Crate Training

Dogs are den animals by nature, and will look for spaces in your home or yard that are den like. Dog crates make excellent dens and provide that safe, secure environment that dogs crave. “Crate Training” has been proven to be the fastest and most effective way to housebreak a puppy. A dog’s natural instinct is to avoid being near his own waste, so he’ll make an effort to avoid eliminating in his crate. Crate training can take one day, several days, a few weeks or longer, depending on the breed, age and history of the dog. Crate training promotes bowel and bladder control for your new puppy. This is a key element to house training. If you have a puppy that is in the chewing stage, keeping him/her confined in a crate will prevent him/her form eating something that can be harmful. Leaving a puppy loose in a house where he/she can chew on electrical wires is negligent. Begin by choosing a crate that is large enough for your puppy to stand up, turn, and stretch out in. If it’s too large the puppy may choose to use one end for sleeping and the other for as a bathroom. If you prefer to purchase a crate that will work for your dog when full grown, be sure to look for the type that has a divider panel.

Keep the crate in your common living area during the day, so your puppy can be part of family activities. Dogs instinctively want to sleep near their pack. If possible, move the crate to your bedroom at night or get a second crate for sleeping. This will also allow you to correct him/her if he/she gets fussy during the night.

When a puppy is released from his/her crate, he/she should be taken outside immediately and encouraged to eliminate.  Supervise your dog 100 % of the time when returning to the house, if not completely housebroken. If you become busy or distracted, crate puppy with a special toy that he/she only gets while being confined. If you keep your pup on a regular feeding schedule and use the crate religiously, you will be rewarded with a fully housebroken puppy in no time.

Destructive chewing behavior is often the result of an unsupervised puppy/dog that has gotten bored or anxious. Using a crate during an owner’s short-term absence eliminates this possibility. Dogs will sleep the vast majority of the time when their owners are away anyway. So crating your puppy/dog while you’re away keeps him/her from being destructive and prevents him/her from ingesting something that could potentially be harmful if not fatal.

Separation anxiety occurs when a dog becomes distressed over the owner’s departure. Because dogs are pack animals, they are not always prepared to cope with isolation, even if it’s temporary. Making your dog’s crate time a positive experience can help remedy this. Therefore the most important rule of crate training is to never use the crate as a place of punishment. Never make a big deal about letting your puppy in or out of their crate. Wait until he/she is calm and sitting before releasing from his/her crate, and avoid giving praise or affection until relaxed.

If you plan on travelling with your puppy or dog, they have to be crated. So preparing early for this experience is the best way to ensure a less stressful trip. With proper training, it won’t be long before your dog’s crate becomes a wonderful safe place for your pet, and a valuable training tool for you!

Please call 608 574 3817 with any questions you may have, thank you.

Linda Cree