Why You Should Crate Train Your Puppy
Crate training your puppy is one of the essentials for any indoor (and sometimes outdoor) pup owner. Not only will it save you tons of stress and hundreds of possible messes you’d come home to if your pup wasn’t crate trained, it will also instill good behavior in your puppy and establish a stronger relationship between you and your furry little pal. Situations that may require your pup to be crate trained are numerous, but to name a few:
- If you need to leave your pup unsupervised and he isn’t trained to use puppy pads yet
- If you have a contractor coming over, and they require that your pup be in a gated area for them to enter your home
- If you are cleaning your home with chemicals that may be harmful if it came in contact with your dog
With that being said, crate training your puppy is very important, and in this article, we will provide you 4 Easy Steps to Crate Training Your Pup
What Not to Do When Crate Training Your Puppy
To start off, let’s talk about what you shouldn’t do when you’re crate training your puppy. Although, there are many ways to properly crate train your puppy, there are also many ways that just won’t work.
- Do not just throw your pup into the crate – This will only instill fear, anxiety, sadness, and other negative emotions in your pup, which will cause them to form a negative association with their crate
- Do not yell or be aggressive towards your pup if they are yelping or barking in their crate – Again, this will only instill negative emotions into your pup, and they may be yelping because they need to go to the bathroom or are hungry, and if you yell at them, it will create a barrier from them wanting to notify you of their needs in the future
- Do not leave food in the crate with your pup – Unless it is your pup’s scheduled feeding time, do not leave food in your pup’s crate as this will allow your pup to eat without a schedule, which will cause difficulty when potty training your pup. See our article on puppy pad training here
- Do not leave your pup in his crate for long periods of time – Do not leave your pup in his/her crate for more than 4-6 hours. Not only will this instill negative emotions in your pup, it is also very cruel to leave your pup in a small confined area where they can’t run and stretch their legs for so long. In some states/counties is even considered dog abuse.
4 Easy Steps to Crate Training Your Pup
So, now that you know, what NOT to do when crate training your pup, lets get to those 4 simple steps!
- Incentivize Your Pup to Go in the Crate – Don’t make the crate seem like a punishment for your pup. Keep some of your pup’s favorite toys and comfiest pet bed in there, and throw in some of his favorite snacks. When he goes in, praise him, and tell him what a good boy he is, but don’t close the door on him quite yet as he may feel that you tricked him
- Start to Close the Door – Now that your pup has voluntarily started going into the crate, you can start to close the gate. If your pup remains calm, praise him with a treat, then open the door. Great job so far!
- Slowly Increase the Time You Close the Door – As your pup gets more and more comfortable being in the crate, keep him in there longer each time. Start off with 30 seconds, then gradually move to 1 minute, then 5 minutes, and so forth.
- Test Leaving the Room – Now that your pup is comfortable in his crate, start to experiment with going into a different room while he is in his crate, and treat as necessary
Continue this process with rewards and positive reinforcement along the way, and before you know it, your pup will certified crate trained! If, during the crate training process, you face some difficulties, don’t worry! Continue to love your your little buddy, and maintain consistency with your crate training. Depending on the age and breed of your dog, it can take anywhere from 1 month to 3 months to crate train your pup. And remember, be consistent!
We hope you enjoyed our article on crate training your puppy! Please feel free to comment below and share it with a friend! Thanks for reading!