Crate Training My Puppy Toby
So you are thinking of crate training your puppy or maybe you already have a crate but need some help. Well, my friend, you have come to the right place.
I am currently crate training my pup, Toby (little guy to the left). That was him at 2 months old. He is currently 4 months old. And honestly, I wish I had considered crate training before. especially with my other Shih tzu Sasha (the Diva).
So what made me consider a dog crate this time around. Simple......Sasha!
If you own a Shih tzu, you know how difficult potty training them can be. And boy was Sasha difficult and yes, still can be at times but we still love her. I call her the diva of the house. He he
I was given Sasha at 6 months old as a surprised gift. I remember opening the door and a big ball of fur running (more like hopping) towards me. Instant connection.
The only problem, Sasha was never properly potty trained. It took MANY months and lots of No's to get her finally potty trained. So I knew that this time I needed to find a more effective and easier way to potty train the new pup. And that's when I considered crate-training my new pup.
Signs of Communication
Are you trying to tell me something puppy?
If you are a dog owner, I'm pretty sure you will agree on me on this when I say that your dogs will try to communicate with you in their own way. You just need to pay really close attention.
My dog Sasha will bark once, in a calm matter, when she wants me to do something for her. Whether it be for me to move the broom away from her bowl so she can eat comfortably or when she needs for me to open the front door for her. Another thing she will do is sit in front of me and just stare. My daughter and I call her creepy when she does this lol It's very funny but that's another way of Sasha letting us know that she needs to go outside. Sasha will only bark continuously and or aggressively when someone is at the front door or a cat is passing by.
Now Toby, on the other hand, will bark continuously and stand in his dog crate when he needs to relieve himself. And no matter how many times I "shush" him, he will continue to do this. And the more he does this, the more likely he will potty in his crate if I don't hurry up and take him outside.
Another reason Toby may start to bark is when he wants food or water. If I have taken him outside and he is still barking, then I'm almost positive that he is hungry or thirsty.
**Always pay attention to signs.
The Secret To Keeping Toby Happy In His Crate - T-o-y-s....Toys!
Being in a crate should be a pleasant experience for your pup. I always make sure to have a toy inside Toby's crate.
This is something I would buy for Toby. He loves plush animals and anything that squeaks. What is your pups favorite toy?
Questions and Answers
Q: How often do I take Toby outside?
Answer: Ok, you may or may no know this but puppy's cannot control their bladder as long as older dogs can. Which means that you have to take your puppy out quite often, that is, until he learns to control his bladder and not relieve himself in his crate.
I began taking Toby outside about every 2 hours. Sometimes even every 1 and 1/2 hours. But if Toby has been playing or eating, I would take him our IMMEDIATELY. This is very important. Puppy's usually have to use the bathroom after eating (just like a lot of us do). A good sign that Toby has to go potty after eating is when he keeps sitting down and getting up in a rapid matter, almost as though he is trying to control himself from going to the bathroom.
How long do I keep Toby inside his crate?
Not that long! The only time Toby is in his crate for more than 3 hours is during his bedtime (at night). I try not to keep Toby for long periods of time in his crate. How will he know what he can or can't do if he is in his crate all dog. Also, dogs need plenty of exercise and play time.
There will be days when I do have to keep Toby in crate for more than 3 hours. Those are the days when I cannot keep an eye on him because I am really busy. You should always keep an eye on your puppy. Like baby's, puppy's will put anything they find in their mouth.
What happens when I am not home all day?
Well, before I head to work (or anywhere that I know I will be out for more than 2 or 3 hours), I leave him at my mom's house where he also has a crate. But he spends a lot of time running in the yard with my mom's dog. She does not keep him in his crate too long either.
This is the crate that Toby is currently using. I am really happy with it. I like the fact that it has a removable tray, for those little accidents that can occur. The crate has two openings. It can also be folded and carried away.
It's always a good idea not to let your puppy bite the metal bars. It's something I do allow Toby to do.