How Important is Good Crate Training for my Puppy?
Crate training, when done right, can be a beneficial tool. Not only does it give your new pup a sense of safety and security, but it also offers you, as a new puppy owner, with a way to establish rule and order in your home. Applied and followed through correctly, crate training is a win for both parties involved – especially for your pup.
The Crate Philosophy
Dogs are innately den animals. In the wild, a dog’s den is their sanctuary, a safe home where he can sleep, retreat, and raise puppies without fear of danger, without any outside threats. For a domesticated dog, on the other hand, a crate satisfies this natural need for a safe haven.
If introduced and used correctly, the crate will be where your dog freely picks to sleep, hide when it storms and lay around in for no other reason other than it is their very own space.
When Should You Start with the Training?
Pups that are handled and taken care of by their owners during the first two months of life are much more willing to being trained. It is advisable that pups are placed in their permanent homes between 8 to 10 weeks of age.
So, this is the ideal time to start crate training them because they will grow more fearful of new things between the 10 to 12 weeks. There’s a tendency that it will be hard for them to adjust to a new home.
As early as eight weeks, you can also teach your puppy tricks and commands, aside from crate training.
Crate Training Basics
What Kind of Crate Should I Buy?
First thing first, you need to buy a crate. There are two kinds of crates you can pick from:-
· Plastic; or a
· Wire mesh type of crate
It also comes in a variety of styles and sizes. You will need to get a crate where your dog will be at ease, and to save money, you’d want to choose something that he can still use when he grows bigger, but at the same time not too spacious for a puppy. A crate that is movable is also a plus factor.
Where to Put the Crate
Find the best spot to put the crate; it may not be just in one place. Crate training your puppy can be in your room during the night or in the living room in the daytime where there are people. Just make sure you don’t put it where the sunlight is shining from a window because it might make the air hot for your puppy.
What Goes in Your Dog’s Crate?
You’d want to make sure your puppy finds his crate comfortable, so including bedding and chew toys is essential. Lots of factors tell what other items work best for your dog in his crate, such as their activity level, age, and how destructive they are.
Starting the Crate Training
Keep the door open, or, if possible, remove it!
Have your pup explore the crate if he wants. Then slowly make it interesting, throw in toys or treats every once in a while, and don’t forget to pet him while he’s inside the crate.
Only start to feed your puppy when he’s already comfortable inside the crate, gradually close the door for just a short period of time while you are outside. This will give your pup an assurance that it is safe and secure to be inside the crate. If your puppy wishes to go out, do not give in even if he whines.
In crate training puppies, if you allow him to go out when he whines, you’re giving him the impression that whining is his key out.
Progressing the Training
As you go along, always pay attention to your dog’s feelings. Crate training takes a while for it to be effective. If your pup is already comfortable when the door is closed while you’re there, start leaving for a short period of time, go around the house, and slowly increase the duration of your absence. Giving your puppy a distraction like treats and toys will be helpful.
Pros and Cons of Crate Training Puppies
In everything that we do, there’s always the advantages and disadvantages to it—the same is true with crate training. It offers good flexibility for both you and your puppy, but at the same time, it also has some effects on your dog when not done properly.
Advantages of Crate Training Your Puppies
First, we check out the advantages it can bring to you:
· Crate training will help you a great deal with housebreaking puppies.
· You could leave your dog in his crate if necessary, without giving him stress and causing mayhem and destruction in your home.
· Traveling with your dog in an airplane or leaving him in a veterinary clinic will also lessen its stress because your puppy is crate-trained.
· A lot of dogs, when crate-trained properly, will seek their crate for rest and relaxation.
· It will also give them a sense of ownership inside the crate.
Disadvantages of Crate Training:
Let’s look at the disadvantages of crate training when NOT done the right way:
· Some owners tend to leave their dogs inside the crate for too long
· A strong and anxious dog can get out of most crates, and hurt himself in the process
· Puppies who already have separation anxiety will just be more upset inside a crate.
Crate Training Points to Remember:
· When a dog whines in a crate, take them outside to relieve himself, not to play. If he does not ‘go potty’, ignore his whining until he stops. If not, you’d be training your dog to whine just to get out of the crate.
· Never force your dog inside the crate as a form of punishment.
· Do not bang the crate around.
· Puppies should not be left inside the crate for over a few hours. They cannot hold their bowels and bladders for longer than that.
Dogs aren’t meant to be inside the crate day and night. They also need social interaction. If you find your schedule requires your pup to be crated for longer than is acceptable, try incorporating doggie daycare or a dog walker into his routine.