The mess created by dogs can be annoying. Talk of chewing on furniture, potting accidents, fighting with cats, ingesting poisonous substances, or swallowing dangerous objects. Do not forget some dogs get severe anxiety attacks, which can be a huge disturbance to your neighbors. There is only one way to prevent or solve all these – get a crate training resource.
Crate training your puppy is not caging like you hear most people alleging. It is a simple way to train your cute little friend to behave well and be responsible. Puppies by nature are very playful and curious; if you do not keep them in check, you will be annoyed every day.
To help you introduce your puppy to staying in its den, check some tips on how to crate train your puppy in 7 easy steps.
Step 1 – Crate Selection
There are four types of crates from which you can choose: 1) plastic 2) wire, 3) wooden, and 3) soft-sided. Crates come in different sizes; you must choose one that is big enough to fit the puppy now and in the future since it is still growing.
The crate should also have enough room for the puppy to stand and turn around in. Make it a point to choose a crate that will last long, be comfortable for the puppy to sit in, and flexible.
Step 2 – Introduce Your Puppy to The Crate
Put a soft blanket or towel inside the crate and fasten the door open securely. Before bringing the puppy to the crate, ensure it is calm, and it has exercised. Bring the puppy close to the crate and use a happy tone to encourage it to go in. Use terms such as “sleep time”, “crate”, “get in”.
If this does not work, try dropping some food treats next to the crate to lure the puppy in. You can continue this by putting the treat close to the crate, then at the door, and finally in. Try as much as possible to be patient as the puppy may be reluctant at first. If your small friend successfully gets in, give him praise.
Step 3 – Feed The Puppy His Meals in The Crate
Now that the puppy knows how to get into the crate successfully, start feeding him his regular meals in the crate. Place the dish further at the back of the crate. Once the puppy starts to feed, close the crate door.
This whole process of regularly feeding the puppy in the crate makes the pet have a good association with the crate. At first, you may open the crate door as soon as the puppy finishes eating. As days go by, you can leave the door closed for a few minutes after feeding then open.
Step 4 – Condition The Puppy to Stay in The Crate for Long Periods
Once you are sure the puppy goes in the crate comfortably without any anxiety, you now have to train the dog to stay in the cage for longer periods. Call the puppy and direct it to the crate. You can do this by pointing to the crate. Use a happy voice to communicate to the dog giving him a cue to go in. Phrases such as “crate”, “go in” are good to start with.
Once in, give him a treat and close the door. Keep an eye on the puppy for about ten minutes, then leave him alone. You can go to another room or do other chores. If the puppy whines, please ignore it. Opening the door to let him out will teach him that whining is the way to get out.
You can come and check on him again after a few minutes then let him out. Do this in repetition as you increase the in-crate periods until the puppy gets used. Remember to enthusiastically praise the dog when you open the door for it to get out.
Step 5 – Introduce Some Crate Games
Like earlier said, puppies are very playful, and locking them up may be somewhat unfair. To continue the play-mode, you can introduce some games that the puppy can play while in the kennel. These games teach the puppy how to be calm and quiet while in the crate and receive treats for being in the kennel. Your dog will also learn how to enter the crate and stay in until they get a cue to get out.
Besides, the puppy needs to go to the bathroom and also stretch for a bit. You cannot keep it crated all the time.
Step 6 – Crate The Dog at Night or When You Leave
To prevent the kind of mess that we mentioned earlier, it is safe to crate your dog during the night or when you want to leave. Puppies like to go out to eliminate at night. It is advisable to keep the puppy crated next to your room so you can hear it whining in the night. Learn to cage the puppy a few minutes before you leave. However, do not prolong departures or make them so emotional; this could be a recipe for an anxious puppy.
Step 7 – Be Patient
Crate training is not going to be an easy process; you can trust that. You are going to get results in months of repeating the steps described in the training resource above. There are going to be ups and downs for sure since dogs are not linear learners. Just keep calm and do not lose your cool.
Some Dos and Don’ts for Crate Training
- Do not use the crate as a punishment.
- Do not force the puppy to go into the crate.
- Avoid using the crate as a substitute for supervision.
- Keep the training sessions brief and gradual.
- Give the dog treats and in the crate.
- Place the crate in the living room or other social areas of the home.
- Let your dog outside to eliminate it before crating.
Crate training your puppy will be tedious, but you will reap fruits in the end. You will have an admirable puppy that is responsible and well behaved. Use the training resource above to get your puppy to that level. Do not get tired.