Crate training 101

“As to which is cuter, a puppy or a baby, I’m going to say that probably depends less on the particular puppy and more on the baby. I’ve seen pictures of me as an infant and consider myself lucky that nobody ever offered my parents the opportunity to trade me for a beagle.”

W. Bruce Cameron

Key Takeaway: When the puppy is crate trained, the puppy can be made to travel safely and without any hassles. The puppy would have his own space to retreat to; it helps in housebreaking too. Crate training doesn’t take long.

In the previous chapter, we learned about the different benefits of crate training.

In this chapter, let us get started with the basics of crate training.

Introducing The Crate

It is very likely that your puppy hasn’t spent much time in a crate before, except when he had to travel or when the breeder has started him with housebreaking.

Therefore, crate training will be new to your pup. The one reason why it is effective is because of your puppy’s instinct to keep his den clean. In the wild, the puppies would go out of their den for eliminating. Even if it meant to just take two steps into the wild. This instinct is hardwired into their brains. Your puppy has never probably seen a real den.

Being in a crate will trigger their instinctive behavior and he will try his best to not soil his crate. Crate training a puppy definitely helps in making housebreaking easier. A puppy would always want to be next to his pack. Well, you are his pack now. He would feel anxious if he were away from you. This might be the reason why your puppy will cry, whine, or even make a fuss about being in his crate. He doesn’t hate the crate, he just feels vulnerable when you aren’t around. Your puppy is safe in there, however your puppy doesn’t know that yet. He’s a domesticated dog, so it will take a while for your puppy to get used to being away from you.

You should just let your pup get used to the crate, this will make him feel comfortable around it before he can spend time inside it. While crate training, you shouldn’t ever make use of the crate as a form of punishment. The crate needs to be his safe den. It needs to be his refuge. He won’t have a positive attitude towards it if you make use of it as a punishment. It needs to be your puppy’s happy place. Here are a few rules and ideas that will help your puppy get used to his new crate.

There needs to be open access. Initially, you should leave the door to the crate open and place a few treats inside the crate. A puppy’s curiosity will make him venture inside the crate and enjoy his treats.

Furthermore, you can also feed your puppy in the crate. This will help the puppy in forming an association between meals and his crate. The puppy might seem a little hesitant to feed inside the crate but will get used to it.

You can also make crate training seem fun to your puppy by playing hide and seek. You will need to place a toy or a treat inside the crate and ask your puppy to find it. You can say something encouraging like “where’s your treat? Let us go find it!” You will need to follow this up by praising him when he finds it. You can say something like “oh there it is! Inside your crate! Good boy!”

Crate Training Safety

A crate will help in keeping your puppy safe. However, here are a few things that you can do for making sure that he stays safe in there. Don’t ever chain your puppy while placing him in the crate. Avoid slip collars as well. These things tend to get caught up in things. This will cause him to panic and it could be quite tragic. Make sure that the collar is an undecorated collar.

When the puppy is in the crate, make sure that there is sufficient ventilation in the room or wherever he is placed. Don’t ever leave the puppy in the crate in a room that is hot, don’t place it under direct sunlight or leave it in a car on a hot

While you are crate training your puppy, make sure that children don’t tease him.

Don’t let them push their fingers into the crate through the wire or tease your puppy. This will make your puppy feel threatened, which can lead him to get aggressive for no fault of his own.

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