Crate training your pup will give more benefits than you think. They will have a safe and comfortable space to run to when things get a bit overwhelming for them. It can also prevent your dogs from munching furniture and other items they see in your home. Not only will that save you hundreds of dollars in repairs, but it can also avoid any contamination for your pup.
What is Crate Training?
One key point you have to remember when doing crate training for your pup is to let them feel that the crate is their special personal place, like a magical place where nothing wrong happens. You can build your way through several approaches for your dog to like their crate with that in mind. Remember that it’s not the most straightforward task out there. Once you’ve thoroughly trained your pup, you won’t have any issues with your puppy going to their crate anymore. Puppies, or should we say dogs, have instincts wherein they want to feel secure and comfortable, giving you this natural advantage when doing crate training.
Crate Training Don’ts
We’ll be going to tackle the don’ts of doing crate training. Remember, it can give you a lot of benefits once your dog is fully crate trained. Still, if you are doing it incorrectly, you might end up suffering more than benefitting from it.
1. Never Use Crates as Punishment: No matter what the circumstances are, never use their crates as a form of punishment, especially if you’re starting with their crate training. It could affect the way they see their crates if you use them for discipline; they might end up avoid going there instead of feeling safe. Always inject positive reinforcement when you plan to put your puppy in their crate.
2. Leaving them in Crates for a Long Time: It will defeat its purpose if you leave your pup in the crate the whole day and night. It could even worsen since they won’t have any social interaction with humans, thus making them aggressive once they see one. Get a schedule when you’re going to crate them; make sure to follow the schedule as much as possible strictly. Remember, the goal is to let them feel that the crate is their safe spot.
Choosing a Crate for your Dog
As a fur parent, you wouldn’t want anything but the best for your puppies. If you choose to crate them, you won’t go wrong in looking for the best available dog crates.
- Plastic: These are the most common ones available, especially they come in different shapes and sizes without costing too much.
- Fabric on a Frame: You can start using this if your dog is big enough to fit inside a smaller crate. But this crate is the common one for relatively medium-sized dogs.
- Metal Pens: Meant for medium and large-sized dogs, this will allow you to provide them space inside your house. It’s a great choice since it’s collapsible and can be easily moved or transferred somewhere else.
Remember to adjust the crate of your dog as they grow. If you see that the pups are having a hard time entering or maybe lying down, it’s a sign that you need to change their crate.
Tips for Puppy Crating
1. Crate Safety is Dog Safety: Once you have the appropriate crate for your dog, be mindful of where you will place it. Avoid placing it under direct sunlight or where your pup could get wet quickly. This point is essential because adjusting the place of the crate midway could be problematic since the dog could already be used to the area.
2. Puppy Adjustment: Let the puppy fully adjust with its crate. Put the puppy down near the crate and make sure the door is always open. It’s better if you can remove the door as well since once it closes, your pup could end up panicking, and it’s the last thing you want during crate training. It would help if you spend time with your pup right beside their crate; in that way, they can quickly get used to the scent it has.
3. Feeding them in their Crates: This step could help you and your dog adjust with their crate significantly; make sure not to force anything on your dog that will lead to a panic state. You’re primarily giving your dog the idea that food and crate go hand in hand, so make sure you do this carefully. If you see that your dog is comfortably eating inside the crate or, let alone doesn’t want to enter, try placing the bowl beside the crate. If the pup eats, try moving it inch by inch until it’s entirely inside the crate. Once your dog successively ate inside their crate, try to close the container while they’re eating. If it whines or cries, open it immediately. Slowly repeat the process until the dog gets used to it.
4. Longer Crate Periods: It may sound contradicting to what you read above, but it’s not. You must increase the period of their crating as slowly as you can. If you can give them treats to go inside the crate, the better. Practice providing verbal cues to your pup to enter their crate, so they can get used to it as they grow. Every time your pup enters the crate, don’t forget to praise and give them a treat if possible. As your puppy adjusts, slowly increase the amount of crate time.
5. Night Crating: After weeks of extended crating periods, you can eventually try to crate them at night. It’s ideal for placing the crate near your bed or somewhere near their potty area. If you think they can sleep appropriately while inside their crate, you can try to crate them when you leave for work or going somewhere else.
Patience is the Key
Remember, crate training your puppy is a long process, and you have to keep in mind that you’ll be investing a significant amount of time. Patience is one key virtue you’ll be able to use during training since your pup will have times where they won’t deliberately obey you at all. It’s part of being a fur parent; remember, raising puppies is like raising kids; you need a large amount of patience to raise them.