Training your puppy, in general, can come as a difficult task at times. Puppies require a lot of hard work and patience. Crate training is a great way to house train your pup and get him or her trained quickly.
As much as you’d like to show your puppy the crate and put him or her in it and call it a day, it’s not that simple. You’ll need to crate train your puppy by following specific steps to ensure the process is done correctly. Doing so is the best way to make sure that your puppy is as comfortable and happy as possible.
To learn how to crate train a puppy, continue reading below. Here is our step by step guide to the crate-training process. Reading this guide will help you find out the best methods and attitudes to adopt when training your puppy!
- Crate Location
Your first step is to choose the correct size and a good location for your puppy’s crate. The size of the crate should be big enough for your pup to sit, stand, lay down, and turn around in. For a variety of options, considering looking into Precision Dog Crates.
The best location for your puppy’s crate is a place that is quiet and away from all high-traffic areas. This is where your puppy will feel the safest.
You also want to be wary of placing the crate next to any heating or cooling sources. Either of these might make your pup uncomfortable at times. This also includes places where direct sunlight will hit the crate.
Ensure there are no cables, cords, house plants, or any other chewable items that could cause your pup harm. If you’re considering placing the crate in your room, remember that your puppy might be awake during the night more than you. If a noisy puppy won’t bother you while you’re sleeping, then placing the crate in your bedroom could be a great choice.
- Crate Introduction
Before you expect your puppy to enter the crate without trouble, you’ll need to introduce him or her to it. A proper introduction is essential. To introduce your pup to the crate, start by placing a warm, soft blanket inside of it.
You’ll then want to coax your pup into entering the crate using a happy tone of voice. Before drawing your pup into the crate, check the crate’s door and be sure that it’s secured in its open position. You don’t want the door to accidentally hit your puppy, as this might scare him or her, making your pup afraid of the crate.
If needed, you can place treats in front of the crate and then inside the crate. If your puppy still refuses to enter, don’t force him or her. Use the treat method until your puppy is ready to enter the crate on his or her own time.
- Exercise and Potty Time
You don’t want your pup to confuse the crate with potty time. To prevent this from happening, you want to do everything you can to keep your pup from going to the bathroom in the crate. The best way to do this is to allow as much exercise and potty time as possible before entering the crate.
You want to give your pup this free time each moment before having him or her go inside the crate.
- Positive Association
Always try to keep a positive association with the crate for your pup. Keep the crate door open and place favorite play toys and comfortable blankets inside. This allows your pup to explore the crate.
When your pup enters the crate, be sure to reward him or her with a treat, showing your puppy that entering the crate is good behavior.
- Build Duration
Start off placing them in the crate for small periods of time and then gradually increase the duration spent inside the crate. When putting your pup in the crate for the first time, make sure that you stay near the crate and shut the door for about 15 seconds.
After the 15 seconds is up, open the crate and reward your puppy with a treat. Stay near the crate and then repeat. Slowly build up the duration over time.
You want your pup to remain comfortable throughout the entire process to ensure that positive association remains. Your goal is to make your puppy feel comfortable with staying in the crate for 15 minutes at a time.
- Decrease Stress
You want your puppy to feel as stress-free as possible. If walking away from your puppy causes him or her stress, you want to ensure you stay by the crate while he or she is in it and gradually distance yourself from the crate.
You can start off by walking a couple of feet away from the crate, and then over time, begin to get further and further away from the crate while the pup is in it. Your goal is to be able to leave the room with your pup in the crate without causing stress.
- Crate Meals
You’ll want to feed your puppy his or her regular meals in the crate. This is a great way to build a positive association with the crate. Your pup knows that entering the crate means mealtime, which is rewarding and comfortable for him or her.
If your pup is still reluctant to enter the crate even with the food dish in it, you can begin by placing the dish at the very front of the crate. Over time, move the food dish further and further back until your puppy will enter the crate without hesitation.
Learn How to Crate Train a Puppy!
If you recently brought a new pup home, then you’ll need to learn how to crate train a puppy as soon as possible. Then sooner you do it, the easier it’ll be for both you and the puppy.
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