How do I go about crate training a puppy ?

Crate training a puppy has many advantages. But there is a major disadvantage, and that drawback is emotional, and therefore, significant. Yes, crates do resemble a den, thereby offering a puppy security, and a sense of their own special place. Problems arise however, when owners overuse the dog crate. A puppy will feel detached from you, if it can see you, but can’t get close to you.

Frustration and loneliness create emotional problems in dogs; this usually takes the form of destructive behaviour. Also, your puppy needs to learn how to behave in the house, and crating her for long periods will seriously extend that learning curve.

Used correctly a crate offers the following benefits:

  1. When your busy, and you could do without distractions, you can crate your puppy.
  2. When you have to go out for a while, you can crate your puppy.
  3. Travelling in a car with your puppy crated, makes for a much easier journey.
  4. If you’ve got a naughty, excitable, or extrovert puppy, its convenient to have somewhere to put her till she calms down. But, don't use the crate as a type of punishment. Just, lead her, or place her in the crate without making any sort of fuss.
  5. Perhaps, the biggest advantage of crating a dog is as an aid to house training....
Crate training a puppy

How crate training a puppy speeds up house training a puppy.

At 6-7 weeks of age most pups’ mothers will have urged them to leave the nest to relieve themselves. Consequently, your puppy will be very reluctant to soil its own personal space. Crates build on the mother's early efforts, by reinforcing that reluctance.

For house training purposes: keep an eye on how long she’s been in the crate, try not to let it run over two hours. Then, let her out of the crate, and take her to the place you have designated as the toilet area to relieve herself. Here’s a few other crate training tips:

  1. Make sure that the crate is the right size for your puppy; too big and it may well soil it.
  2. Check this page out to find out All About House Training a Puppy.
  3. Get your puppy used to the crate by putting her toys and bedding inside.
  4. If she’s reluctant to enter, coax her in using a treat and praising her.
  5. Close the door, and leave the room for 5 minutes. Return and make a fuss of her.
  6. Repeat the above process, but now extend the period to 10, 15, 20 and then 30 minutes. Always give her a small treat on entering, combined with praise, and a big fuss on your return.
  7. If you're only restricting your puppy to the crate when you're busy, or have to go out, provide her with a toy to chew.

As your puppy gets bigger you might decide that a playpen does the same job as the crate, but widens the space available to your pet. In a similar way, gates are also useful to restrict your dog.

At one time, a gate was all there was between me, and 5 very playful, attention seeking dogs. They had their own room, with access to the garden. Without that gate, I know that they would have driven me round the twist.

Crate training a puppy is a useful introduction to the real puppy training that is to follow. And a useful tool to enhance that is clicker training:

This is just one segment of our puppy-training guide.....

Puppy barking

So why not find out all about Clicker Training a Puppy.
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