Should I Crate Train My New Puppy?
Many people feel like it’s cruel to crate train your new pup, but in fact, there are many good reasons to crate train your puppy…none of which are to confine your dog for for long periods of time – that is cruel!
Dogs are “den” animals. In the days when dogs lived in the wild, a den was their home, a place of comfort and safety. Today, properly used, a crate can be the den your dog may instinctively look for.
Benefits of a dog crate:
- If you need to leave your pup for short periods of time, a crate is a place to keep him safe while you’re gone as well as keep him out of trouble.
- It can make housetraining easier. (Dogs typically won’t soil the place they sleep.)
- A crate can relieve your pup’s stress when you need to leave for awhile, because it’s familiar and and secure.
- Sometimes, if he/she wants to just “chill” by himself for awhile, his crate is a place he can retreat to.
- When you take Fido for car rides, a crate is one of the safest ways for him to travel.
- Crates are a great place for your pup to calm down when the excitement of visitors to your home is just more than he can handle.
On the other hand, don’t use crates for punishment – his crate should be his own private place of comfort, not a place where he is sent for breaking the rules. If you start using it as a place to send him for misbehaving, you will probably begin to have trouble getting him to use it. Using his crate should be a positive experience.
Tips for Crate Training Your Pup:
- It begins with the purchase of a crate…it shouldn’t be so large that it doesn’t have that cozy feeling of a den, and it shouldn’t be so small that there is no room and your pooch feels cramped. It’s a bit of a juggling act, trying to find one that’s just the right size, small enough for a puppy or large enough for a full grown dog. There is an option you can look into that is a bit larger in size, it has dividers that can be moved to make the crate larger as your dog grows larger. Don’t forget to buy a nice bed or pad to put in the crate for your dog’s comfort…make sure it’s one that is washable, or has a washable cover.
- Once you have chosen the right crate, place it in an area where he can be part of the family…it can be moved later once he is used to it if you’d like. And make sure it has 1 or 2 of his toys in it and readily available.
- For the first couple of days, leave the door to the crate open, and let your pup check it out on his own, without your encouragement. If he goes into it, secretly watch but don’t make any reaction. Make it his discovery.
- If he doesn’t venture in by himself after a couple of days, you might consider putting some of his favorite treats inside. (Don’t put him in and close the door, and under no circumstance should you force him in into it. Each dog is different, some may take longer than others to be comfortable with this new “den”.)
- Choose a name for the crate, such as kennel, place, bed or something else that can’t be confused with any other commands you might use. When your pup goes into the crate by himself, praise him by using the word “good” in combination with your name for the crate, and maybe toss a treat in for him. To train him to go in, you might kneel by the door holding a treat and say the name you have chosen for it, if necessary, put the treat inside and say the chosen name. It may take a little time for him to understand you want him to enter, but be patient and persistent.
- To get him used to having the door closed, when he is inside eating or playing, close the door and then open it right away, doing this a few times in a row. After you have him comfortable with the door being closed, you can begin to latch the door for brief moments. As you are doing these steps, remain close to the crate so he remains comfortable with the whole idea.
- Your final steps are to get him comfortable with you moving away, leaving his site and then leaving him in the crate a little longer each time. Follow the same pattern of doing these things a little at a time to avoid separation anxiety.
BowWow Fun Towne and staff hope you and your family are safe and healthy during this difficult time of COVID-19, and we are looking forward to seeing you and your furry friends when quanatines have been lifted. In the meantime, make sure you and your pooch stay healthy and get plenty of fresh air and exercise using social distancing.
We are experts in dog day care – We have a Puppy Preschool that would be great to enroll your pup in! Our facility features a full size swimming pool for fun and exercise.