How to Crate Train a Puppy? It’s very important to know the importance of crate and the proper crate training so that you can teach your dog proper behaviour, so below is everything you need to know about crate training a puppy/dog so keep reading!!
Crate training is very important to limit your lovely dog’s access to the house until he learns all the house rules. Crates also create a safe environment for dogs, it provides a sense of security and calms their anxiety.
- Dogs are naturally denning animals and enjoy being in small and enclosed places
- The crate provides a sense of security and calms anxiety in dogs
- A crate can also be used as a safe way of transporting your dog
- Never use the crate as a punishment
- A crate can limit your dog’s access to the whole house
- Don’t leave your dog in the crate for too long
- Crate training will take a long time
To start crate training your puppy or dog you must first find the crate that is suitable for your lovely dog size and temperament. There are several types of crates that you can find in the market and some it is the following:
Selecting the Best Dog Crate
A plastic dog crate is great for dogs who prefer more privacy, this also meets most of the airline cargo specifications for easy and safe travel of your pets.
The Soft-sided crates are made with flexible fabrics like nylon, which makes them lighter and easier to carry around, it is also foldable allowing you to store them in any place and grate for travel use.
This soft, foldable dog crate has four mesh doors with curtains. It is made of strong steel tubes, and the crate cover is made of high-quality durable 600D fabric and hex mesh fabric, making it well-ventilated.
The Collapsible, metal crate is designed completely around the safety, security, and comfort of your lovely dog, it can be set up in a very short period of time, it has two door design to offers versatile front & side access, allowing you to use the crate in more locations within your home, as well as in travel.
Note: Each crate type comes in different sizes suitable for small, medium, and large size breed of dogs. It also has more than a dozen colors and designs.
How to Crate Train a Puppy?
Before you start crate training your puppy or dog remember that the crate is something that can help you limit your dog’s access to the whole house while you are in the early stage of training to develop his behavior and not as a cage to use for punishment.
Crate training can take hours, days, weeks, and even months (up to six months) depending on your dog’s age, temperament, and past experiences. In crate training your dog, you should know that it will take a series of small steps, and each step you have to make it enjoyable for both you and the dog. (Note that with every training you have to have lots of patience)
Tips on How to Crate Train Your Puppy/Dog
- Make sure the crate is equipped, make it cozy by putting bedding, plush toys, patty pad, and water dispenser (and sometimes food/treats).
- Place the crate in the room where you always spends time
- Only leave your puppy in the crate no longer than 30 minutes
- Never use the crate as the form of punishment
The Crate Training Process: A Step by Step Guide
Step 1: Introducing your puppy/dog to the crate
In starting crate training it’s very important to get your puppy/dog used to the crate because your puppy/dog getting scared of the crate will make the training so difficult and might result in failure.
First, make your puppy/dog get used to crate being around, let him see and investigate it without you doing any formal training or trying to get them inside.
Make sure to fully equipped the crate by putting beddings, plush toys, patty pad, and water dispenser (and sometimes food/treats) to make it pleasing and cozy to your lovely pet.
Place the crate in an area where you and your family spend a lot of time and make sure the crate door is securely fastened open so he can go in and out freely on his own.
Second, Once your puppy/dog is now used to crate being around you can start now introducing it to him by bringing him near the crate and talk to him in a happy tone of voice.
Make sure the door of the crate is fastened open because if it shuts on him it might hit your puppy/dog and frighten him that might cause him accidentally hurt or being scared by the crate.
To encourage your puppy/dog to enter the crate, drop some small treats near to around it, then just inside the door, and finally, all the way inside the crate. Continue doing it until he walks calmly inside the crate.
Note: If your puppy/dog doesn’t walk inside the crate DON’T FORCE HIM TO ENTER just continue tossing the treat until he calmly enters. You can also try tossing his favorite toy in the crate. This step may take a few minutes or as long as several days.
Step 2: Feeding your puppy/dog his meals in the crate
When your puppy/dog becomes used to the crate around and can calmly walk in and out inside of it you can begin feeding him his regular meals near the crate with this you can create a nice connection with the crate and your puppy/dog.
You can place his meal inside the crate if he is not afraid inside of it but if he remains reluctant to enter, put the dish only as far inside as he will readily go without becoming fearful or anxious.
Once your puppy/dog is comfortably eating his meal inside the crate, you can now close the door while he’s eating. Make sure to open the door as soon as he finishes his meal for the first time you try this and gradually longer the minutes of the door closed each time he eats until he’s staying in the crate for 10 minutes or so after eating.
If he begins to whine to be let out, you may have increased the length of time too quickly or might also need to do his business nature so make sure to be observant.
If he does whine or cries in the crate even it is a short period of time and doesn’t need to do his business nature, don’t let him out until he stops. Otherwise, he will learn that the way to get out of the crate is to whine, so they’ll keep doing it, and I’m sure you don’t want that to happen!
Step 3: Conditioning your dog to the crate for longer periods of time
After your puppy/dog is eating his regular meals in the crate with no sign of fear or anxiety, you can start to confine him in the crate for a short period of time while you’re home.
