No matter what people have told you about the crate training, or what you was reading about it before, the very first and the most important thing is that fact, that a proper crate training is targeting the benefits of your dog. Why is that? Simply because the proper crate training is a guarantee of your young puppy's safety, comfort and happy life. Believe it or not, very soon you will find out, that puppy crate training is an irreplaceable instrument that will help you to prevent many behavior problems in your puppy before they appear and to develop many useful habits, that will stay with your dog for the rest of his life. Plus to everything written above, crate is very useful to keep your house and your belongings safe too. America's Pet Store has number of great training products, pet ramps, fences and more.
After some time you will notice that crate became your puppy's special "private" place, where he feels safe and secured. If you provide the proper puppy crate training, your young dog will study to love his crate the same way you love your own home.
So, let us find out where and why the crate training will be useful to us and our dogs.
The crate will be a great help, while you are housebreaking your young puppy. Actually, the crate is the best way to teach your puppy to do his toilet outside fast and easy.
When we crate the puppy, it will help him to develop a good habit of chewing his own toys instead of destroying our furniture, shoes, pillows and the rest of our belongings. Remember - it is always better to prevent the developing of a bad habit, then to correct it.
Some things in your house may be quite dangerous for your puppy: wires, different kinds of chemicals and poisons, small sharp objects. You will never believe how many puppies were injured or even killed because they were left free in the house without any supervision. Crate will be a great solution for this kind of cases.
If the crate training is done properly, the crate will become a place, where your puppy is relaxed, calm and feeling comfortable even when he is left alone for some time. Of course, it does not mean, that you have to leave your puppy in the crate alone for the whole day (if you need to do something like this pretty often, maybe it's better not to have a dog at all). Anyway, the crate helps a lot to prevent the development of a separation anxiety in your dog.
If, for some reason, you need people to visit you often (your friends or any other kind of visitors), crate will keep you puppy perfectly and safely enclosed for a while.
Normally, most of the crates are quite lightweight and easy to move around the house, it means your puppy can always be beside you during the day.
If you will choose the crate, that can be putted in your car, it will help your puppy to travel more comfortable and with the less stress.
When your puppy will study to like his crate it will be much easier for him to stay in the dog hotels, veterinarian clinic or groomer's place.
If the crate training was made properly, your puppy will stay away from making many mistakes, which means that you will not have to discipline him too often and it will be a guarantee of a healthy and comfortable relationship between you and your dog.
Crate is also very useful for those who are planning to show their dogs or to have any kind of training courses or competitions: basic obedience, agility etc.
What would you need?
1. First of all, you are going to need a crate itself, of course. Generally the dog crates come in two types: plastic and wire. It is up to you, which type to choose - the most important here will be to find a right size. The crate should be comfortable for your puppy, when he fully grows up.
2. Choose a good dog bed - the one, that your puppy will not chew and swallow. Of course, the dog bad should be chosen according to the climate.
3. It will be useful to provide your puppy with several chew toys to keep him busy. Also it will help him to understand what is allowed to chew and what is not.
4. Don't forget that your puppy must always have a fresh clean water. You can even choose the bowl that can be securely fixed on the wall of the crate.
Since you got a proper crate and other important things described above, you may start to introduce your puppy to his "new home". Remember, that your pup's first impression of the crate should be absolutely positive. There is no way to use the crate as a punishment for any kind of your puppy's misbehavior. You need your young dog to love his crate and to choose it as a place of his secure and relaxation, the place, he can trust. Remember also, that crate training should be started slowly - step by step.
First put the crate with the door open in the same room where you are staying with your puppy. Try to get him interested in the crate, put some of his favorite treats inside the crate and if he steps in - praise him for his courage. Also it is good to put your puppy's favorite toy or a blanket inside the crate to make it more cozy for him.
Without shutting the crate door give your puppy all his meals inside the crate.
While playing with your puppy put one of his toys inside the crate and close the door - for sure he will be very interested to get inside the crate somehow and take his toy - this little trick is working with most of the puppies just perfect.
When your puppy does not see, fix the chew toy inside the crate (just basically tide it there) and let him to find it and play with it inside the crate (do not close the door yet).
As long as you made sure your puppy is not afraid of the crate and he is comfortable there, you can already close the crate door, but just for 7-10 seconds. When the dog is inside, feed him something tasty through the door. If you see any sign that your puppy is uncomfortable or scared inside the crate, do not close him there and return back to the previous steps for some more time.
Little by little your puppy will get used to his crate and you can slowly increase the time he is spending inside. Then let him stay in the crate without you in the room (start also slowly, do not leave him for a long time at the beginning). When he is confident enough to stay alone for some time, try to leave him inside the crate for the night (in this case you should keep the crate in your bedroom, for your puppy to know, that you are here beside him).
Some extra tips.
When you are going to put your dog inside the crate, take off the collar - it is very important because the collar may stock on the crate and scare your dog or worth.
Make sure that your puppy already made his toilet and do not hold him for too long from going there again because of the crate training.
If an accident happened, never punish your dog for making it inside the crate. It is not his fault, but yours - you were not attentive enough to notice that he needs to go toilet already. All you have to do in this case - just quickly clean the mess and make sure there will be no odor left.
You have to be extra careful while crating your dog in a hot weather, especially inside the car. The temperature there sometimes can be really high.
Never crate your puppy or even an adult dog for more then 4-5 hours at once (you can make it only overnight or in some certain emergency occasions). There is indeed no point to have a dog at all, if you have to leave him alone daily for a long hours.
In case you crate your puppy, do not forget, that he will need a plenty of physical and mental exercises for him to stay healthy and to enjoy his life.
Do not let your puppy out of the crate in case he is barking or showing any other undesirable behavior (except for a really dangerous cases of course). It will only encourage him to bark longer and louder next time.
Do not crate you dog only when you are leaving home - it may give him a bad feeling about his crate, he will think that crate is a reason that he is staying alone without you and he may hate it.
In general the crate training described above is quite enough and bringing a good results if it is done properly. Just remember not to rush the things up and of course cheer up your puppy and praise him a lot every time he will be showing the desirable behaviors.