Adopting a new puppy into your lives is an exciting new adventure for both you and your puppy.
Using the crate for puppy training will ensure that your puppy doesn’t get into any trouble while learning your house rules!
Why Crate Train?
So, why crate train your puppy?
Crate training your puppy is critical in teaching your new furry friend what is right from wrong, without allowing your puppy the opportunity to get into trouble!
It’s no secret that puppies have to be taught what is and isn’t appropriate!
Crate training provides you and your puppy the opportunity to teach behaviors you do want while preventing your puppy from practicing behaviors you don’t want.
The simplest example would be teaching your dog what objects are appropriate to chew on.
Isn’t it better to show your dog to bite the chew bone you leave in the crate than to leave it up to chance and wait until your little puppy gets the table leg?
The crate for puppy training has numerous benefits from building good habits to teaching your puppy to become comfortable being alone!
3 Tips to Crate Train your Puppy:
1. Buy The Right Crate Size
With a new puppy, you want to buy the right sized crate to ensure that your puppy is not only comfortable when in the crate, but you also want the crate to serve its purpose!
The right size crate is essentially big enough that your new puppy can fully stand up without having to be hunched over.
The crate should also be small enough so that your puppy doesn’t have enough room to run.
Your puppy should only have enough room to go in and turn around in a complete circle.
The reasons for this are comfort. Puppies and dogs like the den-like feel of the crate, which brings in a feeling of comfort and safety for your puppy.
The next reason is for house training purposes.
When initially house training your puppy, you want to ensure that your puppy does not have enough room in the crate that he can relieve himself in one corner and sleep in another.
To learn more about house training your puppy, check out our video course showing how to teach your dog to pee where ever you want
2. Initial Introduction
The initial introduction is arguably one of the most important aspects of crate training your puppy.
Remember that puppies have no concept of what anything is yet, so you must make your puppy’s first experience with the crate a positive one.
Some ways that we introduce young puppies to the crate are with small little games making the crate a space of fun and positive experiences.
In the initial introduction, you don’t want to just put your puppy in the crate and lock the door.
What you to do when introducing your puppy to the crate is:
Use your puppies food and toss little pieces of his food inside the crate with the crate door open.
You want your puppy to understand that going inside the crate is rewarding and no big deal.
With enough repetitions, you will start to see your puppy becoming more and more comfortable going in and out of the crate.
Once your puppy is comfortable going in and out, you want to continue to toss in bits of his food, but this time you want to slightly close the crate door.
When you close the crate door, you want to toss more food inside the crate rewarding your puppy for being inside the crate.
From here, you want to start to increase the duration that your puppy is inside the crate and continue rewarding your puppy for being inside with the crate closed.
Remember that this is your puppy’s first encounter in the crate, and introducing the crate in the right manner will prevent issues from arising when your puppy becomes an adult.
So, take the time to introduce your puppy to the crate in a positive manner; don’t just leave your puppy in the crate and expect your puppy to like being in the crate.
- How long can my puppy stay in a crate?
Now that you’ve initially introduced the crate to your puppy, you want to start to increase the time your puppy is staying in the crate.
The best way to start adding duration and to introduce being alone to your puppy is by giving your puppy something to entertain himself with while you leave him alone.
A size appropriate chew bone or a Kong toy filled with frozen peanut butter will ensure that your puppy is still getting rewarded even after you leave the room!
Just ensure you don’t leave your puppy more toys than he needs-one will suffice.
Once you have successfully decided on what kind of entertainment you want to leave your puppy with, it’s time to start teaching your puppy to become comfortable with being alone.
To begin, you want to ensure that once your puppy is in the closed crate, you stay with your puppy for a few minutes and then walk out.
You don’t want your puppy making the association that every time you put her in the crate you leave!
Once you walk out of the room, you might just want to leave your puppy alone for 30 minutes, and then walk back in like nothing happened.
Your puppy might be excited, but the critical part is that you don’t open the crate and reinforce that excited state of mind! Instead, wait a couple of minutes before opening your puppies crate door after returning to the room.
3. Make It Normal
Now that you have introduced your puppy to the crate in a rewarding manner, and have introduced your puppy to being alone, it’s time to normalize it and make it no big deal.
The way to teach your puppy that being in the crate alone is no big deal is by first providing your puppy with some alone time every day.
When providing your puppy with alone time, one of the single most critical element can be just coming in and out and normalizing being in the crate so it becomes normal for your puppy.
Providing your puppy with this structure will allow your puppy to develop into a dog that is comfortable and confident being alone!
Receive your free dog training consultation and set your pup up for success!