Crate training a puppy is a process. It requires a lot of patience, but it’s worth it in the end. However, crate training isn’t the right option for all dogs. Each dog is different, so it’s always a good idea to discuss crate training with your veterinarian first. If you get the go-ahead, then here are some tips to crate training a puppy.
What is crate training a puppy, and why should you do it?
While some people view crate training as “imprisoning” your pooch, there’s actually a lot more to it if done properly. Crates provide a safe space for your doggo. It allows them to retreat to their own environment when they’re nervous or they need a rest. A crate should be a homey and cozy spot for your dog. Think of it as your dog’s bedroom.
If you can’t keep an eye on your puppy, or you have to leave them home alone for some time, then a crate is a great option. Not only is it a safe space for your pup, but it can also help you house a train. It can also help a puppy get used to its new surroundings. They might prefer an area of their own to retreat to.
When should you not crate train a puppy?
Crates aren’t a good choice for all dogs. This is why it’s important to talk to your vet about it if crate training doesn’t seem to be working. Some dogs with separation anxiety or other fears may see the crate as restricting and may make their anxiety worse. In addition, the dog might try to break out of the crate, thus hurting themselves in the process.
Basics of crate training a puppy
Crate training is a pretty standard process. However, it takes a lot of time and patience. So, if you choose to crate train your pup, then here’s how to go about it.
Choosing a crate
There are a few different kinds of crates. Some are made of plastic that is great for travel and airlines, but there are also wire pens that seem to work best for some dogs. The metal pens are typically collapsible and portable.
Choosing a size could be trial and error. You want one where your dog can be comfortable, but you don’t want it to be too big. A general rule of thumb is to get a crate size for your puppy’s adult size. You can get dividers and make the crate a little smaller. Then, as they grow, you can push the divider back until you can use the full size when your pup is fully grown. This will save you money in the long run from buying multiple crates throughout the time your puppy is growing.
How to crate train a puppy
When crate training a puppy, you want to introduce your pooch to the crate. You can do this by bringing them over to the crate with the door open. Let them sniff it. You can add a couple of treats to the inside or add one of their favorite toys to entice them. When they go in, be sure to give them lots of praise.
You can add blankets or a dog bed to the crate if your pup prefers that. However, be mindful of whether or not your dog is a chewer. It’s sometimes best to have the crate bare, other than a bowl of water and some kibble.
In addition, you can bring your pooch to the crate during certain times. However, if you put your dog in when they’re playing, they’ll just come right back out and play some more. But, if they start to doze, you can put them in the crate and show them it’s a place of rest.
When they do go into the crate, whether it’s by you or on their own, be sure to give them a lot of praise and a treat or two.
You can also play games with the crate and your dog. For example, toss a ball into the crate if you’re playing with your pup’s toys. Your dog might run in and retrieve it. You can also hide toys within the crate like a scavenger hunt.
Eventually, you can close the gate and leave your puppy for a short amount of time. At first, start with only five or ten minutes. Then, leave the room, grab a drink, and come back to check on your dog. See how they are. They might be pacing, they might whine, or maybe they’ll lay down and be calm about it. Then, you can increase the time bit by bit. Soon enough, your doggo will go into their crate on their own without any issues.
As your pup gets older, you can even leave the crate door open and use it as a safe space for your pup, and that’s all.
The benefits of crate training a puppy
We all want our dogs to be comfortable at home. But, we also want them to be well-behaved. Crate training is a great way for your pooch to have their own spot in the home that’s just for them.