Before I started researching for Talent Hounds, I thought crates looked like cages and I was dubious about the benefits. I only used them to travel with my big dogs. However today, I believe Crate Training is very important when getting a new puppy.
With the right crate, training and care, a dog’s crate can become one of their favorite places to sleep or take a break. It is a safe area where they can relax and not get into trouble if you can not supervise them or if they feel anxious. It can also be helpful in toilet training as most dogs do not like to soil their sleeping area.
Of course you should never leave a puppy or dog too long in their crate during the day or even at night and make sure you take them potty, socialize and exercise them enough.
Find out how to crate train your new puppy by seeing what I did with Kilo the Pug.
I am not an expert trainer but I figure, if I can do it, so can you.
I introduced Kilo to his crate from the first day we started fostering him and he LOVES his crate now. It was great for me as I did not know what he would get up to if I was not watching him. I knew he and the cat and the house were safe with him in his crate. Plus he could not go and pee and poop all over the house during the night (he was not properly house-trained).
Make Your Dog’s Crate Welcoming and Comfortable
Your dog’s crate should be a clean, safe and welcoming place. To do this, place a bed, a soft blanket and your dog’s favourite safe toys inside. Kilo has a small bed to curl up in on a bigger mattress and blankie. Everything is washable.
Make sure that the crate is large enough for your dog to move comfortably in and grow into. It shouldn’t feel uncomfortable or be too confiningKilo has a palace as he inherited my lab’s crate. He throughly enjoys the space.
Place your crate in a part of the home that you and your family use often, like your living room or in a quiet place where you puppy can sleep easily at night. Kilo’s crate is usually down in my office.
Crate Train with Rewards
Start training by coaxing your dog to go into the crate. You can do this by tossing in their favorite treat or toy in. When they enter the crate, reward them. Gradually add a marker phrase when you reward them. I use “Night, night” and I have friends that say “kennel up”. I give Kilo frozen stuffed Kongs so he is happy, occupied and relaxed for longer when he goes into his crate.
You can even feed your dog meals in the crate to create a positive atmosphere for your dog. This can be very effective if you have multiple dogs or puppies as noone steals or fights over food.
Our Routine at Night
At night, I wait until Kilo is tired and we have cuddled a lot (usually around 10pm). I take him potty, take off his harness (he sleeps nakey), then take him down with some treats and say “Night, Night”. He goes in to his crate very willingly and goes to sleep fast most nights.
Some nights he takes himself to bed if he is tired as he likes it so much. I then just go down and take off his harness and shut his crate.
I check he does not have a problem on the rare occasion he calls me after I shut the door. He may need a little more cuddling or to go potty again but usually he is fine until morning
Training your dog to stay in their crate takes time, however, it can be fun. If you pay attention to your dog’s feelings, motivate and reward them, and have patience, your dog will begin to understand the purpose of his crate and enjoy it like Kilo.
Did You Crate Train Your Puppy? Any tips to share?
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