You have brought your new puppy home and you are ready to start his crate training. However, before you start, you need to understand that crate training a puppy will take time and effort. If you cannot be at home with your pet during the day, you would need to plan your schedule and learn how to crate train a puppy at night. In fact, the crate can help your puppy to get used to a more “den like” environment during the night.
The best way to introduce and crate your puppy at night is to have him sleep in it, just for a short time. Put some toys or a couple of treats in the crate as well. You may have to wake up in the middle of the night just to let him out so that he can use the bathroom. Make this a positive experience and soon your puppy will get used to using the crate at night. No more whining, no more messes in his crate and no more accidents!
For a start, you need to purchase a crate. The size of your puppy’s crate will depend on the size of your dog when he is fully grown. You can use a wire crate or purchase a bigger crate that can be divided into two areas with a divider. The divider allows you to adjust the size of the crate to “fit” your puppy. Of course, you can always remove the divider as your puppy grows up.
Don’t make the mistake of giving your puppy only a wire crate. Your puppy needs to have a soft comfortable bed to sleep in their crate. You can also place a few toys in the crate so your puppy feels that his crate is a safe place to be.
Place the crate in a room where you or your family is going to be. It is best if the room where the crate is going to be located is always full with people so that your puppy does not feel alone or isolated.
It may take a while for your puppy to settle down when he first stay in his new crate on the very first night. You will want to place the crate in a place where your puppy can see you. Leave the crate door open until your puppy decides that he wants to go to the bathroom.
As your puppy gets used to his very own “suite,” he will want to keep it clean and comfortable, and he will do his potty in the bathroom.
The best way to introduce your new little friend to his crate is to first let him “burn off some energy” before bed time. Typically, your puppy will sleep for up to 12 hours a day after burning off some of their energy through playing.
Young puppies will need to go to the bathroom frequently. Every 60-90 minutes is an average. If your pup is doing a real good job, he will be able to hold his bladder for much longer. When you take your dog out to eliminate, always take them to the same place so they learn that is the right place to go.
There are bound to be accidents, so don’t get upset with your puppy. If you see him sniffing and dancing a certain way, he is just looking for his potty spot.
While your puppy is sleeping in his crate, you will need to keep him on a schedule. Feed him at the same time each day (something that I always suggest doing with a newborn puppy) and get him started potty training immediately.
The more you stick to a schedule, the less likelihood for your puppy to make any accidents. I would suggest not to crate your puppy for more than 8 hours per day. If you are working all day and your puppy is in his crate, it’s time to get him out of the crate and go with him for his potty the moment you reach home.
Crate training works very well because it enables you to control your puppy’s bladder and bowels, and eliminates the possibility of accidents in the bed.
For puppies, crates are especially important in house-training because they take the concept of “bathroom” away. You don’t want to just put them in the crate for a while and forget about it. You want to accompany them each time they go into the bathroom area and reward them with lots of praise and a treat after they are done. Don’t just take advantage of their natural instincts (pleasure-digging) of going to the bathroom. The puppy will associate his crate with privacy and security.
In general, house training puppies using a crate can take a little longer than house training a dog outside or in the yard, but the principle remains the same. If you’re attentive and using the above tips, you should be able to quickly house train your dog using a crate.
His crate is his little house. It should never be used to punish for any of his bad behaviors. It is his safe haven and special little corner (sort of giving your pet it’s special place to relax and get away from the commotion of the big world). It is also a place for him to hide out and get away from any harm or danger.