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Become an expert: learn about crate training a puppy!

puppy-corgi-in-crate advice
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Puppies can get in a lot of trouble if you leave them to wander the house unattended. To prevent this, you need to learn about crate training a puppy.

By Daniel Mar

If you have had puppies before, you must remember how troublesome and disastrous puppies can be when alone. Boredom and anxiety can encourage them to cause havoc at home! Usually, puppies love to soil the carpet, turn cushions to shreds or chew on your favourite pair of shoes. They are adorable little menaces! That is why it is very important to know about crate training a puppy. This way, you start to teach them obedience and you can keep an eye on them.

Why is crate training a puppy important?

©Dog Matters, YouTube.

Crate training a puppy is not cruel! Many dog owners tend to think this. Nonetheless, many breeders and veterinarians recommend using a crate for your dog until he grows and becomes a little more mature.

Also, there are scientific reasons for crate training. Throughout history, dogs in the wild always sought out small dens where they felt safe and sheltered. They loved this kind of place because they could rest, care for their puppies, eat and recover from injuries or illnesses in peace. That is why you should see a crate as your dog’s bedroom. This personal space will make him feel more secure and calm.

Furthermore, this method is very effective to teach house rules. You should not use crate training as a punishment, but rather to teach your dog a schedule. He will eventually learn that while you are not home, he needs to behave and stay calm.

Lastly, crate training can surprisingly help to fight anxiety. For puppies, living in a big house with many big spaces can be overwhelming. Therefore, if they have a smaller place that they ‘have to protect’ (because it is theirs), it makes it more manageable for them. Take into consideration these reasons why crate training a puppy is awesome, and you need to try it!

Choose the best dog crate for crate training a puppy

It is important that you choose a large ventilated crate for your puppy. If it is too small, not only will he outgrow it but it can induce fear of small places at such a young age. Ideally, your puppy should easily stand, lie down and move around inside the crate. Make sure you know how much will he grow because the crate needs to grow with him. You can initially buy a large crate and some dividers to make it smaller for the time being.

Also, try to pick a crate made of hard materials like aluminium or hard plastic. It should be easy to clean and handle. Likewise, it should be strong to hold the puppy inside. If it is made out of soft materials, your puppy could break it while playing inside!

How to teach your dog to love his crate?

Even though dogs are den animals, they like having freedom. This means that they won’t initially love the idea of a crate. That is why you need to know some tips that make crate training a puppy much easier. Fortunately, puppies don’t know much about life, so anything you teach them will stick. Here you have a list of tips on how to crate train a puppy:

  1. Introduce it to your puppy casually: avoid at all cost to lock your puppy inside the crate the first time you bring it home. Puppies hate to be trapped against their will. Instead, you should and must treat the crate as another piece of furniture. That is why you should place it in the part of the house that he most visits. Place a blanket and a lot of toys inside to make him come in by himself. Then let nature do her thing! Your puppy will eventually explore it, sniff it and love it! If by any chance he still doesn’t take the bait, encourage him to go inside. Use food and his favourite toy.

  2. Make him eat his meals inside the crate: once your puppy enters the crate willingly, you need to make him feel comfortable about staying inside for longer periods of time. The best way to do this is to start putting his meals in the crate. Place it at the back of the crate so that he has to go all the way in.

  3. Close the crate: once you have successfully fed your puppy in the crate on numerous occasions, it is time to close the gate. The first time, do it while he is eating. He should notice this but he will finish his meal. Once he finishes, open the door and let him out. Next time, you will leave him longer and so on. He may whine occasionally, but this is normal. Just open the crate and let him out.

  4. Adjust it to his size: you need to monitor the size of your puppy to see if he still fits properly inside the crate. Crate training a puppy is not something you can do for years. There is a time frame. Once your dog has outgrown the crate, it is time to move to a dog house!

Here you have some tips about crate training a puppy. While you are doing this, do not leave your puppy inside the crate the whole day. He needs bathroom breaks and playing time. Remember to never use the crate as punishment. Lastly, don’t lose patience. If at first, your puppy resists the crate, just know that he will love it eventually. Don’t give up or force it upon him!