You Can Survive Crate Training Your Puppy

I have seen many of the pros and cons with regard to crate training a puppy. Most experts seem to agree that getting your puppy into his or own dog crate as soon as possible puts you on the road to a more peaceful home setting and a happier dog.

How you introduce you puppy to his dog crate will make all the difference in crate training a puppy. Before I get into this further I want to be clear about one thing all experts agree on. Never use dog crates as punishment, ever.

There are some great videos available that discuss crate training a puppy in more detail. This is an overview to help you decide which way you wish to go, dog crate or no dog crate.

Size: Many types of dog crates are available. Some have dividers. The purpose of the divider is to allow you to adjust the size of the crate as your puppy grows. Get a size that will accommodate your puppy. He needs enough room to turn around comfortably inside the dog crate. As he grows you can adjust the divider for a larger inside dimension. Be careful not to put your puppy in a dog crate that’s too large. They may decide to do their business in one corner opposite where they eat and sleep.

Introducing your puppy to his first dog crate: Do not rush this activity. Put a small treat into the crate. Allow your puppy to go inside and get the treat. He will most likely come right back out. Repeat this a few times so the puppy will learn that going into the crate is a fun and rewarding thing. At some point the puppy will go in but not come out immediately. You know you’ve made progress at that point and are on your way to crate training your puppy.

Toys and Treats: Part of the encouragement for the puppy to stay in the dog crate is leaving a couple of his favorite toys and a couple treats inside the dog crate. Of course you have already put bedding or a blanket inside the crate for puppy comfort.

Closing the Door: At some point you will notice that puppy seems comfortable inside the dog crate. Gently and slowly close the door just for a short period of time. For the first few times, do not leave him alone. After a few minutes go back and open the door and walk away remaining within his sight. Do this a few times each day. You will see puppy starting to relax. The dog crate will become his den.

Location: Always keep the dog crate within view of the family and family activities. The family is his pack now. He wants and needs to be included.

Separation Anxiety: This is very important to you and your puppy so you will want to get this right. Once you’ve gotten to the point where you can close the crate door without incident you should leave your puppy alone for just a few minutes at first. Don’t start by leaving him for 2 hours. Just go outside or into another room for 2 to 5 minutes at first. You can do this on a regular basis and each time extend the time you leave puppy alone. Very soon you should be able to leave puppy alone in his dog crate for hours at a time. Don’t make a fuss about leaving. Simply have puppy go into his cage, close the door and leave.

If you take your time you will soon see puppy voluntarily retreating to his dog crate to rest or to get away from other dogs or from the kids. It has now become his den. In a separate article we will discuss puppy potty training and perhaps the biggest deterrent to crate training your puppy, whining.

It is important that you do not attempt to assume what you puppy may be thinking. You are in charge not him. Do what you know is right while remembering that it is for his own good. You know it will pay huge dividends in the future throughout the life of your puppy.

About The Author

Bill Beavers, brings you pet products that provide improved Quality of Life for You, Your Family and Your Pets.

You can connect with Bill on Twitter or Facebook and follow his latest projects. For Fun, Facts and Love for our pets follow this blog for informational and entertaining posts and cool tips.

3 Responses to “You Can Survive Crate Training Your Puppy”

  1. Bill,
    Great article. I have read in many places that dogs are cave type animals and like the security of knowing they have their very own “special place” to retire to were no one will bother them and they can safely stay.
    This way they will have less chance of getting into trouble by getting into something the owner does not want disturbed.

    Thanks for the good educational article on crate training.


  2. Steve Rankin says:

    Obedience training for dogs is an informational site specializing in dog training schools, crate training, crate training puppies house training dogs and dog separation anxiety tips and advice.

  3. Crate training is the best, I was surprised at first how much they begin to enjoy the crate. I had never heard about them being cave animals, interesting.

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