Puppy crate training is not cruel, in fact a crate can be useful in various situations, such as house training, a place to settle, travel, trips to the veterinarian or groomer. Here are some tips to make your puppy crate training successful.
Make it Comfortable
Your puppy’s crate should be one of their favorite places. Think of it as their bedroom. Use treats and toys to help them love their crate. Never use their crate as a punishment. Always make sure your puppy has gone potty and has a little exercise before putting them in their crate.
Any time you put your puppy in their crate, you must remove their collar and/or harness. You don’t want your puppy’s equipment getting caught on anything.
Don’t Overuse the Crate
A crate should only be used for short-term confinement. If you overuse it, you will set your pet up to dislike being it their crate. Here are some general recommendations:
8-10 weeks of age, up to 1 hour
11-12 weeks of age, up to 2 hours
13-16 weeks of age, up to 3 hours
Over 4 months of age, up to 4 hours
Never use the crate for more than four hours, unless it’s where your puppy sleeps at night.
Start Puppy Crate Training as Soon as You Bring Your Puppy Home
Toss a small, yummy treat into the crate, and let your puppy go in an get it and come back out. Continue this process until your puppy is comfortable going into the crate.
Close the Door for Short Periods
Once your puppy is comfortably entering the crate, close the door for 1 or 2 seconds, giving them the treat through the closed door. Repeat this process over and over until gradually building up to 10-12 seconds.
Increase the Time
Prepare a Kong or Toppl with something delicious, that your puppy loves. You can also use a sturdy chew that your dog finds rewarding. Put the item in the crate with your puppy and close the door. Go about your day. Let your puppy out of the crate after they have finished their treat or after 5 minutes. When you let them out, do not make a fuss, act as nonchalantly as possible. Repeat this process several times. Vary the time your puppy is in their crate from 1 minute up to 20 minutes.
Add Alone Time
Start leaving your puppy in their crate when you leave the house for short periods. You can put your puppy in their crate while you get the mail or water the plants. You should build your absences gradually.
Troubleshooting Puppy Crate Training
If your puppy is going to the bathroom in their crate, make sure they have gone to the bathroom before putting your puppy in their crate, and you are not leaving your puppy in the crate for too long. You can check out our blog on potty training your puppy here.
If you need help puppy crate training, call us 786-299-1552. One of our dog trainers will be happy to help you.