Many professional dog trainers and veterinarians recommend crate training as a means of efficiently housebreaking a puppy, but many new puppy owners fear that “caging” their new dog is mean or cruel. In reality, dogs have always been den animals; they enjoy having a small, cozy place of their own and in a household setting a crate serves as a puppy’s personal den.
Continue reading to learn more about how you can make crate training a great experience for you and your puppy:
1). Buy the Right Size Crate A crate for a puppy can be made of molded plastic or open wire with a metal tray on the bottom. If you plan to travel with your puppy on airlines, a molded plastic crate is usually the best choice, while many dog owners choose to use an open wire crate in their home.
When it comes to using crate training as a way to help housebreak your puppy, the size of the crate is very important. It is not meant to be a place for exercise or play—your dog should be able to have enough room to stand up, lie down, and turn in a small circle. The reason for this goes back to a dog’s instinct as a den animal, since canines do not urinate or defecate in their dens. If you buy a crate that is too large, your puppy will be able to find a space to use the bathroom away from where he is relaxing, which can make housebreaking much more difficult.
“When it comes to using crate training as a way to help housebreak your puppy, the size of the crate is very important.”
2) Understand How Long a Puppy can be in a Crate While most puppies quickly associate their crate with a place where they feel comfortable and secure, that doesn’t mean that your new pup can be left in a crate all day. A good rule of thumb is to only crate a puppy for one hour per each month of its age. When you remove your puppy from the crate, immediately take him outside to potty and lavish praise when he succeeds.
3) Include a Lot of Human Interaction When done successfully, crate training is an excellent way to housebreak a puppy and can also create a space that your puppy will appreciate having as he gets older. But it must be remembered that puppies require a lot of human interaction for proper socialization and good mental health. Your frequent interactions with your puppy will play a vital role in helping him become your best friend and a true part of the family. A crate is a safe place for your puppy to stay for short periods of time while you’re away from home, but refrain from ever leaving your puppy in his crate for an extended period of time.
If you enjoyed this post, you should read 4 Tips For Traveling in a Car With Your Dog
Do you have any tips for crate training that worked for you? Share by leaving a comment!