Crate Training Your Puppy
Used Humanely Crates Can Be an Efficient, Effective
Tool to Housebreaking Dogs
When it comes to using a
cage or transportation container it is very important
to keep in mind that the purpose is to aid in housebreaking dogs.
It is never to be used as punishment. Leaving a puppy in a dog crate
for extended periods because you don't have the time to play with
it or even ensure that they are able to relieve themselves before
experiencing discomfort is not training. It is cruelty.
Make sure the dog crate you use is big enough for the
puppy or dog to be able to at least turn around in and not feel
cramped in. They should feel safe and secure, not suffocated.
Place it in a location that your dog feels comfortable in. You
might have to think like a dog or take note of where your dog
goes to relax. Maybe under a table or some other spot they are
out of the way but can still see if someone is coming.
Creating a positive association during crate training is essential. Offering special treats that they only get when they are in the
dog crate may help. In order to have the puppy or dog accept it you
may even feed them in the crate.
However, I would move their food and water out of the crate as
soon as possible. You can still keep their bowls near the dog crate
to maintain this positive association but only move them inside
if necessary at the beginning of crate training.
With crate training you are using the dog's natural den instinct to avoid soiling the area where it sleeps and eats. However, no
matter how strong this instinct the most determined dog can only
hold out for so long. It is your responsibility to ensure they
are given the opportunity to relieve themselves.
You should be aware of what is happening with any puppy or dog
while crate training. When did it last eat and drink? How long
before it will need to relieve itself? Don't leave them for more
than 45 minutes without letting them out to do their business,
get some excercise and play.
Establish a positive routine with crate training. Being placed in the dog crate should
not be perceived by the puppy as a punishment and should not be
used as such. They should not dread going into the crate. They
should come to regard it as their den, a place of security and
Make sure they have a comfy blanket, treats and maybe a favorite
toy to make the place welcoming.
First thing in the morning when your puppy wakes up, take it
outside to the designated potty area. Use whatever command you
would like to associate with doing their business and repeat it
until they are successful. Choose a phrase you wouldn't mind the
neighbors overhearing! Praise them enthusiastically once they
Take them back inside for something to eat and drink. Shortly
after breakfast take them back outside to the potty spot. Praise,
praise, praise for success and back in the house for perhaps a
nap in the dog crate.
Repeat this process for lunch and dinner being sure to be aware
if they need to be let out between those times to do their business
or need to play for a while. If you stay on top of the situation
it shouldn't be long before your puppy "gets it". Successful
crate training requires consistency.
When removing the puppy from the dog crate, when it is time for it
to relieve itself, take them to the place outside where you want
them to go. Be sure to be consistent each time. Show your puppy
the route to get to that place and it will come to associate walking
this path with an appropriate bathroom location.
Praising them lavishly for a successful mission will seal the
deal. They will know that as soon as they leave the dog crate they
go to a certain spot outside, do their thing and get rewarded.
The key to housetraining dogs is to use the dog crate as a tool to help housebreak your
puppy by teaching them the right place to go not as a dungeon
to lock them up in so you don't have to take the time to train
them properly. I can't stress this point enough. Proper crate
training takes work and attention to what is happening with your
puppy or dog, but in the long run is worth the extra effort.
Aussies are especially smart and eager to please. You will be
surprised at how quickly your dog will respond to this positive
approach to crate training combined with praise, praise, praise
and more praise! Levi says, "Woof!".
For further reading:
Housetraining Your Older Dog
Housebreaking Your Puppy
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