A dog’s instinct is to seek out small dark places where she can feel safe. This is sometimes referred to as denning. Crate training a puppy will not only provide your pet with this much-needed sense of security and comfort, but it will also give you, the pet parent, peace of mind when you leave the puppy at home alone.
The Benefits Of Crate Training A Puppy
For Your Dog
- A crate (or an indoor dog kennel) can provide your puppy with a sense of security – especially when they become frightened or need to get away from boisterous kids or other pets. The den is their place and theirs only.
- By filling the new indoor den with your puppy’s blankets and smell, the indoor den becomes a comforting sanctuary for your dog.
- When your dog feels safe and secure, they tend to sleep better at night (and through the night). Certain sociable breeds are insistent that they stay around the family at all times – the Labrador Retriever, for example, will be happy to have his own crate set amongst the hustle and bustle of the family.
- Crating your puppy will speed up the potty training stage, especially for those breeds (such as the Boxer dog) that are quick to learn. Puppies don’t like to soil their beds, and as long as your puppy is let out at regular intervals, they will be more inclined to wait until they are outdoors before relieving themselves.
- You can relax when you leave the room or house, knowing that your young pup is not being destructive in the house.
- You can toilet train your puppy quickly (remember, dogs don’t like to soil where they sleep) leaving you more time to enjoy your dog.
- By choosing an indoor kennel such as Doggie Denz, you can make your dog’s beautiful home part of the furniture. This gives both you and him less separation anxiety.
- You get an overall calmer, happier dog!
10 Easy Steps to Crate Training Your Puppy
- #1: Take your time! Start by opening the door of the kennel or den and placing a rug or a blanket next to the door when your dog goes onto the blanket, praise her and reward her with a small healthy treat.
- #2: Remember not to make a fuss over the indoor kennel. Dogs are very wary creatures, and by going over the top and making the den the centre of attention, your dog will likely think it is a game and not cooperate! Try to act as natural as possible around your new den!
- #3: Place the blanket or rug inside the crate and leave the door open. Reward your puppy for going inside the den and extend the time in between rewarding with treats. Continue to praise your puppy with strokes and cuddles. Remember, the den is just for your puppy! Don’t encourage your cat to invade her space – as much as you want to socialise your dog and cat, your pup won’t be ready to share just yet.
- #4: Get down to your dogs level and sit beside the crate. Spend a few minutes talking to your puppy while she is inside her den so that she knows you are right there with her.
- #5: Next close the door of the crate for a few minutes with your puppy inside. Reward her with praise and a tasty treat. If your dog starts to whine at this point, you may have taken things too fast. Return to an earlier stage and be patient. Do not let your dog out of the crate while he is whining or he will associate this with getting his way.
- #6: Be patient. Don’t rush the process, or you will have to start from the beginning. Gradually leave your puppy in the kennel while you are still in the room. This is very important. You do not want your puppy to associate her crate with being left alone. If you have children, encourage them not to make a fuss over the puppy in the crate and to continue life as normal.
- #7: Increase the amount of time your dog is in her den with the door shut (while you are still in the room). Once the puppy is happy to stay in her den for 25 minutes or so, then you are ready to leave her alone in the room.
- #8: When returning into the room where your puppy has been crated, don’t respond to her eager excitement with a similar reaction. Come into the room quietly and after a minute or so go over to the den and open the door. When she sees that you aren’t making a huge fuss, she won’t either.
- #9: You are now ready to leave your puppy overnight in her crate. Make sure that he has been out for a good walk in the day and is tired. Make sure that he has relieved himself. Do not over excite him before bedtime. Some people leave soft classical music playing to help puppy relax and sleep. Depending on your home environment, you will know if this method is suitable for you.
- #10: Depending on each puppy, this process could take two weeks or two months. Either way, it doesn’t mean you are doing things wrong, be patient, follow these steps, and you will be rewarded with a happy and secure dog.
If there is anything else you would like to know about crate train a puppy and we haven’t covered it here, then please don’t hesitate to contact us with any queries.