You can start leaving him in the crate by calling him over and give them a treat in the crate. You can give them a command to enter the crate like “in”, “crate”, or pointing to the inside of the crate with a treat in your hand.
Don’t forget to praise your puppy/dog with a happy or exciting tone every time he goes inside the crate, give him also a treat as a reward and close the door.
Don’t leave your puppy/dog in the crate alone, you should sit near the crate for 5 to 10 minutes, and if you see he is calm stand and go to another place like room or kitchen but still near the crate for few minutes and then return, sit quietly again for a short time and then let him out.
You should repeat this process several times a day and each day increase the length of time you leave him in the crate and the length of time you’re out of sight.
Accustoming your dog inside the crate for a long period of time while you are away may take a few days, weeks, or months but once he becomes used to it (when he stay quietly in the crate for about 30 minutes with you mostly out of sight) you can start to leave him crated while your sleeping, cooking, or go outside for a short time.
Step 4: Crating your puppy/dog
A: Crate your puppy/dog when you leave
When your puppy/dog can stay inside the crate for about 30 minutes or so without becoming anxious or afraid you can start leaving him crates for a short period of time.
If you are going outside the house for a short time like going to the grocery or buy a Starbucks you can put him in the crate following your training to him (call his name, command him to enter the crate, and give him treats), you can also leave him with his favorite toy inside the crate to accompany him.
Remember that you can only crate your puppy/dog from 5 to 20 minutes s prior to leaving.
When you back home praise your puppy/dog and give treats as his reward for staying in the crate while you are away.
B: Crate your puppy/dog at night
Crating your puppy/dog at night will prevent them from eating insects, tissue, or scaping the house. Make sure before you crated your puppy/dog at night he already does his business nature so that he won’t become uncomfortable.
It’s advisable to place the crate beside your bed so that he won’t feel lonely and when he whines because he needs to go to eliminate you can hear him immediately.
Here is a video tutorial of How to Crate Train a Puppy:
How To Stop A Puppy/Dog From Barking In His Crate
Dogs and puppies are very social and always want to be with their family especially with their owner most of the time so it’s normal behavior for them when they whine when they are being isolated or separated.
To prevent your puppy/dog from barking or crying in their crate it’s very important to practice proper crate training and avoid teaching him a bad habit.
There is no way to fully stop your puppy or dog from whining but there are some ways to help you minimize it. The following are some tips to help cut down on your puppy whining in his crate:
- Pick the right-size crate for your puppy/dog – It’s very important that the crate is large enough for your puppy/dog to stay in, it must be large enough for your lovely pets to can stand up, turn around and play with toys. If your dog is still a puppy it’s advisable to get a crate that will still fit him when he grew up.
- Accustomed your puppy/dog with his crate – The very best way to prevent your puppy/dog from whining inside his crate is to make sure that he is familiar and comfortable with it. Early proper crate training is very important for your lovely pets to be comfortable with the crate.
- Make sure before you crated your puppy/dog he already does his business – If your dog has no problem being crated and feels very comfortable with his crate the number one reason why he whines is he needs to potty break so it’s advisable to provide plenty of potty breaks for your lovely pets before you crated him. It also doesn’t mean that he already does his business he won’t need it to do again so when he whines try to get him out and let to do his business again.
- Place the crate near you – Crate placement is also a reason why your puppy/dog whines, make sure it is placed in a comfortable space (not too hot and cold) and as much as possible near you. At night we recommend placing the crate near your bed.
- Ignore the whining behavior – When crate training your puppy/dog it is very important to ignore his whining especially if you know that he doesn’t need to do his business and he is comfortable with his crate. The number one reason why puppy or dog keeps whining is that the mistake of his owner, new fur parents mistake is giving their lovely pets attention or taking their puppies/dogs out of the crate once the whining begins, it will make their pet thinks that once they whined they can get out of the crate.
Note: 🐾Whining is normal but excessive whining or unusual behavior might indicate something is wrong if this is your pet’s case make sure to talk to your vet. 🐾Don’t let your puppies/dog being crated for a long period of time.
Potential Problems That Might Arise Because of Crating Your Dog
Improper way of using crate will arise some problems that can affect your dog health and behavior, some potential problems are the following:
- Separation anxiety – The crate can prevent your pets from being destructive but it can’t solve the separation anxiety of your pets because it can only be resolve with counter-conditioning and desensitization procedures (talk to your vet or consult a professional animal behaviorist). Crating your dog with separation anxiety might result in a dog being hurt by attempting to escape.
- Whining – It’s normal for puppies and dogs to whine, but if they whine while they are being crated they might not yet use to it or they need to do potty breaks so make sure to be more alert to your pet’s behavior while being crated.
- Unintentionally used the crate as a cage – If not used correctly crate can become like a cage to your pets, don’t crated your pets for a long period of time, imagine you being stuck in one place for so long you might be so stressed and lonely. Don’t let your lovely pets experience it, make sure the crate will become a space for your puppy/dog to relax and have their own time comfortably.
Crating your dog in correct or proper way can become very helpful to you so make sure to study carefully the proper way of crating your pets. Crate needs to be comfortably and not scared place for your lovely pets.