Training Your Puppy in Crates

illustration of how to crate train a puppy

Your dog should be trained to use a crate for a variety of reasons. Young pups are especially eager to locate a safe haven, and most puppies and adult dogs feel more secure in a tiny, enclosed den-like location. Your dog may learn that a crate is a secure, enjoyable place to spend the night with the aid of a well selected crate and appropriate crate training. When introducing a small child to the crate, it's best to do it gradually. For toilet training, a dog shouldn't be left unsupervised for any longer than it can "hold it." However, when done correctly, crate training may provide you and your dog a sense of order and security in a chaotic environment.


Watch Now: How to Crate Train Your Puppy

Consider the Goals of Crate Training

There are several benefits to crate training, all of which may simplify life for both you and your dog in your house. So teaching your puppy to accept and be familiar with a crate should be a part of his training.

  • A crate works well as a . Because it’s enclosed, the puppy crate also serves as a safe retreat to get away from other pets or children. 
  • A crate also can be a safe place to confine a rambunctious puppy. That keeps the pup out of trouble when you aren’t able to watch it.
  • Most dogs must be confined from time to time, when they or stay at the veterinarian, for example. 
  • A crate is one of the best tools available for helping to potty train your puppy. Dogs won't willingly soil their own beds, so they are highly motivated to "hold it" while in their crate.

Select the Ideal Crate

The ideal crate should be just big enough for a puppy to fit inside, turn around, and lay down to sleep, but it shouldn't be so big that your dog can sleep on one side of the cage and urinate on the other. Naturally, pups develop. Consider your puppy's eventual adult size before purchasing an expensive dog kennel. There are enormous crates with partitions that you can use to "reduce" the space to fit your puppy and then expand it as they become bigger. A barrier, like as a plastic storage box, can be inserted inside an adult-size crate to make the area smaller until your pet is old enough to fit in it.

The majority of crates are built of solid hard plastic or wire mesh; each has benefits. Soft-sided pet carriers are excellent for transport, but they could be too tiny and too appetizing for chew-obsessed puppies for secure confinement. Your dog won't be able to see much inside a solid plastic crate because these containers are often opaque. Depending on your dog's demand for privacy and the sort of family it lives in, this may be a benefit or a drawback. If you intend to travel by air, you must use a plastic crate since airlines won't let you take your dog in a metal box. In addition to being airy and transparent, wire crates are also simple to maintain. When not in use, they can also be folded up and stored, which is a great feature for a smaller home.

Introduce the Crate

Make the crate a well-known object. While well-behaved pups often have an inquisitive nature, others can be timid. Any new item raises mistrust. Make the crate "part of the furniture" and leave it out for your new dog to explore in the family room. Allow the dog to explore both inside and outside by leaving the door open.

Set up the Crate

The container should be a cheerful place. A cozy blanket or dog bed should be placed inside. Alternately, you may throw a toy inside and nudge your dog to go fetch it. You want your dog to view the crate in a favorable light. Finding a puzzle toy that can be filled with a pungent, delicious reward is another option. Your puppy should like this reward, but it should only be permitted inside the crate.

Teach Crate Tolerance

Show the reward to the dog, let it to smell and taste it, and then toss it inside the crate with the puppy outside and the treat inside. That indicates that there is an exceptionally delicious puppy treat inside, safely out of reach. Open the door so the puppy may get the toy inside the crate after it has cried, scratched, and pleaded to be allowed in. Shut the door and let your dog stay in the crate for five minutes while they chew and love it. Some puppies just calm down and devour their treat. Others become upset and demand to leave. Let your dog out if it starts to cry, but put the goodie back inside. You're showing the dog that the container contains good stuff. Most puppies learn to tolerate having the door closed at least while they are being fed.

Extend Crate Time

Increase the amount of time the puppy spends in the crate with the treat toy over the course of about a week. Leave the door open during breaks in training. You might be shocked by how frequently an exhausted puppy requests kennel time on its own to take a sleep or to disconnect from the rest of the family.

You can move the crate to a more agreeable location in the house after your puppy accepts it as a necessary part of puppy life. The puppy can sleep in its own location close to your bed while still being around your familiar scents and presence. Additionally, it gives you a more private space to isolate the dog when necessary from activity in the kitchen or living room that can keep it overstimulated.

Problems and Proofing Behavior

Your puppy should ideally accept and even look forward to spending time in the crate. Using the puppy's crate as the location of punishment is a typical error since it makes it more challenging for the puppy to view it as a positive experience.

However, some puppies can find it more difficult than others to become used to the crate. Expecting your dog to take a shine to the crate immediately soon is another typical error. Try a different kind of crate if your new pet is truly anti-crates. Depending on whether they can still see their surroundings, some dogs could prefer wire kennels while others might be the complete opposite. Additionally, attempt a new location for the package. While some dogs might want their kennel to be in the middle of family activities, others could prefer it to be in a more peaceful area of the home.