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Crate Training for Puppies

Puppies bring a lot of joy into our homes and hearts and at the same time they can be a lot of work. When a puppy enters in your life and home it is suggested that a crate is purchased.

You can purchase a crate through many wholesale pet supply stores as well as many retail stores and catalogs. In the correct size crate a puppy should be able to stand up and turn around comfortably. 

You may want to purchase another crate as your dog grows or use something to block the area available to your puppy in the crate should you choose to purchase a large crate from the beginning. The reasons for this will be discussed as we learn about crate training.

Please don’t view a crate as a cage or punishment tool. Look at them as the puppy’s safe haven where she or he can sleep or rest safely and no one can accidentally step on them.

A crate is also a great house-training tool to aid your puppy in learning how to hold its bladder. Dogs do not like to soil their resting/sleeping area if given adequate opportunity to eliminate elsewhere.

Temporarily confining your dog to a small area strongly inhibits the tendency to urinate and defecate. If your puppy does not eliminate while confined then it will need to eliminate when released.

Upon taking your puppy out of the crate immediately go to a desired relieving area to let your puppy relieve. Be sure to praise and reward your puppy for relieving in the proper area.

There is a difference between temporarily confining your dog to a crate and long-term confinement when you are not home. The major purpose of confinement when you are not home is to restrict mistakes to a small-protected area.

Short-term confinement to a crate is intended to inhibit your dog from eliminating when confined so that it will want to eliminate when released from confinement and taken to an appropriate area. Instead of going whenever the puppy feels like it she learns to hold it and go at scheduled times.

It is also helpful if your puppy is on a regular feeding and watering schedule. Puppies usually relieve after eating and drinking.

To train your puppy to sleep through the night without having to relieve you might want to restrict any food or water intake after 5 or 6 PM.

After your puppy is house trained you can add a blanket in their crate for comfort. Some puppies like blankets and some don’t. It’s up to you to find out. Here’s a good clue. If you put in a blanket for comfort and you come home to find it torn up or shoved in a corner your pup might not want it in its crate. You can also include some of the puppy’s favorite toys.

A golden rule with a puppy’s crate is no one is allowed to crawl inside. It’s the pup’s safety place where they can go to sleep in comfort and feel secure.

Important note: Never use a crate as a punishment tool. If your puppy is misbehaving correct that situation by guiding your puppy into a more positive avenue. This will help your puppy in the long run and won’t confuse him or her by being put into a crate.

About Eileen Tonick

Angel Dogs, provides dog training, puppy training, dog agility training, dog obedience training and therapy dog training throughout the Phoenix, Arizona Metro Area.
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