Crate training a puppy or a dog should be simple. Crate training is ideal for dogs because of their affinity for enclosed, dimly lit environments. A puppy’s love of crates is pre-programmed in him or her.
In addition, pups have a built-in desire to remain with their mother and siblings. Puppies’ understanding that the cage does not mean they will be away from their family is the most difficult element of crate training them.
The worst blunder you can make is forgetting that puppies need a family. Is crate training necessary?
Well, there are many crate training benefits you and your dog will get. Here are some tips for successfully crate training your puppy, starting with making sure she knows the cage is both secure and fun for her.
Training A Puppy To Use A Crate
Is crate training cruel? Definitely, no when done properly!
What are you waiting for? Are you ready to bring your dog home from the shelter or puppy from the breeder? Before you bring her home, make sure her crate is ready. Crate training pros and cons should be identified before doing so.
A wire box or a hard plastic kennel are two options for the crate you purchase. I like the plastic kennels since they’re more secure, and your dog will enjoy that. Wire boxes, on the other hand, are cooler and simpler to clean than plastic ones.
Additionally, you may purchase wire cages with partitions to keep your puppy confined to one end of the container. This will ensure that she doesn’t use half of her kennel for sleeping and the other half for bathroom purposes.
Wire cages have the drawback of making your puppy feel claustrophobic due to their large size. However, if you wrap a blanket over three of the four corners, you’ll be able to provide her with a cozy lair.
Crate Training 101: What To Put In A Dog Crate?
Here’s what you’ll need for your puppy’s crate after you’ve bought it. All of this should be in place before the puppy arrives:
1. Treats And Playthings
Toys and snacks are a must-have when crate training for puppies. Including your newest addition, of course. Keep your puppy’s favorite items at the farthest end of the crate.
A choking threat may be avoided with firm rubber toys. It’s important to make sure they’re big enough to avoid them being swallowed!
You’ll also want to provide the puppy’s kennel with a variety of tasty treats. Suddenly, she’ll realize how awesome her den is!
When it comes to hosting a pool party, you may be selective about the kind of water dispenser you use.
Alternatively, a little basin of water or a tiny hanging pail may be enough for your needs. When it comes to messes, bigger dishes are more likely to result in larger ones (especially for water-loving breeds).
Large hanging buckets might also be a hazard. Make sure the water dish is big enough for her.
When your puppy is in her crate for more than an hour, make sure she has access to fresh water.
Put some thought into making your puppy’s new home as comfortable as possible. Get her a comfortable crate bed. Two or three are preferable, so you may have one in the washer and one in the crate at all times.
Some pups prefer hard surfaces to softer ones. Whether it’s a hot day or your dog is a hot dog in general, your fine bedding can be pushed aside. There is no need to be offended; she has the right to decorate in whatever manner that makes her happy.
Pro Crate Training Tips
It’s a good idea to have the puppy’s kennel with you at all times during the first few days. As a result, she’ll be more inclined to spend time alone in her cave.
Your kitchen or family area is the ideal location. To begin with, it’s better to keep her with you in the same room as you.
It’s all well now that you have a crate and a new puppy or dog. Learn how to crate train a puppy by reading these tips below:
1. Set Up A Crate Training for Dogs Routine
The most important thing you can do when you’re crate training a new puppy is to make every encounter with her cage a good one.
Go gently and don’t put too much pressure on yourself or your dog when crate training. It’s preferable for your dog to associate the crate with positive experiences.
Drop tasty snacks inside your puppy’s kennel periodically when crate training during the day. A favorable memory of her new room will be reinforced if she discovers some tasty treats there.
For the same reasons, you should give your puppy all of her meals in her box. Put her food and rewards within the crate’s entryway if she’s afraid to enter. Do this in stages, gradually relocating them to the far rear of the container.
Take your dog’s favorite toy or chew and secure it in place at the rear of the cage for further security. This will entice her to take a seat in the crate and have some fun with the toy.
It could take a few tries for your puppy to warm up to her kennel if she has had a terrible experience with it in the past. Never put your dog in her crate against her will or force her to go in. Crate training whining is almost often the result of this method.
2. Puppy Crate Training Can Be Fun if You Make It Fun
It’s time to create a game out of your puppy’s crate training after a few sessions. As soon as she sees you with some delicious food or a fascinating toy, chuck it into the cage. Be sure to reward the puppy when she retrieves them from the kennel.
Restart the game when your puppy returns to you. Five times is a good starting point.
Treat-tossing in the puppy’s crate for a few days can get her used to going inside the crate on her own.
