We believe that it is VERY Important to crate train your Puppy. Even if it is your goal to have your puppy free roam in your house, it is still a good practice to begin with crate training.
There are several reasons for Crate Training
- Promotes Calmness or an “off switch”
- Discourages “Separation Anxiety”
- Makes your Dog “Disaster Ready”
- Keeps your Dog safe in the car
- Aids in successful potty training
How does Crate Training….?
Promote Calmness? – When your Dog is properly crate trained, he learns that his crate is a safe place. When crate time is used not as a punishment but as calm, relaxing, downtime, you promote calmness, security, and an ‘off switch’ in your dog.
Discourage ‘Separation Anxiety’? – By crate training your Dog you are teaching them that they can be ‘Okay’ on their own sometimes. When your Dog is allowed to be loose and close to you 24/7 you will experience panicked, anxious, and destructive behavior whenever they are left alone. They are simply not used to being alone EVER so they freak out! By properly crate training your puppy you can discourage and avoid ‘Separation Anxiety’.
Make your Dog ‘Disaster Ready’? – We are living in a time riddled with natural and manmade disasters! Earthquakes, Floods, Fires, etc. Even in areas that have previously been safe. In the event of Evacuation or Rescue your dog should be crate trained beforehand. This will minimize stress on your dog and make it easier for you or possibly a stranger to save your Dog.
Keep Your Dog Safe in the Car? – In the event of a car accident, your Dog is the most safe when riding in a hard sided dog crate. It can be tempting to allow your Dog to ride loose or shotgun but when accidents happen dogs have been ejected from vehicles. Even when using leashes or seatbelt harness’s, broken necks, spinal injuries and internal damage are common in car accidents. In accidents where the windows break dogs have been known to panic and flee the scene. Which puts them at further risk of being hit by a car or not ever being found by their owner. Using a crate for your Dog to ride in the car is truly a case of ‘better safe than sorry’.
Aid In Successful Potty Training – To be successful in potty training your puppy, you need to set a consistent routine. This is where crate training can help. If you train your puppy to sleep in its crate at night you will hear when your puppy wants out to potty and be able to take them out accordingly. Also, if you crate your puppy for 30 minutes after each meal then take your puppy directly to potty you will reinforce where they need to potty and minimize accidents.
How To Crate Train Your Puppy
Start with a crate that is only big enough for your puppy to stand and turn around in. If your puppy’s crate is too big they might feel as though they can go potty in it. This means that you will need to upgrade the size of your puppy’s crate as they grow.
Make your puppy’s crate safe, warm and inviting. Dogs love a den like space so if you are using a wire crate, cover it with a blanket or something to make it feel private and inviting for them.
To introduce your puppy to the crate start by enticing your puppy to enter it with some high value treats or toy. Let the puppy enter and retrieve the item and then come out. Praise your puppy heavily for being so brave and doing the thing that you were wanting.
Once your puppy has mastered entering and exiting, give your puppy the ‘stay’ or ‘wait’ command. Put your hand up in gesture to your puppy to wait and not exit the crate. If your puppy persists in trying to exit, shut the door in a controlled way to block them from the exit. Each time repeat your desired command. Keep the crate door open as much as possible in this training session. However, each time your puppy moves to exit the crate you will repeat your command to stay and block the exit. All of this repetition is conveying the message to your puppy that you want them to stay in the crate calmly. Every puppy if different in the time it takes them to get this and submit. But repeat the above until your puppy sits or lays calmly in their crate. Then gently and calmly close the door and move to walk away.
When you leave the puppy in the crate and move away your puppy may start to protest by crying, howling, digging at the door, etc. When this happens you must disagree with this behavior. Don’t feel bad, this is all new to them and they WILL get it if you are consistent. Use your parental voice and give a HUSH!, QUIET!, or NO! command. If the protesting behavior persists repeat the process of opening and closing the door until your puppy settles once more.
At first set small goals. Like for your puppy to spend 5 minutes calm and quiet in the crate before inviting them back out. Once they have mastered that then increase the time.
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