A pet owner is bound to find dozens of reasons a crate is handy throughout the life of his dog. And with these fun tips, he doesn’t need to fear the process of training a new puppy to love his new home.
Benefits of Crate Training
Many pet owners use crates as their puppies’ personal get away and snuggly spot to sleep at night. Crates also offer safety when owners can’t be around since puppies are notorious for chewing or swallowing whatever they come across.
Crates provide a cozy den for dogs, but also offer the human members of the household several handy benefits. First and foremost, crates are a wonderful tool in house training a new puppy. Second, crates let owners leave the home without wondering what items will be gnawed to bits on their return. Crates are also almost essential if owners plan to do any traveling with their new pet.
Where to Put the Puppy’s Crate
When properly introduced to a crate, it is likely to be a place the dog loves to go. Pet owners can start by finding a place for the crate in a room where the family likes to hang out. Even inside his crate, a dog wants to feel like part of the gang.
Pet owners may even want two crates if their home is two stories. Having a second crate also offers an out-of-the-way place for a puppy to rest while company is over.
Since the crate is probably where the dog will be sleeping at night, this should also be taken into consideration when choosing a spot. Most crates are easy to move around though, so the first few weeks are a good period for experimentation.
Getting a Puppy Used to His New Crate
Pet owners will want to take it slowly when introducing a puppy to his new crate. Treats make the process fun and leave puppy with a positive association.
Here is a step-by-step plan.
1. Place a few treats just inside the crate’s open door.
2. Move away to let the puppy investigate.
3. Allow the puppy to retrieve the treats and back away.
4. Place more treats a little farther into the crate.
5. Continue the process until the puppy has to step fully inside the crate to retrieve his treats.
6. Do not close the door behind him.
7. Praise the puppy every time he enters the crate.
8. When the puppy enters the crate without hesitating, close the door.
9. Let the puppy get used to being in the crate for short durations at first.
Pet owners can make their puppies’ crate time fun by using favorite treats and toys. Stuffable Kongs or treat balls provide mental stimulation and physical exercise for puppies while owners aren’t able to supervise. Switching out the toys in a puppy’s crate is another way of keeping him entertained.
Crate Training Problems
Even with the treats and fun, some dogs may whine or bark when placed in their crate. It’s important not to feed bad habits by offering attention for undesirable behavior. A pet owner should wait till the puppy quiets down before letting him out.
Most dogs have no problem with a crate. After all, they are den animals by nature. If dogs don’t take to it, owners can create the next best thing buy setting up a dog-safe area or play pen in a room with an easily cleanable floor.
Crates can be used effectively for time outs every so often. But owners will want to remember to make sure their dogs have primarily positive associations with their crates. If pet owners force their puppies into crates or leave them in for hours on end, problems are sure to develop.
Choosing the Right Crate
It’s important to find the right size crate. Dogs have a natural instinct to keep their crate clean, but if the crate is too big, the dog will have room for a bathroom area alongside his area for sleeping.
If the crate is too small, the dog will be uncomfortable. Weight guides are posted on new crates in the store. If a pet owner is purchasing a crate used, he’ll need to be certain the crate is big enough for his dog to stand up, turn around, and lie down.
Purchasing a crate for a puppy that’s bound to get a lot larger can be tricky. Some crates come with built-in dividers for this very reason. Otherwise, a pet owner can purchase a crate to meet the estimated requirements for the puppy’s adult needs and block of part off the space with a Rubbermaid tub.