How to Crate Train Your Puppy
Are you thinking of crate training your new puppy but don’t know where to start? Here’s the definitive guide to crate training! Your pup can feel safe and secure in their own space.
Why Crate Training Can Be Beneficial
Crate training can provide a safe den-like atmosphere for your pup to relax in, as well as reward good behavior since it also serves as a source of comfort. A dedicated area that is just theirs can be especially helpful for anxious puppies or those who suffer from separation anxiety. It’s also an incredibly useful tool during potty training, as most puppies naturally won’t want to soil their own space.
Before bringing your pup home, remember to get everything you need prepared ahead of time. Make sure that the size of the crate matches the size of your dog. Your pup needs enough room to comfortably turn around in it and lay down freely. To make their area inviting, throw a cozy blanket and some toys inside for them to play with. If you plan on leaving them alone for few hours at a time, consider including something that smells like you. An old T-shirt or pillow case so they have something comforting while they are apart from you.
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Introducing The Crate
When introducing your puppy to their crate, take it slow. Use positive reinforcement methods such as treats or praise every time they go in voluntarily or lay down inside it. Avoid closing the door until your pup feels comfortable inside and make sure not to leave them there for too long at first. Why don’t you wrap him in comforter at first? Around 5 minutes is usually good for starters, gradually increasing the amount of time spent inside should help them adjust better.
Always let them out when they are calm and avoid any form of punishment when things don’t go according to plan. Perhaps they barked while they were in there? That’s ok! Just ignore it and take things slower each time until they get used to it eventually.
Establishing A Routine
Once your puppy is more comfortable being left alone inside the crate, try incorporating regular routine into their everyday lives. Put them in there every night before bedtime even if you are still nearby. The same goes when leaving the house – let them know a few minutes before that you will need to leave soon so that the situation doesn’t come off as sudden or scary for them. Be consistent! Over some time this will eventually teach them how long is ‘appropriate’ for being in the crate without feeling neglected or abandoned by you – creating familiarity with what’s expected from both parties involved (i.e., yourself and your pup).
These tips should help ease up any initial worries about failing at crate training with regards to behavioural issues – but always remember that all puppies learn differently! Don’t hesitate consulting an expert trainer if necessary too – patience is key!