Puppy Crate Training – Step By Step Instruction
by dog trainer, Dr. Ian Dunbar
Puppy crate training is a fantastic method of managing the safety and well-being of young puppies. When used properly the crate is an invaluable tool for establishing good habits in your puppies and also for preventing problem behaviors before they arise.
I like to put my puppy crates inside a larger penned area with lots of toys and other distractions.
This set up has a pee pad. Note it is just outside the crate door. Puppies will usually pee immediately after waking from a nap.
Note the crate door is kept open during the day for easy access. It is also their “dining room.”
In spite of what you may think or have read about puppy crate training the truth is that we crate train our puppies for their benefit – that’s why we do it. Secondary to that is the fact that using a crate also benefits us and our furniture, shoes, carpet, cushions etc…
Over time the crate will become your puppy’s own private area which they will grow to love and feel secure in. You will come to rely on your crate just like I do in many day to day activities including:
One of the first and most important uses of the crate is in the puppy housebreaking process. Crate training is the best way to quickly teach your puppy to eliminate (go to the toilet) outside. You can read my detailed step by step system here – puppy house training.
Crating our puppies teaches them to chew on the toys we
provide to them and prevents them from chewing on the things we don’t want them to chew on (shoes, furniture, curtains etc.). This is the key to establishing good habits in our dogs and preventing destructive habits which can be difficult to rectify.
When your young puppy is in his/her crate he is safe from any number of dangerous household items. Unfortunately many puppies are severely injured and killed every year as a result of chewing wires, ingesting poisons or eating foreign objects.
Separation anxiety is a huge problem for an increasingly large percentage of dogs. Proper use of the crate can help reduce the chance of your puppy developing separation anxiety. The crate becomes a place where your dog is calm, out of trouble and accustomed to being alone. I should add here that if you are away from home all day every day is a puppy really suitable for someone with your lifestyle anyway?
Never Ever Use Your Crate As A Tool For Punishment!
If you have friends or visitors of any kind coming and going from your home the crate is the perfect place to keep your puppy safely confined for a while.
Because most crates are lightweight and portable you can move them from room to room so your puppy can be close by you all day long!
Many crates are suitable for putting into your car which makes your puppy’s traveling experience safer and often less stressful.
When your puppy grows to love his crate it makes trips and stays at places such as your Vet and Dog Groomers a more bearable experience.