There are many wonderful benefits to crate training your puppy. A dog crate or wire kennel can provide your puppy with a safe place to go when it is tired or stressed. Additionally, when you need to travel, it is much easier to transport dogs that are already familiar with dog crates. Finally, crate training is also extremely valuable when housebreaking a pet. Now, you may be wondering how to crate train your puppy. While some puppies take to dog crates quite easily, others may not. As such, some puppies will need more training than others. Although crate training is easiest when dogs are still young, any dog can be trained to a dog crate or kennel.
Make the Dog Crate Comfortable
The first thing you will want to do is make the dog crate comfortable for your puppy. Ideally, your puppy should be able to stand up in the dog crate and turn around without any problems. Line the dog crate with newspapers and place a blanket or old towel over the paper. Be sure to place the dog crate in an area that is draft-free and quiet.
Allow Your Puppy to Investigate the Dog Crate
Puppies are naturally curious and will most likely want to investigate this new “box” on the floor. Encourage their curiosity by tossing a few favorite toys or chew sticks inside the crate. Never force your puppy into the dog crate and do not close the door until your puppy is completely comfortable inside.
Another way you can encourage your puppy to go into the crate is by placing its food bowl inside. Typically, after just a few days, your puppy will go into its crate without any encouragement. In fact, you may even find that the crate will become your dog’s favorite sleeping spot.
Shutting the Dog Crate’s Door when Puppy Entered
The last step in crate training your puppy is to teach it to feel comfortable in the crate while the door is closed. Put some treats or a favorite toy in the crate. After your puppy enters the crate and becomes involved with the toy or treats, quietly shut the door but do not leave the room.
If your puppy begins to whine or bark, ignore it. After about five or ten minutes, open the door and let your puppy out. Repeat this a few times a day every day. You can increase your time every few days until you reach about one hour and are able to leave the room without your puppy panicking.
Crate Training Tips
- If you purchase a dog crate that is too big, your puppy may very well use one end to relieve itself and the other end to sleep.
- Never crate your puppy longer than a few hours at a time.
- If you purchase a wire kennel, you can drape a blanket over it to give it a more “den-like” appeal.
Take your dog’s collar off when you place it in its crate. Collars can get stuck in the wires of dog crates and choke your puppy to death. If you need to keep identification on your puppy, use a harness instead.