Once accustomed to the crate, your dog will go there on it's own.
How you introduce your dog/pup to the crate is important. You want the
experience to be comfortable making the pup feel good. In the beginning
plan to spend some time getting the pup used to the crate. It's okay
to go slow. But remember most will take to the crate without a problem.
The size of the crate is important. The space needs to be big enough for the
dog/pup to stand up, turn around and lie down. If you adopted a pup
that will grow into a large dog you can avoid the expense of purchasing
multiple crates as the pup grows by purchasing the large size. You make
the space smaller to fit the present size of your pup by simply putting
a cardboard box in the crate to take up the extra space. As your pup
grows you change the box to the size needed.
Some people use a wire cage type crate, others purchase the type
that is airline approved for future travel plans. Either one is good.
Some put a sheet or blanket over the crate to provide an sense of it is
now quiet time. Covering the crate stops visual stimulation but not
sound or smell.
Putting a blanket,
towel, small rug in the bottom adds comfort and something for the pups
scent. You may also want to put a piece of your clothing in it too.
Maybe a tee-shirt. So now the crate has the real making of the perfect
Now to get the pup inside the crate. Let's say you brought your pup
home in the morning and plan to spend the day together. Spending time
near the crate will give you an opportunity to make it a pleasant
experience. With extra attention, praise, affection and treats you will
make this the pups favorite place.
Good for the House
Throughout the day simply repeat
sitting next to the crate allowing the pup to enter and exit on its
own. When the pup settles in you can close the door for a few minutes
getting the pup used to the sound. Don't feel like you have to
force-feed the situation, just keep it simple and comfortable and your
pup will adjust fine. You can gradually increase the time in the crate
and if you leave the room - at first return in a few minutes. Remember
this is adjustment time and you will repeat this until your pup can
handle longer periods of time in the crate.
*Some adventurous pups
will walk into the crate and settle in with no problem. if you leave
the door open you'll see if yours does. If your pup hesitates or
resists you can put a treat in the back of the crate and let the pup go
get it. The treat helps make it a good experience. Possibly you can
pet the pup while it's in the crate eating the treat. Definite time to
praise the pup while in the crate. If your pup runs right out, that's
okay, because he/she is excited and needs to go slow. Right now you are
just introducing the crate and any contact with the crate is good.
After the pup tires out a bit try putting him/her inside, taking to and
petting until he lies down.
One really easy way to
put the whole thing together, is to sit down on the floor near the
crate, but not necessarily right next to it. Play with your pup, maybe
roll a ball across the room coaxing the pup back to you and then repeat
repeat repeat. This not only tires the pup out, but begins the process
of teaching the pup to come back to you. Usually referred as re-call.
Really tire the pup out, he/she will let you know when it's enough by
coming on your lap to rest. When the pup falls asleep then pup him/her
in the crate. Close the crate door and lesson learned.
Good for Airline Travel
After a night or two of repeating this, the pup will probably just
walk into the crate bypassing the falling asleep on your lap part.
You've made this a wonderful sleep space that your pup will love. Later
when you need to confine the pup to go to work or the store, he/she
will have a good association so the adjustment will be easy.
If for any reason
you are resistant to using a crate or if you think its cruel consider
this: Puppies are babies, they don't know the electrical cords are not
for chewing. They don't know your favorite rug is not for eating. They
don't know your couch is not for urinating on. They're just little
guys. If they have the opportunity to behave badly, you will have the
problem of un-doing bad behavior. It is much easier to start off
teaching them what they can do versus allowing them to do the bad and
then you having to figure out how to fix the bad behavior. Confining
the pup in the crate prevents bad behaviors from developing. You
protect your pup from hurting itself and your belonging from being
destroyed. Lesson learned and you can build from here.
*Few dogs will soil their
crate, it's their den and they like it clean. Knowing your dogs
elimination schedule will help with successful crate training and
eventual house training. Pups under 3 months probably can not hold
themselves throughout the night. Expect to wake up at least once to let
the pup out. Even with that you may find a mess in the morning. One
tip is to stop all food and water a few hours before YOUR bedtime. Take
the pup out as the last thing you do before your bedtime. More in house training
Pet Supplies Needed
- Pet Crate or Pet Kennel
- Towels, small rug
- Protective pet crate liner
- Blanket or pet crate cover
- enzymatic odor neutralizer to clean pet odors
- pet toys
- pet chew toys