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Training Tips & Treats For Puppy

Puppy Crate Training

Puppy Crate TrainingCrate training your puppy right from the start is an important step to good puppy training.

Puppy’s love their own space, and by providing a crate for him – you’ll be giving your pup a safe, secure place that he can call his own.

If you won’t be home full time with your puppy, crate training is necessary. Puppies love to roam around, investigate things and chew – chew – chew! As puppy gets older, he’ll also find ways to get into the garbage. This can be a serious hazard to your pup as many foods are not good for him (coffee grounds, certain meats and fats, etc.).

By crate training your puppy, you’ll not only be giving him his own space, you’ll be protecting him from himself when you’re not around to watch.

Here are some tips to puppy crate training:

How To Crate Train Your Dog

  • Use a proper sized crate. If you use a crate that’s too large for your puppy, it will hinder your potty training efforts. Dogs do not like going to the bathroom in their den or their ‘space’, but by using a crate that’s too large – he’ll have no problem soiling in a far corner. You’ll want a crate that will be large enough for the pup to stand up (without ducking his head), turn around and lie down on his side (giving him room to stretch). You’ll also want room for a water dish. As the pup grows, you will need to purchase a larger crate for him or you can buy a crate that uses divider panels.
  • Wire crates give dogs the best ventilation and visibility.
  • Puppies younger than 8 weeks old should not be left in the crate for more than an hour at a time. They will end up soiling the crate. This will cause stress to the pup as he really doesn’t want to soil in his ‘den’.
  • Familiarize puppy with the crate a few times before you lock him in for any length of time. Put a soft mat or blanket on the floor of the crate and a chew toy or something he’ll enjoy. Leave the door open and introduce your puppy to the crate. Let him sniff around and investigate, leaving the door open at all times.
  • Praise him several times when he goes into his crate. Make it a happy occasion for him. Let him walk in and out of the crate on his own. After a few hours of him walking in and out, hearing praises and finding toys inside, close the door behind him. Give him praise and let him stay in there for a few seconds with the door closed. Do this a few times, closing the door behind him and letting him out after several seconds – increasing the amount of time the door stays closed. Do not leave it too long, seconds only at the start as you don’t want to give puppy a chance to get upset. Each time he’s locked in the crate must be positive and happy.
  • Make sure each crate session is a happy time for puppy. While crate training puppy, you don’t want to lock him in too long and make him upset. It’s very important puppy learns that the crate is a good place for him, not an unhappy place.
  • Do not use the crate as a punishment. Don’t put puppy in the crate for being bad, he’ll figure that the crate is a prison instead of his den.
  • Once puppy learns the crate is his place, he’ll go in on his own. When puppy is happy to be locked in the crate for a few minutes, try walking away from the crate and leaving puppy alone for about 2 minutes (no longer). Come back to let puppy out for awhile. Do this several more times, each time increasing the amount of minutes puppy is left alone in the crate. Again, take it slow at the start and don’t make the time span too long so puppy won’t get nervous or upset.

Puppy crate training can be accomplished in about 3 or 4 days if you take your time, be patient and make crate training a fun and happy time for puppy.

If you’ve decided against crate training your dog but will be away for long stretches of time during the day, consider an indoor dog potty to give puppy a safe and proper place to relieve himself. Check out these dog potty training tips that are for outdoors, but you can adapt them to train your dog indoors as well.