Crate training is a useful habit. If you do it right, you are going to engage your puppy in an activity that will save you a lot of effort in the future. A dog crate is meant to be your pet’s home. It is a personal spot for your little buddy.
Think of it as its nest or its cave. If you put that kind of personal seal to its crate, your puppy is going to love it. The process of how to crate train your puppy will be truly enjoyable for you and your pet.
Don’ts when Crate Training
Using a crate has been misinterpreted for years. For some people it is a way to punish their pets, while others use the crate as a way to avoid having a loose dog at home. Use a crate in a positive way at all times.
When you first start crate training, there is nothing that your puppy thinks of crates. Most preconceived ideas of reducing its freedom will come from you. Here are some tips of things you should never do when crate training your new pet:
- Never use the crate as a punishment.
- Don’t let your dog stay inside the crate for extended periods of times.
- Never let the crate be dirty with food, pee or poo.
As you crate train your puppy, you will learn that it is useful for other things like transportation.
Selecting the Perfect Crate
The perfect crate depends on your dog. You must choose an appropriate crate for your pets’ full size. If it is a puppy, it may be big at first, but as it grows, it will fit perfectly. Your dog should be able to stand when it is inside.
Ventilation is one of the most important things for a crate. There must be plenty ventilation all around. He should be able to lie comfortably, and even turn.
On the other hand, you must be careful not to make it too big for its full size. That will not help on how to crate train your puppy. If your dog’s crate is too large, there will be enough space for pee and poo. Dogs tend to keep their nest space clean and tidy, but when there is extra room, it is common that they see it as a bathroom.
Particularly when your dog is at an enclosed space, this instinct will prevail. However, if it is just big enough to have it as it lies down, then there will be no room for accidents.
If your puppy is too young, you can take advantage of a crate divider. That way you will limit the available space to the exact amount your pet needs. As he grows, you can change the divider until you take it out completely.
Make the Crate Cozy
The next step is to make the crate cozy. Remember that we talked about making it your puppy’s personal cave. You can put in a blanket or even some toys. Depending on the weather, the blanket may not be a good idea, particularly in a very hot place.
You should put inside something your pet loves, like for example, his favorite toy. Using the crate to have its daily meals can be a good thing too. He will relate the crate to eating, which is one of the best possible associations too.
The Positive Reinforcement
There must be a positive reinforcement whenever you are learning how to crate train your puppy. If your puppy sees the crate as positive, there will be no problem when you need it to get in. You may offer your pet a treat when he gets to his crate. If you train him with an associated command, you will have him in his crate whenever you need it.
Potty after Crate
Another good tip on how to crate train your puppy is to associate potty after crate at all times. As you start training, your puppy will stay inside the crate for around 10 minutes before he gets out. As you continue its training, the period of time will be extended to any amount you may want.
You must keep in mind at all times that there are physical needs for your puppy. He must pee and poo at some point. Of course, the crate is the least place you want him to discharge, but if you leave him inside for too long, at some point, there will be an accident.
Make sure you take your pet out of the crate and to the right spot outside right after taking him out of the crate. You will be surprised to know that he had the urge to go will be conditioned to getting out of the crate if you make this a habit.