Crate training your dog
Crate training a dog can be one of the most beneficial aspects of successful instruction. Crate training not only helps ease your mind when you are away from home, but it is also of assistance in potty training.
A crate for your dog will become his sanctuary. Whether or not you chose this as a home for him when you are gone or as a bed at night, it is important to make the crate experience a positive one. The crate should become a comfort zone, and should be used consistently when leaving or sleeping. Crating your pup when you leave home will put your mind at ease knowing that he will not be chewing or soiling the rest of your home. It is also comforting to know that your dog feels safe and relaxed until you can return.
When buying a crate, ensure that it allows enough room for the puppy or dog to move around but not enough for them to run free. (If you have a pup that will grow to be large, many crates come with separators to make the crate smaller until they are grown.) This is key in successful crate/potty training due to the fact that this crate will become your dog’s home. Nobody- not even your dog- wants to soil their home- unless they have enough room to get away from it.
If you chose to crate your puppy when you are leaving for a period of time, it is important to occasionally crate your puppy while you are at home. In the early stages of training, this makes your pup feel more comfortable not worrying about whether or not you will return home.
Moreover, the crate should never become a place for punishment, lest your puppy will feel that it is a place for reprimand rather than relaxation.
When you leave your dog in a crate while you are gone, you must take them outside directly before you leave and immediately after you arrive home. This routine will help enforce potty training techniques and minimize ‘excited accidents’ that can occur.
If you are training a puppy with a crate, it is important to remember that while it teaches them not to soil a home environment, puppy’s ages 2-4 months cannot hold their bladder for more than four hours.
If your efforts to make your dogs home a place he loves fail, do not be immediately discouraged. If your dog barks or cries when you put him in his crate, try covering it with a sheet to minimize distrubances. This may help make them feel safer, and is usually effective is calming a dog down. Just like a child, perhaps transitioning to a bed from a crib, changes will take time. Your efforts, however, will not go unnoticed.