- By Anthony Portokaloglou
How to Crate Train Your Puppy
Knowing how to crate your dog is great.
Knowing how to organize your schedule to succeed is great.
But how you can do both?
Today I have something...
... that will make you feel like you are an expert dog trainer.
In today's post I am going to show you exactly step by step how to crate train your puppy. This method can be used for crate training an older dog as well.
And for those who are wondering what can I do instead of crate training for a dog then the answer is to use a separate room, which I will cover in a separate post.
Crate training your puppy is the most effective, fool proof and humane method to train your puppy, especially if your goal is to train your puppy in seven days!
Some believe crate training a dog to be cruel or barbaric. However, if you will evaluate crate training from a dog's viewpoint, you will find that it actually meets an innate desire for a safe place to call his own.
How does crate training helps your puppy?
It is in their genetic makeup to want a secure and sheltered area to rest. Many times in the effort to create his or her own "den" a puppy or dog will curl up in a box or under a low table. Crate training can help to satisfy this very natural instinct in your puppy, and will provide you with several benefits as well.
Offering your dog its own crate meets your pet's instinctive needs and allows you some control in housebreaking endeavors. Moreover, crate training is a form of dog obedience, which will benefit your canine.
So understanding what makes a good crate for your puppy would be your first step.
The most effective crate is one that is just barely big enough so that your dog can lie, stand and turn around. If you give the puppy too much space it will destroy the den concept, and will give your pet the option of soiling half of the crate and still having a clean area in which to rest.
Once a crate has been purchased, you will want to give your puppy or dog time to investigate. Just leave the crate on the floor with the door open until your puppy becomes used to having it around. Placing dog treats and a towel might help your puppy gain an interest in exploring the crate.
After your puppy is familiar with the crate, close your dog inside the crate for ten to fifteen minutes. Stay right there with your puppy perhaps even putting your fingers through the wire of the crate.
Your puppy needs to be assured that this new environment is safe and secure. After ten or fifteen minutes open the door and let the puppy stay or leave at his will. This should be done several times that first day getting your little one accustomed to his crate.
The crate is to be his safe space and should never be used to punish your puppy. The time in the crate should be as enjoyable as is possible. Toys and treats can help to establish this setting of harmony and peace.
Crate training helps you teach your little one not to use the bathroom inside. Dogs instinctively desire to keep their den clean. Dogs do not want to sleep in a soiled area and will do all within their power to hold it until they are taken to their designated potty spot.
If you have a crate that is the proper fit for your puppy he is going to do all in his power to refrain from using the bathroom until you let him outside. Crate training makes it a simple way to schedule regular trips to his designated potty spot.
You may be wondering:
"Which is the best location to place the crate"
It is important to determine the crate's ideal location. You need to put the crate in a location that will remain consistent. This may be a high-traffic area where your family spends a lot of time, but you may also want to provide the dog with some rest time removed from activity, especially at night. Dogs are social animals and some breed even more so than others.
They enjoy being near their family so that they can see what is going on around them and can feel like a part of things. This is very fulfilling to a dog. Since being in a crate should be a positive experience and they should want to spend time there, you don't want to stick them away in a quiet room or out of the way place in the house. They will feel punished, excluded and isolated; and that will not make for a serine, happy puppy.
Here is the deal:
Make sure you place the crate in a busy area of the home where they are able to see and hear what is going on with their family. Usually kitchen or living room areas are ideal locations for a crate. Keep in mind that you would like this area to be free of uncomfortable drafts, not too close to a heat source (radiator, fireplace or vent). You will want to avoid direct sunlight. As much as you are able to give the location of your crate should be neither too hot nor too cold.
If your puppy is very young, you may want to consider moving the crate into your bedroom at night, or placing them in a portable carrier or second crate. The very young puppy has just gone from being with his mother and perhaps siblings to being alone. This can leave them stressed and feeling abandoned which will result in whining and crying. You don't want to make the mistake of putting the puppy in bed with you as that will confuse him as to who is the alpha - him or you. But, neither do you want him to feel frightened and alone.
