15 Dos & Don’ts for Crate Training Your Puppy or Dog
There is a common misconception that puppies naturally love crates because they are den animals. Although dogs are den animals, in comparison, crates are different from dens as they have doors. Properly crate training a puppy with patience is the key to helping them learn to enjoy their kennel over time.
As crate training experts, we have compiled 15 crucial dos and don’ts which can help you make your pet love their crate.
8 Dos When Crate Training a Puppy
The following crate training tips are relevant to puppies and older dogs. Whether or not you have experience with crating, you can use them on your pet.
Do Have the Right Size Crate
Choose a crate with a size a little bigger than your pet. They should be able to sit, stand, turn around and lie down. Dogs do not like soiling the area where they sleep, and if the crate is bigger, they will find a place to potty.
Do Select the Right Place for Crate
Dogs are social animals, so it is best to place the crate in a quiet area of the busiest room in your home. This allows them to see you and the rest of the family going about their daily chores while also giving them the chance to find some peace. Ensure the crate is placed in a corner that is not exposed to direct sunlight, temperature changes, or noisy appliances such as washing machines.
Do Introduce Them with Patience
Introducing your puppy to crate training requires time and patience. Regardless of the age of your pet, you need to start training slowly without making the experience overwhelming for them. This will help create a positive environment without causing them stress or separation anxiety.
Do Feed Your Dog Inside the Crate
Feeding your pup inside the kennel is a great way to establish a positive association. Eating food is a positive experience for dogs, and giving them their favourite meals inside the crate will help them love their new home. During crate training, put the food bowl inside and gently close the door when they are busy eating.
Do Take Your Puppy Out for Potty Regularly
Crate training a puppy is different from training an adult dog as the young ones have little control over their bladders and bowels until they are three months of age. Avoid leaving your pet in the crate for too long without giving them potty breaks, as they will tend to potty inside.
Do Try Covering the Crate at Night
Dogs naturally look for confined spaces when they want to relax or sleep. Cover the top and sides of the crate at night with a blanket (if it is cold outside) or bedsheet to make it the most comfortable space for your pup. This will provide them with additional security and help them prepare for sleep.
Do Keep the Crate Door Open During the Day
When your puppy is outside the crate, leave the door open for them. An open door is an encouragement to use the crate when they want some alone time. If they enter on their own, it shows your crate training is working.
Do Keep Them in Crate When You Are Home
Getting your pet used to a crate when you are home is the best way to make them understand that it is part of their daily life. This will also help prevent separation anxiety when they are left in the kennel when nobody is home. About 30 to 60 minutes of breaks inside the crate should be enough, especially after plenty of activities.
7 Dont’s on Crate Training a Puppy
Don’t Use the Crate as a Punishment
Avoid leaving them inside for too long or scolding them and pushing them inside for any unwanted behaviour. They will associate the negative experiences with their crate, which will cause stress and anxiety. The goal of crate training a puppy is to teach them to love the crate and use it voluntarily as their private space to relax.
Don’t Use Puppy Training Pads in the Crate
Avoid using puppy training pads during crate training, as that will teach them that it is okay to potty inside. Your pet will not want to sleep in the area where they go to potty. Crate training a puppy teaches them to control their bladder and encourages them to potty in an appropriate area.
Don’t Put Anything on Your Dog
Once you crate your puppy, leave them without anything on their body. Collars, leashes, harnesses or any other items could turn fatal if they accidentally get caught in the wires. They may get hurt or panic when they fail to set themselves free.
Don’t Let Them Out When Whining
Avoid letting your puppy come outside the crate just because they are whining. Although this may be an emotionally challenging task, it is essential to associate the crate with a calm environment.
Don’t Let Them Sleep on Your Bed
Crate training a puppy becomes difficult if they make a habit of sleeping on their owner’s bed at night. Never let them nap on your bed if you want to teach them positive crate behaviour.
Don’t Make Your Arrival or Departure a Big Deal
Coming home and calling your puppy in excitement or leaving the house while being too playful will create future separation anxiety in your pet. Your pup will feel left behind, making them more frustrated. Avoid being emotional, give them a treat and go and arrive quietly.
Don’t Abuse the Crate
Successfully crate training a puppy requires patience, empathy, and consistency. Never use a crate to confine them at every opportunity. Abusing a kennel will spoil your relationship with your dog, and they will never learn to love their crate.
We Provide the Best Tips & Tricks on Puppy Crate Training
Crate training your puppy is key to preparing your pet for future training. If you are starting to feel a bit overwhelmed, our expert dog trainers at Alpha Paws are here to help with tips and tricks that work naturally on dogs. We specialize in puppy crate training, obedience training, aggressive behaviour training, and more.
Successful crate training benefits your pup in many ways. Many puppies naturally get anxious for a safe and quiet place they can call their own. As they do not potty where they sleep, it also speeds up their potty training.
Whether you are looking for crate training a dog at home or online through virtual classes, call us at 905-830-9500 or toll-free at 1-877-868-7297. You can also fill out our online form for general queries. We will be happy to assist you.