Crate Training

A crate will offer your puppy a sense of security. When employed properly crating is helpful with house training, preventing destructive behaviour and teaching your puppy to settle and relax.  Teach your puppy to love his crate through positive reinforcement and the crate will be his own safe place much like a bedroom for a child.  It is a place where he can go and not be bothered and a safe haven when he is tired or nervous.  Dogs have a natural instinct for a den and a crate is ideal for this.  Some puppies like to have a blanket over their crate which blocks the view from three sides.  A crate can help with bladder and bowel control as a dog is very reluctant to foul his den.  A crate will prevent your puppy from getting into trouble when you can’t supervise him and teaches excitable puppies and dogs to expect and enjoy some downtime and encourages relaxed behaviour.   Offering your puppy a chew, bone or stuffed Kong will keep your puppy happy, secure, relaxed and out of mischief for periods of time.

Choose a crate that is large enough for your dog to stand up, turn around and lay down in comfortably and for a puppy a bit larger so that you can make a toilet area.  The crate should be somewhere where both you and your puppy can access it easily but out of the way enough that it is not going to be tripped over constantly. Introduce your puppy to the crate gradually.

Your puppy or dog must have access to water 24/7.  Purchase a water bowl that attaches to the side of the crate.  Never leave your puppy in his crate with his collar on.  There have been serious incidents involved puppies wearing collars in their crate.

Acclimatise him to the crate by throwing in a treat and leaving the door open so that he can enter and exit freely.  When he is happy doing this you can close the door for a second or two before letting him out.  Gradually increase the amount of time you crate your puppy for.  Put a bed or mat that your puppy really likes in the crate and your puppy’s favourite toys inside.  Essentially you are making the crate a nice place to be.  When your dog is going into the crate willingly you can add a verbal cue such as crate.

Be patient and don’t push your puppy.  Slowly and consistently is the key here.  If your puppy whines or cries wait until he is quiet before opening the door.