The biggest benefit for crate training your puppy is that it aids in housebreaking your dog. It is easier to travel with a dog that is crate trained and a crate trained dog gets in less trouble. A puppy locked in a laundry room for the day has lots of items to chew and tear up. A puppy napping in a crate has its favorite toy and can not get in trouble.
A crate is not a jail or a cage, but a den. Puppies and dogs like a den and they feel secure in their den. It is their special space. A crate is not cruel; it is security to a dog. Do not punish your dog by locking it in its crate. Do not yell at your dog and send it to its crate. Your dog will learn that if you become frustrated with it, they will seek refuge in their crate naturally.
Size - Choose a crate big enough to allow your puppy to stand, turn around and lie down comfortably. Do not chose a crate too large or your puppy will use one end to sleep and one end to eliminate. This defeats the whole purpose of a crate. Puppies and dogs do not like to eliminate where they eat and sleep.
Never punish your dog by sending IT to its kennel
Location - Choose a location for the crate like a corner of the den or room where the family congregates. Dogs are pack animals and to be forced to stay in an area away from the family is a punishment. If you choose a room away from the family, your puppy will not enjoy his crate. Many families have 2 crates, one for the den (daytime) and one for the bedroom (nighttime).
Crate Training is an aid to housebreaking training. A puppy or dog will try very hard not to make a mistake in its kennel. If it has an accident in its crate, do not punish your dog. We have all had accidents and your dog will probably relate any punishment to the crate, not the accident. Just clean the crate and the dog. Use a product to clean the crate that is marketed for dogs specifically, such as Nature’s Miracle©.
A puppy can generally stay in a crate comfortably for the number of hours equal to their age. A 2 month old puppy can easily stay in a crate for 2 hours. Do not leave your puppy in a crate too long or he will have an accident. After your puppy has been in the crate for an extended period of time, carry your puppy outside to eliminate.
Determine a one word command to tell your dog to go into their crate. “Kennel” is a common command.
Show your dog a treat and throw it into the crate.
- Give the command “kennel” as your dog enters the crate.
- Close the door to the crate for a few seconds.
- Open the door and give your release command “OK” and let your dog come out.
- Extend the amount of time your dog is left in the crate.
Many people leave an indestructible chew toy in the crates like a Kong©. Many feed their dogs in their crates. Keep the crate clean and free from odor. Nature’s Miracle© is a good product for cleaning a crate. Do not use chemicals that can be harmful or offensive to your dog.