How to Crate Train a Puppy
crate training a puppy

Crate training puppies is easier than you think! The toughest part of this process is that we tend to project our own human emotions onto the puppy. We think to ourselves how much we would hate being locked up alone in a cage, which immediately makes us feel horrible for doing that to a little puppy. However, we need to see this from the puppy’s true perspective.

By nature, dogs actually crave a “den”; a small space to call their own. In the wild, this was their haven - a quiet, safe place to hide from predators and the elements. As further proof of this, think of how many times you’ve heard of a dog hiding under a bed or in a back corner of a closet when afraid! Those dark, confined places are soothing to your little one; he feels secure, safe and sound.

Your puppy may initially protest his crate training, but if you ride it out a bit, and make him spend time in there, he will come to see his crate as his “den”.  He should be consistently crated overnight and for every nap. Additionally, you should crate him if you cannot monitor his every move, as he may potty in the house as soon as you turn your back. Make his crate as cozy and inviting as possible, providing chew toys and a blanket or towel to cuddle up in.

housetraining a puppy
Be sure to give him very little space, as if his crate is too large, he might use one side of it as a bathroom! A rule of thumb is to give him just enough room to stand up, turn around and lay down. You also want to be sure that the temperature is comfortable for him. If your home is very warm, you might want to have a fan nearby - but not blowing directly on him. If your home is chilly, be sure to keep the crate away from drafty, outside walls. If your crate is open on all sides, you can also throw a blanket or towel over the top and three sides.

Now, here’s where the training can go wrong - and it’s not the puppy’s fault, it’s yours! At the slightest little whimper, our human instinct is to rescue our little pup. If he has already eaten and gone potty you must resist the urge to take him out of his crate! This will only teach him that if he cries, you will take him out. So, essentially, he has trained YOU to be at his beck and call. However, if he cries uncontrollably and relentlessly when you crate him, as a compromise, place his crate where he can see you. (for example, on the floor next to your bed) If he still whimpers, this is what professional dog trainers suggest: either bang on his crate and yell “QUIET!” or “NO!”, or take a can or plastic bottle filled with pennies and shake it at him and yell “QUIET!” or “NO!”. Repeat as necessary, but soon enough he will settle down and sleep.

In the morning and after naps, your little pup will urgently need to make. Once he’s awake, take him out immediately or he might potty in his crate. Greet him cheerily and say: “Let’s go make!”  Put on his leash and lead him to the door. In conjunction with the crate, professional trainers highly recommend potty training a puppy. Follow this fast, easy dog training method, and your pup will be perfectly trained in no time!


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