A puppy will get great comfort and a feeling of safety and security being able to sleep near their family, especially during those first few days in a strange new place.
It isn't essential you have them sleep in your bedroom with you, but it may be beneficial. After a few days, begin to move the crate slowly to where you want them to sleep as they have time to adjust to their new environment. Simply move the crate further away every few nights until you have removed them from the bedroom and where you want them to be.
Some ideas of the proper toys and bedding to place in your crate would be tough chew toys. There are many benefits to leaving two or three tough chew toys in the crate with your puppy. It will provide your puppy with something to occupy their minds and keep them from becoming bored.
It will give them an alternative to chewing up their bedding, which could be detrimental to their health. It reinforces that being in the crate is a time for some of their favorite things, thus making the crate a happy place for them. It also will help reduce the likelihood of your puppy chewing on your belongings.
It is important to be aware that soft stuffed teddy bears and easily chewed squeaky toys should only be given to your puppy under supervision and never left in the crate. They will likely get destroyed, but your puppy could inject pieces causing intestinal blockages.
How long does it take to crate train a puppy... ?
The most important thing about crate training is to follow a strict schedule so that your puppy becomes accustomed to routine! If this sample schedule is adhered to you will be well on your way to having your puppy potty trained in record time!
Adhere to a 24-hour schedule. To house train your dog in 7 days, you need to meticulously follow a schedule. This will establish a routine for both you and your dog. Your puppy needs to go out first thing in the morning, after meals and play times, and before bedtime. Each moment should be accounted for.
This is a sample routine for someone who is home all day.
Make sure to give your puppy a bathroom break during the night.
You probably wondering...
... How long can a dog stay in a crate.
The maximum time you are able to leave a young puppy is four hours so with a very young puppy you will need to set your alarm clock for every two to three hours. After the alarm goes off take your puppy out of the crate and give him a chance to relieve himself in his designated potty spot. Then quietly put him back into the crate.
Older dogs can wait longer, but you need to make sure they do not go in their crate overnight, or all that hard work in the day time is basically undone. During this time do not fuss or even speak to the puppy except to give him his potty instructions - the same words and same tone as during the day. You don't want to give him the idea that night-time is play time.
What's the bottom line?
A crate is an ideal place to keep your belongings safe and secure and your puppy safe and secure while you are away. Another thought is that a crate is also the most secure and convenient way to transport your dog as it will keep him protected while in the car and is a necessity for airline travel.
As with anything, a crate can be abused. You may be tempted to keep your puppy there throughout the day or to use it as a way to punish him. This will just undermine the training process and perhaps make your puppy hate the crate when it should in fact be his haven!
When you are crate training all feedings initially should be done inside of the crate. Make sure you leave the door open while you are feeding your puppy. The association with food will make it a great place for him.
Your puppy needs you as the owner to be consistent in your routine but also in the words you use to instruct him. Just as you will want to use the same phrase with the same exact inflection when teaching your puppy his designated potty spot, you will also want to use the same phrase and same inflection when instructing him to get inside of his crate. You need to choose the same word each time.
A command such as "crate time" or "get in your Kennel" with the same exact hand gesture will help him to understand what is expected of him. When the puppy goes in say the command, and when you feed him at meal times say the same command. When your puppy obeys give him a treat to show him your pleasure. It is best that your puppy not associate his crate with being alone.
So in the early days of training make sure that you or someone familiar is able to be with him as he acclimates to his crate. Keeping a puppy journal can also benefit those early days. It may sound impractical to keep a journal of the times your puppy needs to go potty, but it may in fact prevent unwanted accidents to have a written documentation of his successes and his accidents.
A regular feeding schedule will help to insure a more regular bathroom schedule. Remember it is critical to not punish your puppy for accidents, teaching your puppy to eliminate outdoors is a process that takes patience and time.