Bringing a puppy home is a wonderful thing and you have endless opportunities as the person who interacts with your pet to train it right.Investing your time and patience in training your puppy always yields tangible results.Your pet grows up with the clear understanding of the kind of behavior that you accept and the kind that you don’t. And one of the best ways to go about this is crate training your puppy.
Crate training – What exactly does that mean? Crate training in simple terms is the way you go about teaching your pet how to accept a crate or a cage as its safe place for relaxation.This method of crate training a puppy makes use of the natural instinct that a dog has, to own or mark a territory to relax and call as its home or den.Since a dog never likes to soil its den, making use of a crate or a den is one of the frequently used methods of house training a puppy successfully.
Choice of a Crate – Getting the basics right : There are various types of crates available in different sizes and shapes.While choosing one for crate training a puppy, you should make sure that the crate gives enough space for your pet to stand and turn around. It is always advisable to get a crate which will best suit the adult size of your pet. You can block off the excess space in the crate so that your puppy does not have space inside to soil one corner and retreat to another.
How long does it take to train? Realistically speaking, there is no fixed time period for crate training a puppy. It may take few days or a few weeks to get it right and that is totally acceptable as it is dependent on various aspects of your pet behavior.What is really important is to train gradually and in small steps. Also make sure that at no point of time is the crate associated with something unpleasant as it could greatly hinder the training process.
Making Your Puppy Familiar With The Crate: Make the crate a part of the house where the family spends maximum time. Place a soft rug or blanket and make it look as inviting as possible. Give your puppy time and space to explore the crate and accept it. Introduce your pet to the crate and make sure that it is always associated with pleasant times and rewards. Gradually, your pet will starting feeling secure enough to go inside the crate of its own free will.
Associating The Crate With Meal Times: The next step is to start feeding food at the crate during meal times. Your pet may be reluctant in the beginning and you should start by placing food immediately inside the door and slowly increasing the distance so that it is placed all the way inside in the farthest corner of the crate. Once your pet is fully inside the crate eating his meals, you may close the door for a few minutes and increase the time in a gradual manner.
Making The Crating Period Longer: Once your pet is comfortable eating his/her meals in the crate, you can take the next step and give small commands to let him/her know that you want him to enter the crate. Once he is inside reward him and praise him for his good behavior and close the door. Sit nearby in a place where he can see you for a few minutes. Gradually increase the time and leave for a few minutes to the next room so that you are outside his eyesight. This step of crate training a puppy may take a few days or a few weeks and you should be patient when things do not always go according to plan.
Understanding the purpose of crate training: Remember the reason why you started training your puppy.Once your puppy is comfortable in his/her crate for about 30 minutes to an hour, it is expected that he/she will want to eliminate once he/she is released.Since the main reason for crate training a puppy is to make sure that the puppy will learn bladder and bowel control, it is necessary that your pet be taken to be appropriate area where he/she can produce. Placing your puppy inside the crate and taking him/her outside at regular intervals will bring about consistency and by experience you will be able to recognize the pattern and timings when your puppy wants to relieve him/herself. Slowly reduce the timing spent in the crate.
It takes patience and persistence for a while but it is a great payoff for a happy life for you and your pet.