Crate training is very important when training puppies.
The crate should represent the DEN. In Wolf society the den is the safe haven. It is the place to get away from it all, the
place to sleep, the place to have puppies, the place that is safe from predators. This translates to the modern day domesticated
dog also. The crate should be his safe haven and a place for him to have all to himself. Crate training is a great help when
it comes to potty training and is also a safe place for puppy to be when no one is home and he is unsupervised. Crate training
is really a necessity in a puppy’s life. A crate is a safe place to transport a puppy in the car. Crate training is
also important if you ever have to board your puppy overnight. Crate training if done properly can help to teach puppy that
being alone for a short period of time is ok and can help stop separation anxiety. Crate training teaches a puppy limits
and what is his and what is yours. Crate training is really the basis for future training in your puppy. Thus,
when crate training, it is very important that the crate be a positive thing and not viewed as a punishment.
First you need to obtain a crate or kennel. Now you can use the wire
fold down crates which I highly recommend. They are easy to use, easy to clean and sterilize, and fold down to a small size
so that they can be stored away or be taken with you anywhere you need them. Both the MIDWEST and LIFESTYLES brands are very
good and reasonably priced. Some of these will come with an extra piece that can be used a divider to make the crate a bit
smaller while puppy grows or to stop potty accidents in the crate. Some people will use a kennel. These are the hard kennels
most often used when shipping and are airline approved. They usually bolt together so they too can be taken apart and the
top fit inside the bottom for storage, travel, or cleaning. When buying a crate or kennel, getting one that will fit the adult
estimated size for your puppy will save you added expense latter. This means that when the puppy is fully grown that he will
have room to stand up, turn around, and lay down comfortably.
Once you have purchased the crate you will need to find an appropriate
place in your home to set it up. Now this can very from person to person. Some people like to have it in a place where the
puppy can be alone to sleep without being bothered. The crate can also be placed in your bedroom so that the puppy is there
with you at night so you can keep an eye on them and know when they need to go out. Just be prepared if you do this, to listen
to an unhappy puppy for a few nights. Some people place the crate in the main room. Just remember if you do this that your
puppy may not be able to sleep or get away from the noise. Sometimes you can remedy this by having a cover to place over the
crate. No matter where you place the crate you need to ensure that its in a safe place, one that is not too hot or too cold,
or a place that is damp or has too much draft.
What you put in the crate for you puppy depends upon you. Some people
put a blanket or towel for the puppy to lay on. Remember though that it needs to be something that is easily cleaned and sterilized,
in case of accidents or if your puppy gets sick. Some people will put toys in the crate for puppy to play with. Remember with
toys that safety needs to be foremost in your mind. You want something that is safe for puppy to chew without getting tiny
pieces that they can choke on. These toys will also need to be able to be cleaned and sterilized. If you want to have food
and water available for puppy at all times while in the crate then I would highly recommend the crock dishes. These dishes
can be attached to the side of the crate to keep them from getting turned over or getting dirty. Note: you can teach dogs
and puppies to use water bottles just like a rabbit or small animal would. They lick the spigot and the water is released.
These are great because they keep puppy from playing in the water and getting everything soaked. You will want to get one
that has a spring loaded ball as this keeps it from leaking.
Now you have your crate set up, you need to start training your puppy
to get in the kennel. Use of a high value treat here works great. Coax the puppy into the crate and treat them highly once
they are inside. You can even create a trail of treats so that the puppy will go into the crate themselves. For the first
few times in leave the door open. This way the puppy sees he is not being locked in and can easily escape. Once you have this
step down, then proceed to close the door behind the puppy for a few seconds, treat and praise. Gradually lengthen the time
the door is closed. Having toys that your puppy prizes in the crate will also help to entice your puppy. You might also want
to teach your puppy as word command for going into the crate. Like “Bed” or “Kennel”. This makes putting
puppy into their crate much easier as they grow.
A crate is NOT to be used as a place to keep the puppy so that you
don’t have to deal with him. This will cause a puppy to come to hate the crate and can also cause severe issues will
separation anxiety. The crate is not a babysitter. It is not a substitute for human companionship, proper, training, socialization,