When it comes to crate training your puppy, there are as many approaches as there are breeds. Successfully crate training your pup is largely dependent upon how old your puppy is, his personality, and any previous experience he has with crate training.
Some puppies will pick up the basics within days, while others will struggle for months. Approaching crate training can be a daunting task, but fear not. Here are seven tips that will make the process easier for you and your new puppy.
Start Early & Stick with It
It is critical to start training your puppy early on while he is still learning what is right and wrong. It is also important to stay consistent and keep to a set schedule. Think of the crate training process as a series of small steps.
Don’t get frustrated if your puppy is initially uncomfortable with the crate; learning takes time and it is important to not rush this process. Patience is key and if you stick with it you will have a happy puppy and dry floors.
Introducing The Crate
When first introducing the crate to your puppy, keep it in an area of the house that your puppy enjoys hanging out in and keep the crate door open. This will give him the option to explore and familiarize themselves with the crate on his own.
An excellent way to encourage your puppy to enter the crate is to put a treat or his favorite toy inside. This will help nudge your puppy along in the process if he has not investigated the crate already on his own.
The Crate Should Be Their Safe Space
One of the things you want to avoid is using the crate as punishment. If your dog goes to the bathroom on the floor, chews through your favorite pair of shoes, or sits on furniture they should not be on, the crate is not the right punishment.
Your dog should always associate his crate with something pleasant and positive. His crate should be a place your puppy wants to go rather than a place he feels that he is being forced to go.
Comfort Is Key
No one wants to be stuck in a small area that isn’t cozy. That is why it is essential to create a den-like environment for your pup. Put his favorite toy, a comfy blanket, or even a pillow in your puppy’s crate to make it a desirable location for your pup to relax.
Meal Time – Crate Style
Once your puppy is comfortable with entering the crate, the next step is to start giving them meals in his crate. This is an excellent way to create a positive association with the crate. In addition, this will help to slowly get your puppy comfortable with staying in the crate for longer periods of time.
Place the food in the back corner of the crate and close the crate door while your puppy is eating. The goal is to show your puppy that it is safe to be in the crate with the door closed for an extended length of time.
Crating For Longer
Once your puppy is comfortable with eating in its crate, it is time to start crating them for longer periods of time. Start with putting your puppy in the crate for 30 minutes while you are at home with and where your puppy can see you. If there are no signs of anxiety or fear you can try leaving your pup in the crate for 30-45 minutes while you are in another part of the house where they cannot see you. Once your puppy master this, it is time to take it to the next step by leaving the house for a short period of time while your puppy is in the crate
Sleepovers In The Crate
Once your puppy achieves a high level of comfort with their crate, it is time for the next step. Start having your puppy sleep in its crate through the night. Make sure that you take your puppy out for a bathroom break before crating them for the evening. If your puppy is super young, you may have to take them out for a walk and potty break in the middle of the night.
At first you should put the crate in your room so that the puppy knows that you are close by. As your puppy starts getting more and more comfortable sleeping in its crate, you can move it to a different location. The goal is to have the crate be a place where your puppy chooses to sleep there on its own.
- “Your Complete Guide on Crate Training a Puppy [During the Day, Night, Even If You Work].” LabradorTrainingHQ, Accessed 22 June 2017. www.labradortraininghq.com/labrador-training/how-to-crate-train-a-puppy/.
- Miksen, Chris. “How Long Does Crate Training Take?” Pets The Nest, 21 Nov. 2017, Accessed 22 June 2017. www.pets.thenest.com/long-crate-training-take-3520.html.
- “Puppy Crate Training Made Easy.” Cesar’s Way, 2 June 2016, Accessed 22 June 2017. www.cesarsway.com/dog-care/lifecycle/puppies/Puppy-crate-training-made-easy.
- “Crate Training Your Puppy: The Key To A Pee-Free Home.” CanineJournal.com, 3 Apr. 2017, Accessed 22 June 2017. www.caninejournal.com/crate-training-puppy/.
- Elliott, Pippa. “Crate Train Your Dog or Puppy.” WikiHow, 19 June 2018, Accessed 22 June 2017. www.wikihow.pet/Crate-Train-Your-Dog-or-Puppy.