If you have just brought home a new puppy, crate is a wonderful training devices to use. I’m sure you’ve seen videos of dogs being put to bed or chairs, but he chose to sleep in a crate. This can also be a very useful tactic when crate training a dog.
How to begin crate training your dog?
Choose a crate that is the right size for your dog. The metal or plastic crate should be large enough that he can stand up, turn around and lie comfortably. Proper crate selection requires that you consider the size of your dog when he is turning adult. If you decided not to purchase a new crate, start crate your puppy early by using a wire crate.
Any dog, regardless of size, should never be left in a crate for more than 6 hours, if you intend to leave your dog in a crate for longer than 6 hours, make sure you remove the attraction of toys or treats so that he does not think that the crate is a wonderful place to be. Also, initiate a routine to take your dog out for “potty” purposes.
Finding a comfortable bed for your dog
Find a bed that can be put in the crate, and put an old blanket in the bed. If your dog is still uncomfortable, you can replace the blanket with a small dog pillow.
Letting your dog out of the crate
Find a certain spot in the house and let your dog lie there. Let him get used to the new surroundings. Walk around the house with him and look out to the window. Talk to him and reward his calmness.
Once your puppy is feeling calm, and has made the transition from the bedroom to the living room, you can move his crate to the living room on the principals of regular separation.
Using a crate to help you deal with his behavioral problems
If your dog has a problem with disruptive barking that morning, placing him in his crate for a few minutes while you are out in the yard can have a calming and useful effect. If you are leaving your home for a moment, a crate is an ideal tool for safely confining your dog while you are away from home.
When combined with a regular potty schedule, a crate can also reduce separation anxiety while you are away from home. Remember to release your dog from his crate, then take him outside (or to his designated potty area) as soon as you are back home.
As you know, any form of punishment is unacceptable, and most forms of punishment are ineffective, unpleasant and cause lasting physiological damage on your dog.
Crates should be used only when your dog is being housebroken, or when you are away from home for extended periods. Never use a crate as a punishment, as most dogs view their crates as their personal “den” and you want them to feel comfortable and relaxed in their own space.
You want the crate to be a place where your dog wants to be. Place any necessary toys and food in the crate, as well as bedding. Let your dog become familiar with the crate and “like” his den.
You may want to spend some time with your dog while he is being trained inside the crate by placing treats near the door and rewarding him for going inside. Always reinforce positive behavior, and never force your dog into the crate. Soon, your dog will see the crate as his own private space, where he can go to sleep or hang out while you’re away.
To train your dog, choose a location outside to use as the den, and take your dog to that location. Use a treat to lure him into the crate. Don’t close the door yet, just stand nearby. If he goes into the crate, give him a treat and praise him. At this point, you can probably close the door. If he comes out, give him more treats and praise.
You have to keep in mind that you are introducing your dog to a new environment and behavior patterns in a very controlled and gradual manner. Remember that it takes time for a young dog to adjust, so be patient, and don’t use force or coercion.
Crate training your dog is a wonderful technique that will spare you many problems – keep your house free of messes, soiling and most importantly, save your furniture!