduce it to new people or pets without the risk that it will engage in aggressive or otherwise undesirable behavior such as biting and jumping.
Watch this informative video about crate training for puppies.
How to teach your puppy to love the crate
Eventually, your dog will get used to their crate, but this will take some time to achieve. Cheepsus did not like his crate in the beginning. Now he loves it and sometimes goes into it just to take a nap or relax.
The most important part of crate training is making sure your puppy always associates it with a positive experience.
You should start by lining it with blankets and place a few toys inside to make it cozy. You can also cover it with a lightweight blanket to mimic a “den” environment. Make sure it is still ventilated and not too hot if you do this.
Bring your puppy to the crate for naps and quiet-time breaks so that he can “unwind” from family chaos. Start in increments of 10 minutes and work up to longer periods. Offer treats when he goes inside. Or distraction toys like a stuffed KONG.
We have been giving treats to Cheepsus every time we ask him to go "to your bed". So now he runs to his crate even without asking - it is enough to show a treat.
Crate helps potty train
Every time you take the puppy out of the crate, take him for a walk so he can eliminate. He’ll get used to the idea that potty time comes after crate time. Remember to praise him after he goes to the bathroom outside.
It’s also helpful to keep puppies in the crate overnight. They may cry the first night or two. In most cases, they are simply adjusting to home without their mom and littermates. Most puppies should be able to sleep through the night without a potty break by 4 months of age. But if you’re in doubt, take him outside. More info about potty training here.