How to Crate Train Your Puppy Effectively


Knowing how to crate train your puppy effectively will help to resolve many of the problems that can occur during the growing up process from puppy to adult dog. Crate training is possibly the most effective method of potty training as well as ensuring that the crate is a safe haven for your puppy.

Starting crate training early will pay dividends by removing many of the problems that can arise in the future and is based on the fact that a puppy's natural instinct is not to soil where it eats and sleeps.

Although early crate training is recommended, note that puppies less than twelve weeks old have very little bladder control so take this into consideration. Puppies younger than nine weeks have even less and need the toilet more frequently so it is not advisable to crate train at such an early age. The minimum recommended age for crate training for the majority of puppies is ten weeks.

Since a puppy will carry out toilet functions soon after it awakens from sleep or eats a meal, a schedule can be planned around these periods. By doing this, the training can be organized more easily.

Before you crate train your puppy, you should ensure that the crate is of the correct proportions for your puppy. It should be big enough so that your puppy can turn around and lie down easily. It should also be big enough to contain a blanket, a bowl of fresh water and a toy to play with. This will help the puppy feel secure without being too confined. If the crate is too big, however, the puppy will be far more likely to dirty its surroundings.

A mistake that is often made by inexperienced owners when crate training is to remove the puppy whenever it cries or whines. This should be avoided or it could lead to the puppy associating the crate with some form of punishment, instead of the happy and secure environment it should provide. It is very common when the puppy is first introduced to the crate to whimper but if you ignore it, your patience will be rewarded. Introduce your puppy to the crate in small time intervals, for example 5 to 10 minutes initially, increasing to 15 minutes, then for longer periods as required. Never use the crate as punishment and remember to only remove your puppy from the crate when it is not crying or whining.

Initially, the crate should be placed near to you when you are at home so that your puppy does not feel alone or isolated. At a later date when your puppy is crate trained, it can be moved to a more suitable location.

There will always be times during crate training when accidents happen. Your puppy doesn't have the same control as a grown dog so these are to be expected. Never punish your puppy for these mistakes. Not only for that reason but also because you do not want to associate the crate with punishment. It is meant to be a safe and comfortable haven for your puppy. This can also be reinforced with reward training. Then, once your puppy understands that the crate is a place of safety and comfort, it will be happy to enter it freely on its own.



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