I like to think of the crate as a safe place !
Think of it this way: In the wild, a momma dog will put her pups in a safe den while she goes to get food. Her puppies know that they are safe! As a pet they think the same way ~ when you leave for work, shopping or sleep your dog will love to be kept safe in his “den”.
Benefits of crate training :
- Potty Training – your puppy or dog does not want to spoil their den! This will teach them to hold their bladder.
- Keeps you puppy and house safe – preventing destructive behavior
- Security – the crate is a safe den to go in when scared or tired.
- Prevents separation anxiety – The crate will condition your dog to have “down time” so when you leave your dog will actually relax.
- Time Out : When properly crate trained, the crate can be a great “time out” when your dog is acting a bit crazy.Because your puppy is relaxed in their crate they will be able to calm down for a few minutes.
How to crate train a new Puppy:
Choosing a Crate : MidWest Life Stages Double Door Dog Crate is in your best interest for a Puppy that will still be growing! to help with potty training, It is important that your puppy has just enough room to sleep. If there is too much space your dog will spoil on one side of the Crate and sleep on the other side. with midwest life stage crate. there is a divider that can be adjusted as your puppy grows that way your puppy will not spoil their den!
Crate set up: As you see in the picture of SOJA at 7 weeks, his crate is comfy and cozy. I put a bath rug,towel,a shirt of mine and a blanket on top. At first set up the crate close to your bed! Your puppy will feel most comfortable near you.
- Step 1. The very first day your new puppy is home is when you start crate training! If you can, pick up your puppy early in the morning that way you have all day to prepare for nighttime! Puppies sleep a lot! Every time your puppy falls asleep carry him into his crate to sleep. Leaving the door open, pet and lay with your puppy while they sleep in the crate.
- Step 2. Feed your puppy every meal in their crate. After a few days you can close the door while they eat and finish their meal but for the first few days leave it open and stay close. Associating the crate with food is positive and encouraging!
- Step 3. Give your puppy lots of play time before bed. Although coming home to his new owner is exhausting, you want to make sure your puppy is going to sleep for you!
- Step 4. When it is bedtime set up your pillow and blanket next to your puppy’s crate to stay close until fully asleep. Have your puppy fall asleep on you. Once asleep place puppy in their crate. When fully asleep close the crate. Depending on how old your puppy is you will have to wake up to take them out in the middle of the night. It is important you stay ahead of your puppies potty schedule! You want to wake your puppy up to go potty before they wake you! Check out the potty training blog to learn how to potty train your puppy.
- Step 5. Assuming your puppy lets you sleep the first night home, continue associating the crate with treats, sleep and reward! For example ; throw treats in the crate while saying the command “crate”, “go to bed”, “kennel up” or “kennel” and leave the door open.
- Step 6. While puppy is eating the treat inside of the crate , close the door until he is done and let him out once finishes.
What if my puppy wakes up crying?
Your puppy might be telling you it’s potty time! If that isn’t a possibility stick your fingers in the crate and soothingly say “shhh”. Be patient. Do not let your puppy out of the crate until he is quiet ! ( they will learn fast to cry to get out of their crate, instead we want to teach them quiet gets them out). Don’t forget~ your adorable puppy is trying to train you!
Slowly increase the duration you leave your puppy in the crate during the day. If he starts to cry, it was too long. Step back and try leaving him for a shorter time.
Like any other training consistency is the key! Within a week or so you will notice your puppy will go in their crate on their own!
This post first appeared on My Dog Training 101, please read the originial post: here