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Crate Training Puppies

Updated on April 7, 2010
Crate Training Puppies
Crate Training Puppies

Crate Training Puppies

Introducing the Crate

If you are getting a new puppy and have purchased a suitable crate, you should introduce the puppy to the crate as soon as he comes home. If you have an older dog you can still reap the benefits of owning a crate if you introduce the concept to the dog slowly.

The best thing to do when crate training is to have the puppy sleep in the crate the first might that he comes home. If you want, you can place a blanket or small toy in the crate with the puppy. If you have purchased a crate that is very large, you should make the puppy area smaller by blocking off part of the crate. This is especially beneficial if you are toilet training since the puppy may decide to use one section as a bathroom and the other section as his sleeping area.

Do not respond if he whines. This will be hard, but if you do open the door and let him out or talk to him and coddle him, you will be teaching him that whining gets results.

Placing an old blanket over the top of the crate often helps the puppy to settle down faster. It helps to create a more secure and closed-in area. Some owners claim they have had success with placing a ticking clock near the crate saying this helps to soothe a new animal.

If you have an older dog, or a very nervous puppy, introduce the crate slowly.

When first introducing the crate, leave the door open and let the puppy explore. If he does venture inside praise him loudly and give him a small reward. The next time he ventures in close the door, wait a few seconds before you open it, and then let the puppy out. Slowly increase the amount of time that you leave the puppy in the crate. Only reward him when he is quiet, as you do want to encourage or respond to barking.

Once he is happy in his crate for a couple of minutes, take the next step and leave the room. Once again, take it slowly. Only leave for a short amount of time.

Crates are not only excellent training tools, but they offer owners a lot of peace of mind. When you do have to leave the puppy alone, you can be sure that he is safe and secure in his crate.

The Advantages of Puppy Crate Training

Many people think that a crate is a great idea as a sleeping area for their pet. This is true, but crate training puppies has many other benefits as well.

Have you ever come home to discover that your new shoes have been destroyed? Or that the garbage is spread across the kitchen floor. If you put your puppy in his crate, you can leave the house secure in the knowledge that your puppy will not be chewing or destroying things when you are out. This is really great while your puppy is going through the teething phase.

By using a crate when you are out, you will also protect your puppy. No matter how well you think you have puppy proofed the house, there is always the chance that your dog might find something that he should not have. Why take chances?

Crate training is also a very fast method of toilet training your puppy. Puppies do not like to soil their sleeping area. If you are using a crate as part of your toilet training you have to remember that puppies need to be let out of the crate at regular intervals. They can not wait as long as older dogs. You would be well advised to set up a schedule of when you let the puppy out to pee. Puppies who are on a strict routine will learn much faster and have far fewer accidents.

Crates can also eliminate begging at the table. Train your pet right from the start that while you and your family are eating, he is to be in his crate. This will also eliminate the temptation of feeding your pet at the table. Many owners find it very hard to resist those pleading eyes.

You can also use the crate as a time out area. If you are playing with the dog and things get a bit rough you can place the puppy in his crate for a time out. This teaches that rough play i.e. nipping or biting is not acceptable.

If you hear an owner claim that their pet is sad or barks when he is in his crate, he has probably not taken the time to train the puppy to accept the crate as a happy place. Or their dog has had a bad experience relating to the crate. They should spend some time re-training and show the puppy that the crate is really a happy safe place to be.

Crates are truly a great positive part of training and every owner should try and use one.

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    • JaneL profile image

      JaneL 7 years ago from Alberta, Canada

      Thanks Nathan for your kind words.

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      Nathan 7 years ago

      Great Hub, Jane! Not only do you provide excellent crate training advice, you also have a section on how to crate train older dogs! Very well written, and the video is good as well. Can't wait to see more.