The dog should already be running inside the crate when you throw goodies in there. Toss the cookie into the crate when she does. Encourage her by saying, “Get in your bed,” and then praising her when she succeeds.
Make sure she gets her gift every time by doing this for a total of 10 sessions. Make it a little more difficult after that.
Next, say “Get in your bed” instead of tossing the cookie in first. Also, do not give your dog the reward until she is inside the crate. You may wait and see whether she does… End the session if she still refuses to enter.
In the meanwhile, go back to tossing the biscuit in first and then trying the cue. You should reward her for entering her box on cue by giving her a large number of treats. End the workout after a few more repetitions.
Leaving a dog wanting more is essential to crate training.
3. Close The Door
Crate training requires that you shut the door after your puppy enters it on command. “Get in your bed” again, and lock the door as soon as you see her enter the room.
Feed her sweets through the door if you still want to please her. Open the door after giving her a few snacks. This should be done five times.
Next, take a look around the container once you’ve shut the door and secured the latch. Make sure your dog gets goodies while you’re doing it, then let her out for a few minutes.
Have fun with it. After a few successful rounds of the crate, you’re ready to go on to the next round of training.
4. Short Stays
Crate training a dog requires that you first establish a regular schedule and then gradually extend that schedule over time.
Place your puppy’s kennel next to your chair and fill it with chewable toys. Set up Netflix and enjoy! You want to keep your puppy in a kennel next to you for a few hours.
When you’re hungry or thirsty, get out of your chair and go to the kitchen. But please return in a few minutes. Even the dog can have some treats with you. Her first lockdown experience must be a pleasant one!
In the event that she cries or throws a tantrum, do not pay attention to it. Don’t open the door if she’s yawning. To get her out of the container, you’ll have to teach her to pitch fits. Rewarding bad conduct is never a good idea.
The dog may be released from the kennel after around 30 minutes if she remains calm. Say “OK” to opening the door. Don’t make a big deal out of your dog. You don’t want to give her rewards or toys while she isn’t in her cage and doing well.
You should give her a signal to get back in and then reward her with a tasty treat if she does. Don’t shut the door this time.
Try bribing the dog with toys or goodies if she refuses to return to her kennel. Whatever you do, don’t lock her in the container until you can get her back. Your goal is for her to understand that crate time isn’t a long-term commitment.
While you watch a movie, your dog will be able to rest outside of the kennel.
5. Increased Length of Stay
Lockdowns should be extended if movie night was a success. Keep the puppy in her kennel for the following several days if you will be away from home for an extended amount of time.
Your chores, taxes, work, and laundry may all be done while she is in her crate.
If she makes a noise, don’t let her out of the container. Any conduct that is reinforced is more likely to occur in the future.
Make frequent visits and provide goodies for your pet. You want your puppy to understand that even if you are away for a while, you’ll return.
Make sure to give your puppy a pat on the back when you’re about to leave the room, then return to reward her with a treat when you return.
Whenever you place your puppy in her cage, be sure to provide her with a chew toy.
When you’re out of her sight, keep praising her. Whenever she does anything well, make a big deal out of it and reward her with sweets.
You may increase the amount of time your puppy spends in her crate without you there if she will go in there freely and remain there without crying. Lockdowns may be prolonged according to the following schedule:
- 1 minute
- 5 minutes
- 15 minutes
- 30 minutes
- 1 hour
- 2 hours
- 3 hours
- 4+ hours
As the duration of the trip lengthens, be sure to include some shorter stays. Continue to treat your puppy for going inside her kennel for just a few seconds to a minute.
6. Leave The House
Start leaving the home when she’s settled into her kennel and purring contentedly. Continue to combine short stays with plenty of cookies in accordance with the timetable outlined above. Use the same routine.
If you’re going to ask her to spend an hour or more alone in her cage, be sure you’ve prepared her for success.
A fatigued dog is an ideal candidate for a home alone request. Prevent her from becoming bored while you’re gone. Also, don’t forget to provide her with fresh water and a chew toy.
Leaving and returning without fanfare or fuss is essential. This time of year is not the best time for a puppy snuggle session. Make your departures and arrivals as efficient as possible.
In the event of your departure, she will learn to make a great deal out of it as well.
How To Crate Training Puppy at Night
Even if you do your hardest, your puppy may have a difficult time sleeping when crate training the first night. Crying, barking, or puppy peeing in the kennel are all possible nighttime behaviors. It will get better, don’t worry!
