Crate Train Puppy

A puppy and his crate

How to Crate Train Puppy and encourage natural den habits in your young dog. Crate training a puppy makes house training a much easier task.

crate train puppy

It's usually easier to crate train a puppy when he's young than it is to train an older pup. Not only that but it's generally easier to house train a pup who loves her crate.

In order for the crate method of housetraining to work we're going to rely on the dog's natural instinct not to soil his den (sleeping area). Ultimately we want our dog to view the entire house as his den.

The crate is often viewed by the dog as her own personal space and becomes the place where they feel most secure.

Follow our easy how to crate train puppy guidelines.

Some pet stores and puppy mills confine pups in small kennels and cages for long periods of time. A puppy in these circumstances has little choice but to override his instinct to avoid soiling his sleeping space. Forced into this dilemma the puppy will use his sleeping area in which to eliminate, developing bad habits that sometimes last throughout his life.

These dogs will be much harder to housetrain, particularly using the crate method.

If you know how to crate train a puppy and don't seem to be making any progress, the puppy should be seen by a vet to rule out or treat medical issues that make it difficult or impossible to house train the pup.

Follow our simple crate training steps. Not every step will be necessary for every dog, some will take to their crates immediately and regard it as their happy place. Others will require a little coaxing.

Begin with a crate that is large enough to comfortably accommodate the puppy when he is full grown.

The trick to keeping the puppy from using his crate to relieve himself is to make the space the right size. To accomplish this you will need to block the puppy's access to part of the crate leaving a space just large enough for the puppy to stand, turn around and lie down. Any bigger and the puppy no longer regards the space as his den.

OK, all set? You've got the crate? Here it is. How to Crate Train a Puppy

  • Place a nice sleeping surface in the puppy's crate (some puppies prefer a hard surface)

  • Remove the top if the pup is reluctant to explore the inside of his new home ~ sometimes even the sides can come off. As the puppy grows more comfortable, slowly replace the sides (one at a time) and top.

  • Placing special treats or favorite toys in the crate can help the puppy to associate happy feelings with her crate.

  • Keep puppy on a schedule and stick to it as closely as possible. When feeding, walking, playing, training and bedtime are done on schedule the puppy's voiding habits become more predictable.

  • Take the puppy out frequently beginning at 30 minute intervals and extending the time between outdoor trips to 1 hour by 15 minutes every week or so.

  • Keep the puppy in the crate at night taking him out just before you go to bed and possibly during the night if she cries or becomes restless.

  • Carry the puppy outdoors (rather than letting him walk) to reduce his opportunities for peeing on the floor.

  • When you catch puppy in the act of "going" on the floor, startle him by clapping your hands together loudly and saying "no" in a deep voice. When startled the puppy will usually stop peeing long enough for you to pick him up and take him outside. Wait while he does his business and praise him lavishly for "going" outside.

  • Remove Dog Urine and messes right away (Nature's Miracle deodorizer works well for dog scent). Any smell left behind will signal to the dog that they should "go" there so be diligent when deodorizing.

  • Punishing a puppy frightens him and he rarely understands what the punishment is for.

  • Reward the behavior that you want and give your puppy lots of opportunities to do what you want her to do. The most teachable moments for your dog are when he is being praised and rewarded.

Why Crate Train a Puppy?

Once the puppy has been successfully crate trained it will be much easier to house train him. There are a variety of other reasons for crate training a puppy that benefit both the dog and you.

Dogs come from a long line of den animals who typically sleep and raise young in underground or cave like dens. Animals raised in dens quickly learn that soiling the den is not acceptable.

  • Can be very effective for housetraining.

  • Prevents damage to furniture and other household items from chewing and romping.

  • Keeps the dog safe from household hazards such as electrical cords and wires, potentially poisonous substances (plants, solutions, even foods)

  • Provides a secure place where the dog feels safe when her environment changes (visiting family, overnight trips, camping or when you have a group of people over).

  • Easily move the dog from one room to another by moving his crate. Once a dog has taken to his crate he'll happily follow wherever it goes. (most times)

  • Hotels and Inns that accept pets usually have a crating requirement.

  • Of course during plane trips, the dog must be crated and the she'll have a much more enjoyable trip if she's already familiar with the crate.

There are a number of functional and attractive dog crates on the market that keep your dog secure while fitting nicely into your living space.

No need to hide a crate in the porch or hallway where your puppy stays all alone.

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