If you’re new to training a dog, you’re very likely making the very common mistakes of not controlling your puppy’s environment sufficiently. It’s really easy to underestimate how important this is. Since you are in the communication building based with your dog, you’re not going to yet have reliable communication.
Why? Because you haven’t trained them yet and it takes many months to have a well-trained dog so, you have to strictly control their environment in the meantime.
Now, broadly speaking, there are three ways to control your dog’s environment. The best way is by having them on leash and attached to you anytime you are home.
Next, you can have a large puppy proofed area like a bedroom, bathroom or laundry room and finally, a crate.
Benefits of a crate
Now, all three of these have their own unique advantages when used in moderation crates can be a fantastic way to help with overall training. They can give your dog a secure place to rest, save your property, assist with accelerating house-training time and, give you some freedom when you’re distracted from puppy training.
Of course, not all dogs will love being in a crate and crates are not for every dog. But, if you do out of your way to make it an awesome place, there’s really a good chance, your dog will chill out the crate with a door wide open simply because it’s absolute favorite place in the house to be.
The better you are controlling where your dog can and can’t go, the faster your overall results will be. But for those times when you’re cooking, sleeping or working and not directly supervising your dog still needs to be in a controlled setting and crates are great for keeping bad habits from emerging and keeping your pup safe in those instances.
How long should you crate your puppy
Minimize the amount of time though that your dog spends in a crate so, 15 minutes to an hour here and there and overnight are generally recommended in cases where you have to work though avoid leaving your dog in a crate more than 4 hours at a time and less for dog under four months of age.
If this is you decide to come home and exercise your dog at lunch or get someone to help you with your gone longer than that. Dog walkers and doggy daycares are an option, too.
Before crating your dog for any significant period of time or even introducing the crate to them. Exercise them.
In fact, you should almost never crate your dog for several hours without thorough exercise beforehand, especially with energetic dogs. Exercise almost always reduces anxiety and makes for a more cooperate dog and virtually all instances.
If your dog doesn’t like the crate now, you can start over by making it a fun, enjoyable experience like we will do today. This is often the case with adopted adult dogs and that’s okay. Just go slow with these guys.
How to crate train a puppy
First, you want to do to get our dog comfortable with the crate is let them sniff it walk them around it and just let them check it out, feel free to throw them a good treat anytime they react well.
When it comes to choosing the best crate for puppy, I highly recommend to go to a two-door crate as you can take advantage this feature and make it a nice open area to be explored.
Now, let’s encourage your dog by giving her a small piece of treat. Then, place another in the crate to lure them go into it. Remember to keep the crate always open to avoid your dog against being scared.
The idea is to make it as fun of an experience as we can. And even consider using toys when introducing your dog to his crate, too. Because nothing says fun like toys.
Also, I highly recommend to going for those crates with low threshold to make it easier to climb over.
Think about this, you are trying to make a crate kind of a bedroom for your dog, you want to make them always feel comfortable in it to go there when he/she needs to relax. This is their personal space and dogs really tend to like that.
Continually treat your dog while they are in the crate. And the reason I advise you to do that is eventually I’m going to want her to be comfortable in there for extended period of time.
In general, when you’re putting your dog in the crate, you really shouldn’t have a leash collar or harness on them. You want to have them as safe as possible.
Now, when your dog is already familiar to the crate, I think it is time you should show them that these doors can actually close. Let’s go nice and slow!
As you are just hanging out with them, watching TV, doing your thing, have the crate out like this and just kind of treat them, make sure that they are extra comfortable.
Also, let them know that the crate door can be opened, too so that they can come out anytime you want. It’s cool!
As your dog is comfortable with being in the crate, give them some safe chew toys to chew on just to kind of minimize boredom. It’s really critical to take your time. Now, you can take anywhere between a few minutes and a few weeks to get many dogs comfortable to the crate. In the meantime, control their environment the ways that I mentioned earlier until you are happy that they are happy in the crate. And, don’t forget about exercise. This is perhaps the biggest thing that most people forget about when getting their furry comfortable with their crate.
So, for example, it wouldn’t be reasonable to wake up in the morning, let your dog out to do their business and then, just put them in the crate while you go to work. You will have to thoroughly exercise them for doing that.
Ideally, you just want your dogs going in the crate, chilling out, passing out and being comfortable until you get home for lunch. You can use crate training to take your overall general training to the next level as well.
Having a crate for your dog is a good thing
For example, say your dogs get really excited when guests come over. Now, naturally, your attention is divided in that scenario and you can’t focus on your dog. Having them in the crate so that they can experience being around people while still in a controlled environment is a great way to phrase in distraction train. And once your dog has settled down, let them out of the crate, put them on leash and allow them to interact with your guests because you will be more focused.
Another valuable to use a crate is for house training, I will list out in here all of them for you to easily consult in case you are interested in it:
- How to Potty Train a Puppy
- How to Teach Your Puppy to Do 6 Things in Minutes
I hope that through this article, you can know deeply about how to use a crate to train your puppy while ensure keeping him/her always feel comfortable and enjoyable with that.