crate training your puppy

Helping Your Dog Love Their Crate

If you just added a puppy or dog to your family, you have many questions. First question most people have is how to housetrain their puppy. Regardless of the age or breed of your dog, crate training is a great option. Setting your new dog or puppy up for success is important.

Crate training can be a touchy subject for some dog owners. However, it is typically the most effective way to housebreak your dog with fewer accidents. I love crate training and highly recommend it to all dog owners.

First, we will discuss what a crate is and clear up any misunderstanding’s individuals might have. If your dog is properly crate trained, they will enjoy their crate and view it as a comfortable and secure place for them to relax. A dog that is crate trained properly will freely go to their crate without whining, barking, or showing signs of stress. Dogs feel more secure in smaller palaces vs large spaces. Crates will make your life and your dogs’ life easier. Using a crate correctly is important.

  • Crate Size – Make sure you choose the right size crate. Your dog should be able to stand up, stretch, and turn around easily. If the crate is to large for your dog, they will have room to potty in their crate. Dog’s typically do not use the bathroom where they sleep, but if the crate is to large, they will potty on one side and sleep on the other side.
  • Length of Time to Train – This varies from dog to dog. There is no exact answer, some dogs catch on in a week, month, or it may take longer for some dogs. Personalities vary in dogs and their will to learn is different.
  • Boundaries – Puppies and dogs need boundaries for various reasons, it keeps them safe and prevents them from chewing on your stuff. A crate is somewhere that your puppy will feel safe and secure. It prevents them from getting into unwanted things and destroying your house. You can be reassured that while you are gone your puppy is safe!

You never want to use their crate as punishment. They want to always view their crate as a happy place. The most effective way to begin crate training depends on your dog. Having a dog vs, a puppy varies a little. A puppy needs a strict schedule that you stick to daily.

Puppy Training – Puppies need to go outside more often than a dog. Never leave your puppy inside their crate too long, they will use their crate on accident. They can only hold their bladder a few hours. Puppies can typically hold their bladder 1 hour per month of age, but smaller dogs need to go more often. Your puppy will usually let you know when they need to potty. Make sure you listen and watch for their signs. Always give your puppy plenty of time outside their crate to play. Remember to watch them so they don’t have accidents inside your house.

When they wake up – Always take your puppy to potty immediately after they wake up.

Playtime – Your puppy will be happy to see you and have lots of energy when they come out of their crate. Give them plenty of exercise and time outside their crate. Always take them to potty before you put them back in their crate.

Mealtime – After your puppy eats wait about 15-20 minutes and take them to potty. However, some puppy’s potty immediately after eating.

Dog Training – If you adopt a dog or decide to train your dog in a crate when they are older, you need to introduce your dog to the crate a little slower than a puppy. Remember they are older and possibly have not used a crate before. Introduce them in short intervals and make sure each encounter with the crate is positive. They will quickly realize their crate is not a punishment, but a place for them to feel secure and unwind.

Some tricks you can use to help your puppy like their crate:
  • Feed them in their crate. Place their bowls in the back, so they have to go inside their crate to eat.
  • Reward them when you put them in their crate.
  • Leave safe toys in their crate to reduce boredom.
  • Some puppies want a blanket, but some puppies will use the bathroom on the blanket. This is based on your individual puppy.
Continue following this schedule daily and you will have a dog/puppy that uses the bathroom outside. Potty training your puppy takes time and patience but is extremely rewarding when they learn. It is impossible to watch your puppy every second of the day. A crate allows you some time to yourself while your puppy is safe. You and your dog will both be happy! For more information refer to my potty-training tips.