Crate Training 101


You just brought your puppy home and you just can’t wait to play with it.

crate training

But when bedtime comes, or you need to make
a quick jaunt to the store,do you want to worry
about returning home to a horrid mess? No!

That’s why puppy crate training can help yours be a happy dog.

Often, many pet owners misunderstand the concept and the importance of crate training. Believing that crating an animal for any length of time is a cruel thing to do. Infact, dog crate training is actually one of the best things you can do for your pet. It gives him his own personal place that no one else invades. If you think about it, you probably like having your own space, so why wouldnt your dog?

Crate training a puppy or dog is vital for new pet owners. It is a very important method used to get dogs house trained. This also allows owners to be able to trust their pets when they are not home. The concept behind crate training is that dog owners train their pets to hold going to the bathroom until they are taken outside for a walk. The crate training method on average works well as dogs have a natural inclination not to potty near themselves. While crate training is not difficult, it takes patience and persistence. Puppies when as young as two to three months old will still need to relieve themselves frequently. It is very important to know the steps involved with crate training in order to get optimal results.

The Basics To Crate Training Success

1. A pet owner needs to choose a crate that is not too big for his or her dog. If the crate is too large, a puppy may feel that it is alright to relieve itself in the crate as a result of the extra space available. The whole concept behind the crate training is to make the dog want to follow its natural instinct and not go to the bathroom near itself. A dogs natural instincts are to eliminate away from the area in which they eat and sleep. So if a crate is small enough that they cannot possibly defecate while having enough room to sleep well away from it, a dog will ‘hold it’ as long as they possibly can. It’s this instinct we take advantage of when using a crate as an aid for house training. A big crate defeats the whole purpose of this idea. With this said, a person needs to make sure that the crate is at least big enough to ensure that the dog will not feel uncomfortable in it. He or she needs to take into account the dog’s breed and how much it will grow during the period that the crate training will take place. When you crate train a dog, make sure you buy the dog crate for your dog’s current stage of life. If your dog is a puppy, you’ll need a relative small crate. One common mistake that frustrates dog owners is purchasing a crate that their dog can “grow into.” This will only cause problems so just remember to size the crate with your dog’s current age and size, and purchase a new one when your dog grows bigger.

Crates make it easier for you to potty train your pet. As most dogs despise soiling their sleeping quarters, you can help your puppy learn how to go outside quickly by using crate training at night and immediately letting them out to do their business in the morning. Make sure that you praise their success, and reward them appropriately. This will help them to identify that they need to go outside rather than inside on the floor, carpet or in your shoe.

2. Remove the doors of the crate when first starting the process. A pet owner needs to guide his or her dog in and out of the crate in order to get the animal used to it. This is where small treats can come in handy.
The owner should never force the dog into the crate and lock it up without first getting the dog used to the crate on its own. It may take some dogs several days to get used to the cage. In time, the dog will become accustomed to the crate. The dog will eventually be able to stay in the crate without whimpering, and an owner should encourage the dog’s good behavior in the crate by offering the animal treats and rewards.

It should also be noted that crate training is a process that will benefit both the dog and owner, and it does not happen overnight. An owner needs to have patience and persistence in order for crate training to be a success.

3. A pet owner needs to provide his or her dog with a comfortable bed and toys when crate training the animal. The dog’s toys and a couple of treats need to be placed at the opposite end of the cage door. The toys will cure the dog’s boredom and serve as a distraction when its owner is not home. The toys must be inedible and large enough to ensure that a dog, especially a puppy, will not eat them. Another idea to try when crate training a dog is for the owner to leave the television or radio on when not home.

In order for your puppy to see the crate as his ultimate escape from the hustle and bustle of the household, feed him some meals inside it, or while he is in there resting, pass him some treats through the grilles. When you put him inside, place his favorite chewy or toy in there beside him, or add his favorite blanket for a cozy den to escape to whenever he needs a nap. But in the end, a crate for your dog will steer him out of trouble, aside from anything that might happen in housebreaking.

4. A pet owners must be consistent throughout the entire process. This is especially relevant where puppies are concerned. Puppies will need to relieve themselves often. It is best to follow the same eating and drinking schedule each day. Most dogs will need to go to the bathroom shortly after eating. Therefore, the animal should be walked around the same time each day. When the dog cries from the crate, it is best for the owner to take it out for a walk as soon as possible. The dog should also be taken to the same spots for walking and should be rewarded after the walk. Developing these patterns will get the dog into a routine and schedule that will serve both the animal and its owner well.

Remember to take into consideration when you do put your dog in his crate that you dont make him stay inside for hours upon hours. He needs to be able to get out and stretch his legs and go to the bathroom. The crates can be comfortable but your dog needs to be able to get out and stroll around to keep his muscles from getting cramped.

5. Vital to success, the pet owner needs to observe calm and relaxed behaviour around the crate. The pet will attribute any emotional responses such as raised voices or other nervous behaviours to the foreign object in their normal environment. It is important for the owner not to create any negative associations with the cage in order for the pet to accept the crate in a calm manner.

6. Dog owners should also look to crate train their pet for short periods when they are actually home. This is since only crate training the animal when the owner is away will lead the dog to associate the cage with feelings of loneliness and punishment. Training the dog while at home will, on the other hand, lead the animal to see the crate as part of its normal experience.

7. Another advantage to crate training your dog is that if you have somewhere he can be confined when you are away, you do not have to worry about coming home and finding a mess. Older dogs normally will hold their bathroom trips for a longer period of time. However, puppies will pretty much go anywhere until they get accustomed to going out or using puppy pads.

8. You can also discourage bad behavior by using the crate as a place for short time outs. This is especially helpful when you are having to deal with the disaster in the living room upon coming home. Or, it can be used to stop the dog from yapping incessantly at the letter carrier.

9. Bedtime can be a good time for your dog if you use a crate. Rather than having to deal with a dog that constantly jumps up on the bed and steals the sheets, you can get a good nights’ sleep. Make sure that the crate is comfortable for your pet and offer them an incentive to go in at night. Praise them for being quiet, and be quick to let them out in the morning so that they do not spend too long in the crate overall.

10. Dog crate training can be great if you are planning on taking your pet with you somewhere that you have to fly. This can keep them from being so nervous if they are already accustomed to being in a crate. Traveling in their own crate that is familiar to them will not be as upsetting either. Taking along a favorite blanket or toy helps too.

The two most important points to remember when trying to crate train a dog are to use positive reinforcement and to be consistent. These components are universal with dog training in general, so try to keep them in mind. Punishing your dog in some way will only scare him and will cause him to associate negative experiences with your crate. So rule number one is, make your crate a happy positive place for your dog.