dog in a crate

First steps to Crate Training your dog

Crate training from early stage

House training can become increasingly harder to establish and set a routine.  This is where the use of a crate can reduce the chances of your puppy toileting while you are absent.

There are many who debate the use of crates for dogs especially when it comes to puppy training. What we have to remember is that puppies do not come fully house trained.

However from day one we need to establish rules and boundaries for the dogs to understand. If a young dog is left to free roam it may chew and become disruptive.

It can become increasingly harder to establish and set a routine to house train your puppy, when you are not there all of the time. Ideally you would commence the training with once hourly visits to the garden or other area that you wish your puppy to use.  It is at this stage that the use of a crate can reduce the chances of your puppy toileting while you are absent.

Crate training is one of the most efficient and effective ways to house train a puppy. The reason for this is that they have already been taught not to soil their bed by the mother during the first few weeks. Be sure you understand that although they have already learnt the difference it does not mean there will not be a few accidents.

The purpose of this confinement is to reduce mistakes and minimise the damage.

As a very young puppy they can only literally hold their toileting for a maximum of 2 hours. However this will build through age and eventually the maximum you should leave them is 4 hours between toileting.

Crates should not be used for long periods of time, and should never be used as time out or punishment. The crate should be the puppy’s safe haven and they should feel happy and comfortable in this place while the crate is secured.

Training your dog from day one to accept the crate as their bed is the key to successful crate training.

Always use reward based training methods, allowing your dog to run around and play in the house and garden for a few of hours. Then establish the routine of short walks on the lead, toileting, followed by crate time.

This can be likened to putting a baby down to sleep during the day to establish that need for sleep, before over tiredness creates unbalance. Schedule the times for your puppy to be out using this time to train and play, with the crate time to rest and relax.

Crate training is not just about controlling the toileting though; it can make a massive impact on their adult life as well. Dogs that are early stage crate trained can prove to be better at travelling in cars, they don’t suffer so much with separation anxieties and tend to be far better balanced in many situations like kennelling or boarding.

All it takes is a little time, patience and understanding and the crate can become a good positive place for any dog.