For the first few nights or weeks, keep the crate directly next to your bed. Always keep in mind that you don’t want your dog to link her kennel with your departure! Your fingers should be able to reach inside the container.
Say to her, “You’re a nice dog,” and put your fingers in the kennel if she starts howling at night. She’ll be grateful for the company, and should be able to go back to sleep as soon as she’s done talking.
After a few minutes, if the puppy still isn’t calm, she may need to go outdoors. Take her by the hand and leave her alone. She has to know that she’s being taken out for business, not for entertainment.
As a result, you should avoid interacting with her as much as possible. It’s time to go to bed, not have fun at night!
How Long Does It Take To Crate Train A Puppy?
When it comes to getting pups adjusted to their crates, it might take anything from a few days to many weeks. It all relies on how successfully you can link the crate to positive experiences for your dog.
It should just take a few days if you don’t miss any stages and begin with brief lockdowns in the same room as yourself.
Your puppy will tell you if you put it in the crate too early or for too long. You’ll have to cope with a weeping dog in her box. You’ll have to work harder to persuade her that the box is a joyful and secure place for her to spend her time.
Dog Crate Training Issues and Solutions
Your puppy will quickly and cheerfully adjust to her kennel with a little effort and forethought. Here are some more recommendations to keep you on track in the event that things go awry.
1. Crate Training Puppy Crying
Crying or whining in the kennel is quite natural for your puppy the first few days. Your puppy might be suffering from crate training separation anxiety.
After that, if your dog weeps for long periods of time, you’ve either sped up or missed a step. Steps 1 through 4 should be repeated if your puppy continues to cry in her kennel for an extended period of time.
2. Puppy Crying In Crate At Night
Keeping your puppy’s kennel next to your bed is the easiest answer if she wakes up weeping or whimpering at night.
Sometimes all a puppy needs is you reaching into her kennel and reassuring her that you’re still there. You may need to take your puppy outside to relieve herself if she won’t relax.
3. Crate Peeing Puppy
Your dog has to go before you put her in her cage, so be sure she’s done her business before you do. Never punish your dog for peeing in her kennel while you are away.
Use an enzymatic cleanser to clean the cage. Avoid using ammonia-containing items on your dog. If the cage smells like a potty, your dog may assume it’s okay to dirty it.
For the first few days or weeks, she’s likely to pee and poop in her container… Be prepared to see her target the bedding! It’s possible that this is what’s going on.
- Use a smaller box.
- Use a divider in the crate
- Take out the bed linens (although it works, this one seems a bit less kind)
How Long Does Crate Training Take?
Puppies, on the other hand, have a far shorter attention span than their adult counterparts. How long should your dog remain in her cage before she has to go outside?
- 8-10 weeks 30-60 minutes
- 11-14 weeks. 1-3 hours
- 15-16 weeks. 3-4 hours
- 17+ weeks 4–6 hours
There should never be more than 5 or 6 hours of confinement time for pups or adult dogs, unless it is crate training overnight.
Avoid The Crate As Punishment
You’ve put in a lot of time and effort to get your puppy attached to her kennel and make it her home. So, during the first several months, keep up the games and practices.
To use her box as a form of discipline when she misbehaves or acts out might be tempting. The container may be used as a time-out. Just as long as your puppy has developed a fondness for her crate and is able to endure it for an extended period of time.
However, if you shout at or force your puppy into her crate, the crate will become a frightening place for her. Instead of penalizing your puppy for bad conduct, it’s always better to tell him what you want him to do.
There are an infinite number of ways to be incorrect, but only one correct way. It’s easier to teach a puppy if you praise it when it does something you like. Also, don’t engage in any actions you find objectionable.
Poorly trained dogs dislike their crates because they learn that they will be left alone for an extended period of time when they use them.
Dogs are pack creatures, so leaving them alone may be upsetting for both you and your dog. Training your dog to handle being alone in a crate is basically what it is all about.
Crate training a puppy correctly by following the guides above. She’ll feel safe and comfortable while you’re gone. So be patient and travel at a reasonable pace. This is the reason why crate training is important.
A puppy’s kennel might become a fearsome barrier if it is not properly trained. When pups see a cage, they assume they will be abandoned. This is the most common cause of crate weeping and howling in pups.
To ensure a long and happy life for your puppy, you must introduce her to her kennel in the correct manner. We’re grateful that you’ve taken the time to read and benefit from this material.
Let us know if we’ve overlooked anything in the comments below. You may tell us what you think, and we’ll make the necessary changes to share with other dog owners if it’s necessary.