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Kennel Training a Puppy

Updated on May 29, 2012

Rebel playing in the snow

Dad, I'm getting cold, can I go in my cozy kennel?
Dad, I'm getting cold, can I go in my cozy kennel? | Source

The important benefits of crate – kennel training a puppy

Why should you crate train your puppy? The answer is pretty simple to start, but has many benefits. The first being housebreaking (Potty training) and the second being the foundation of solid obedience training. One of the nice things is that the concept of crate training a dog is fairly natural to dog, that being very similar to the use of a den in the wild. The reason that the crate training works so well is that the dogs have been conditioned through time in nature NOT to go to the bathroom while in the den.

Unfortunately people believe that crate training may be cruel so they will go out and buy the biggest kennel that they can, saying that the dog will grow into it, or they need lots of room to move about. This is a false statement. The purpose of a crate is to confine a puppy and teach it to respect its own territory. A proper sized crate will allow the dog to stand, lie down and turn around comfortably, but that’s it. If the kennel is too large the puppy will have the ability to go to the bathroom in one corner and sit in another. This defeats one of the main goals of housebreaking. To alleviate the cost of buying multiple kennels, you can simply purchase the kennel that will be used by your dog later in life, but then block most of it down with a piece of wood, even most of the new metal wire kennels will come with a dividing panel. Just keep in mind to keep the kennel area relative to the size of the dog until housebreaking has been fully achieved. If you need further assistance with housebreaking solutions, please see my other hubs.

As I said before there are multiple reasons for crate training. One is to create a solid foundation for obedience training. Second is to let the dog have a place of its own to rest and have time to itself. For all of those thinking that keeping a dog in a crate of cruel, look at every police dog, they are kenneled in a police car all day, and most (Approximately 80%) are kenneled at home, and they are the most loyal, happy, energetic dogs there are. I am not saying that your puppy needs nor should live in the crate by any means, dogs are social animals, but also need structure and boundaries. By means of training with a crate, you can set a bond that is stronger and better than just a puppy that rules the roost. By setting boundaries and being able to control when and where a puppy is at, shows that you are the pack leader.

I will admit that the first week or so may be a little stressful. You have a new puppy in the house, trying to remember to feed it, walk it, play with it, housebreak it, not let it destroy your favorite shoes, and the little whining that comes from that adorable little puppy, let alone all of your normal stressors. From life’s experiences with dogs, I think the worst one to deal with is the little bit of whining that the puppy will do. You must NOT; I repeat MUST NOT give in to the puppy’s whining. If you do you will only make things worse down the line. I know it will tug on your heart a little to hear your little puppy whine, but once they realize that they are ok and in a safe place, the puppy will relax and actually enjoy being in the crate. I still find my 10 year old dog curled up in his crate, he goes in all by himself, I do not tell him to go, or even close the door. He just goes in when he want to get away for a little while and feel safe and secure. Don’t you want your new puppy to have a happy safe place to curl up whenever they want? Crate training is a wonderful tool for both you and your new four-legged companion.

Benefits to crate training your puppy:

  • Letting your puppy have its own safe place to go when it wants
  • Easier for the puppy to handling travelling or being kenneled overnight at the vets office.
  • Eases the situation when you have guests or repairmen in your house

NEVER use the crate as a punishment, no matter how mad you get.

Remember the CONSISTENCY is the key to all dog training. Move slowly through each process to fulfill the desired action. A dog learns through one key method, stimulate a drive, add compulsion, and satisfy the drive. That may be somewhat technical as it not easily explained but that is the true fundamentals of real dog training. For those that wish to know more on training dogs please see my other hubs, and feel free to leave comments, questions, or ideas needed for other dog training articles.


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    • CyberShelley profile image

      Shelley Watson 5 years ago

      DesertArmor, Thank you for a very interesting article which made total sense and, as you say, gives the puppy security. Loved the picture of Rebel. Voted up!

    • wynnestudios profile image

      wynnestudios 5 years ago from Phoenix, AZ

      I wish I would have had this before I got a puppy. I have too many chewed up things around the house now. The kennel prices are also much less expensive than I saw in the local stores. I may have to purchase one. Thanks for the great article.