A crate can be a safe place for your dog. Their own personal spot that offers refuge.
There are a lot of benefits to using a crate. For instance, they offer your dog a place to go when they want to get away from the noise or when your dog isn’t feeling well.
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It also has its advantages for you.
1. Housebreaking: Puppy crate training is one of the most important uses of a crate in the housebreaking process. Dogs don’t like to mess up their living space and will instinctively hold it in until it can do its business outside the crate. It’s a great way to establish where it’s acceptable to go to the bathroom (outside) and where it shouldn’t (inside).
2. Chewing: You don’t want your puppy chewing on your furniture or expensive shoes. Crate training your puppy teaches them to only chew on their toys.
3. Safety: The crate helps to keep your unknowing puppy safely away from dangerous household items. There a far too many stories of puppies injured and killed every year as a result of chewing wires, ingesting poisons or eating foreign objects.
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If you condition your dog to have a positive response to her crate, she will come to think of it as her sanctum and she will enjoy spending time there. In fact, even after you finish crate training, your dog will voluntarily spend time there when she wants to take a nap or when she just needs a break from family.
The trick is to get your dog used to the crate before you start crate training to prevent her from forming a negative association with it. Try throwing some treats into the crate – you can even feed your dog some of her meals in the crate with the door open to help her get used to it.
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Steps For Crate Training A Dog
After you’ve gotten your dog used to spending time in the crate, the process of crate training is simple. The key is to keep your dog in the crate when you are not able to watch her yourself – this will help reduce the risk of her having an accident in the house until she learns to do her business outside. Below are the steps to follow when crate training:
1. Choose an area of the yard where you want your dog to do her business.
2. Take your dog outside once every hour or two and lead her to the area you want her to do her business.
3. If your dog does her business, praise and reward her. If she doesn’t have to go, just take her back inside and try again 30 minutes later.
4. When you are at home, keep your dog in the same room with you and keep an eye on her so she doesn’t have an accident.
5. When you’re not at home or can’t watch your dog, keep her in the crate – do not leave food or water because it will increase her chances of having an accident.
6. Let your dog out immediately before putting her in the crate and immediately after letting her out. You should also let her out after a nap and about 30 minutes after a meal.
7. Be firm and consistent about taking your dog out often enough that there is no risk for an accident and always praise her for doing her business so she is willing to repeat it.
8. As your puppy gets older, you can start to increase the amount of time she spends in the crate – just don’t force her to stay in it longer than she can control her bowels and bladder.
Every dog will respond to crate training differently. Some dogs get it in two or three weeks; other dogs might take months to fully get the hang of it. Just be firm and patient with your dog during training and you will get there. Most importantly, never use a crate to punish your dog — Instead, it should be a welcoming space your puppy can call its own.