While many pet owners do not think that their dog will like a crate, this is actually one of the places that most dogs feel safe and secure. In high-drive animals, a crate can be a good place for a dog who needs to calm down, rest, or just disengage from an unwanted behavior as well. Dogs naturally feel safe in small spaces, and a crate can be an ideal place for them to feel secure and safe when they are young.
Puppy crate training also helps reinforce housebreaking, and it can teach your puppy to be patient and wait their turn as well. This is one of the most overlooked training tools and behavioral modifiers when teaching puppies the right ways to behave. If you have never considered crate training a dog, you might be wondering how to undertake this process to help your puppy feel safe and secure in your home.
Key Things to Keep in Mind
The crate is not a place to send your dog when they are being punished. If you use the crate as part of a discipline program, your dog will probably dread going into the crate and will be scared of it. You must always use patient and consistent training processes to do with the crate so that it is a positive place in your puppy’s mind. Make sure as well that you do not leave your puppy in the crate alone for too long at first. They can get scared they will not be rescued when they are new to the process of being crate trained.
Also, remember that the crate is not someplace where you can put a puppy for hours at a time while you are gone. This is something that frequently happens when inexperienced pet owners try to use the crate as a means to contain their pets while they are gone without training them to understand the crate. Make sure that crating is just part of the routine for your puppy before you leave the house and leave them alone for long periods of time.
5 Tips to Get Started with Crate Training Your Puppy
Getting started with crate training your puppy? Here are 5 tips to keep in mind!
1. Get the Right Crate
The right size crate is critical to the success of your crating efforts. You need one that is durable and comfortable, and that is the right size for your dog. Your dog should be able to turn around and lie down, but there should not be a lot of extra space in the crate for them to make messes or to run around. Wire crates can be ideal since your pet will be able to see the world around them. Some animals prefer enclosed crates, however, because they do not have to worry about anything except the area right in front of them.
2. Make the Crate Fun
If your puppy is playing and is in a great mood, this is the time to send them into the crate and close the door. You will want to leave them in the crate with the gift of a treat and go a small distance away for a few minutes. Your pet will probably get worried and start to fuss if they are left alone for longer than this at first. Let them out and reward them for being so brave. Repeat this part of the process until your dog is not scared of the crate and enjoys getting to go into it.
3. Make Sure the Crate is Cozy
Putting a crate pad or a towel in your dog’s crate is important. The crate needs to be a place where your dog feels safe and secure and can be comfortable. If you make the crate hard, cold, or unpleasant, they will be much less likely to enjoy it. Once your dog is ready to be in the crate for longer periods of time, adding some comfort items is important.
4. Increase Time in the Crate
As your dog gets used to being in the crate, increase the time that they stay in it. You will want to stretch the time until you think that you can be gone for a trial run where you are not at home to rescue your dog if they are upset. The first time that you leave your dog home alone in their crate put a Kong or some other kind of distraction in the crate with them that they cannot get sick from playing with or eating. Let them have something fun to do while you are gone.
5. Use Rewards
Make sure that you reward your puppy for getting into the crate and that you reward them for coming out of it nicely as well. This reinforcement will make the crate a positive place in their mind and make it much easier for them to enjoy their time in the crate when you are away from home. Dogs that are properly crate trained will usually just sleep until you come back and then be thrilled to see you without a single worry about having been in the crate.
Crate Training Your Puppy is Important
Crate training can make it much easier for your dog to go on road trips, to visit the veterinarian, or to have a surgery or other procedures if this is necessary in the future. The crate can also teach your pet patience and help them to be comfortable and confident in their own home. The crate can become a place of safety that your dog might welcome if they are feeling scared of a thunderstorm or if they need a break from guests in your home as well.
The crate is one of the most powerful tools in puppy training, and you should not cheat you and your dog out of this effective training tool and its benefits. Crates are one of the most comforting items to most puppies, and your dog will thank you for crate training them. If you have questions about puppy training be sure to call your Kryder + Harr Veterinary Clinic vet at (574) 277-6533!
Welcome to Kryder & Harr Veterinary Clinic! Our animal hospital has been a fixture in the Granger community since 1981, practicing full-service veterinary medicine for all our pet parents and their furry family members. At KHVC, we pride ourselves on our history, of providing excellent customer service for our clients, along with dedicated, compassionate, and exceptional medical care for all of our patients.