One of the biggest challenges for any dog owner is training your dog to go into his crate at will when you leave him home. If you don’t have a crate yet and want to start with crate training puppies, read these four handy tips to start right now.
Keep in mind that training puppies to sleep in a crate is a process that won’t happen overnight. You need to start showing him that he has a special place of his own that he can go to at will.
How to Introduce Your Puppy to His Crate
It’s not enough to merely put a puppy in his crate. He needs to see the crate as his “haven” and be sure to spend time with him while he is inside.
This will help him reinforce the idea that the crate is his special place.
Puppies are often scared to be on their own at night. You should be sure to lay a soft blanket inside the crate for comfort.
Puppies are naturally intelligent and will be looking for ways to break the rules you are establishing.
This means that you need to make sure they know you’re the boss and show them that it’s okay to make a mistake.
Never punish your puppy after he has made a mistake. Ensure that you don’t raise your voice or speak in a lower pitch when you correct him.
Just like with a child, reward your puppy with a treat when he is doing something right. Treats should be easily palatable and shouldn’t take long to eat.
The Training Basics
Now that you understand why you should use a crate, you need to know how to introduce it to your puppy.
Start by selecting the right size crate for your puppy. Your dog should be able to stand and turn around quickly inside the crate.
Never leave your puppy inside the crate for too long periods. It would help if you only left your puppy not longer than an hour. You can exceed this amount later when your dog is older, but you should never leave him for too long.
Puppies have short memories, so don’t confuse him by leaving him inside the crate for longer than he can handle (read.. crate training yorkie).
You don’t want him to get used to feeling locked inside of his own little den. Dogs naturally like to have a shelter of their own.
Be sure to lead your puppy into his crate on a leash.
Never tie him up and leave him for long periods. This will instill a negative association with the crate.
The Right Kind of Food For Your Puppy
Your puppy needs to be eating the right kinds of foods to gain the best health possible. As a puppy grows, it must be getting the right vitamins and minerals for its bones and eyes.
The food you give him should also have a lot of calcium in it. Some dry foods have a higher ratio of calcium to starch, such as cornmeal, whereas others have a higher percentage of calcium to meat, such as a chicken meal.
Puppies require higher amounts of certain minerals and vitamins as they grow, so it’s best to do your research and know the best food for your puppy when you’re choosing the type of puppy food you give him.
Leaving Your Puppy in the Crate too Long
Puppies should never be left in dog crates for more than 3 hours, even if you’re home. It’s not fair to the puppy if you do this, and you’ll have to deal with the mess it causes.
If you must leave your dog in the crate longer than the maximum time recommended, provide a shady place for your dog to sleep and make sure that he has some toys to keep him occupied while he is there.
Advantages of Crate Training Dogs You May Not Think Of
To new dog owners, the advantages of crate training their dogs may not appear obvious. They may just have picked up a new friend at the local pet store or have had the honor of being the first ones to introduce a new puppy to their home.
Crate training does many things for you, as well as your beloved dogs. Let’s look at some of the pros and cons of this excellent technique:
- It helps your dog learn not to “soil” or urinate or defecate in the house. You will save your carpets and furniture from being soiled or chewed apart.
- You will have more peace of mind when you are away, knowing your dog is in a safe, confined space.
- Crates are excellent for housebreaking your puppy or reinforcing successful potty training.
- It helps to keep your dog contained when you are not around. You never have to worry about having your dog run freely throughout your home.
- For puppies, it provides a safe place to nap when they need a nap when you are busy or too tired to play with them.
- In the case of an emergency, it is a great way to keep your puppy out of harm’s way.
- It can be difficult to crate train your dog. You have to be consistent and show your dog that his crate is his bed at all times.
- Some dogs become so accustomed to their crate that they pee in it on accident.
- It may be challenging to get your dog to go into the crate, especially if he has not been in one for a long time.
The Right Size Crate For Your Dog
It is also essential to have the right sized crate. Your dog should be able to stand up and turn around.
If the crate is too big, your dog may feel uncomfortable. To be on the safe side, measure your dog’s height, and find the container that would be the correct size for him.
It is commonly known that puppies have the most challenging time adjusting to a new crate.
When crate training your dog, try to make his crate as pleasant as possible. Provide him with comfortable bedding, lots of toys, and a TON of praise when he gets into or out of his crate.
Little by little, slowly introduce your dog to his crate.
After he gets used to his home in your home, try leaving him in his crate for short periods, say 15 minutes or so.
- When you leave him in his crate, put a toy in there with him. That is his only toy. This can help keep him occupied, and he can chew on it instead of peeing and pooping all over his cage.
- When it is time to put him in his crate, but don’t make a big fuss over it. Just put him in and leave him alone. He will soon get used to it.
- Don’t make a fuss when you are leaving him in his crate, or he will get upset. Try to keep distractions away from him, so he doesn’t get sad. Put the crate in an area where you are at home and be his only company.
Puppy Training – Why Crate Training is So Important
Congratulations on your decision to get a puppy. You’ve done your research and chosen the breed that is right for you.
- You understand that certain behaviors are not acceptable in a dog, and you know how to communicate to your puppy how you expect him to behave. You understand the importance of house training.
- You understand how important it is to instill good socialization habits into your puppy.
None of the above is any threat to you if you are following a sensible puppy training plan and training your puppy in a consistent way. But you may be missing an important and crucial step.
The step that is so important is consistency.
You must realize just how important your lack of consistency is and make sure you are thinking about it from that point of view. Your puppy is learning all the time.
He is always learning from you and vice versa. The real issue is not so much about what he is learning but how you are teaching him.
Are you teaching your puppy to do the right thing, or is he learning to do the wrong thing?
How do you get him to know the difference between the good and the bad things?
The answer is to make sure that he does not have access to those things that he is learning are bad. Now the great news is that this does not mean that you are going to keep him locked up in a crate each day or each week.
Rather, the answer is that you will show him what he can chew on and what he cannot.
If you want to play and spend time with him, he will have to learn what he can chew on and what he cannot. But by showing him, he will realize that you have just made time for him to play and spend time with you.
He will learn to love his rag and not his expensive leather shoes. And he will have no idea that you have just shown him that chewing is wrong.
Now the main thing you need to realise is that when you bring him home he will think that its play time.
He will not care what you have just bought him, what your shoes are or what he can chew on.
Don’t ever punish him physically or even say anything negative as you are both going to reinforce this behaviour. But you need to show him, through your actions that even though these items are okay he cannot chew them.
Give your puppy a variety of different chewy and toys. Sneakers, balls, toys, and more will help keep him interested and stop him from getting bored.
You need to remember that you are training your puppy and he may take a little time to learn, so patience is required. You should also never slap or hit your puppy.