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Tips For Successful Puppy Crate Training

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What is Puppy Crate Training?

Crate training is the process of getting a puppy comfortable with staying in a crate as a means of security and a safe retreat. Crate training provides dogs with comfort and safety.

Some experts say that puppy crate training is the basis for all further training. It sets the stage for good puppy behavior and gives them a level of confidence.  Another advantage of being crate trained early on is it can help reduce anxiety in the event puppy needs to be crated, such as at an overnight stay at your veterinarian’s clinic or hospital.

Choosing the Crate

When buying a crate, you’ll want to consider their size. The crate needs to be big enough for puppy to be comfortable but not too big that he no longer sees it as a den. If you get a crate that is small enough, your puppy will greatly resist using part of it as a potty place, as they see their crate as their den and want to keep it clean. If you get a crate too large, puppy may use one side as their den, and the other for a potty.

Crate Training Basics

Once you have a crate, you’ll need to begin to get your puppy used to going in it. Here are a few tips for getting puppy to explore and enjoy the new crate:

  • Leave the Door Open – Place the crate in a central location where you spend time and are close by. Then tie the door back so it’s open and your puppy can go in and out. This will allow puppy to explore without feeling separated from you or trapped.
  • Drop in a Few Treats – As puppy explores, leaving treats inside the crate will delight and encourage more exploration. This will allow him to associate happy feelings with the crate and become attached to using it quickly.
  • Make Crate Comfy – Add some comfortable bedding or towels for your puppy to lie on. You can also put puppy’s favorite toys in there. Give him all the comforts of home in the little den.
  • Short Intervals Only – Once you start closing the door, be sure to keep puppy’s time in the crate short.  Over time you can increase the intervals. Try crating puppy after a potty break for about 15 or 20 minutes. Set a timer and release your puppy when the time is up. Praise your puppy for the good work.
  • Crate Train Only While Home – When you leave for a few hours at a time, section off a safe area of the house for puppy to stay while you are away. Set the crate in the safe area with the door propped securely open so puppy can use it as a resting area within the play area. Closing a puppy in a crate while you are gone for a long period of time may cause puppy to form an aversion to the crate if associated with you being gone.

If you stay the course with puppy crate training you’ll find the rewards are great. Puppy will love the comfort of ‘home’ and become more and more capable of controlling the urges to potty wherever and whenever. He’ll also appreciate you for being such a solid puppy parent when guidance is needed most.

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