Crate Training Your New Puppy!
We all want to have a well-behaved puppy that doesn’t chew, tear things up and only does his business in the appropriate area. Crate training is an important part of that! A dog crate should be your puppy’s private den, his special place – a security blanket. He should not be afraid or frustrated when he is closed in, rather he prefers having a structured life. Below are some tips to help you be successful when crate training! This will allow your pup to have a private place to relax as well as help prevent him from developing separation anxiety.
Step 1– Choose the right crate for your puppy:
- RFH Recommended Size: 24”L x 14” W x 18” W
- Ensure it has a divider so your puppy can grow into his crate.
- Materials: This is a personal Preference!
- Kennel/Airline Crates are more enclosed
- Wire Crates- work best for most dogs
- AKC Tips on Top Crates HERE
Step 2– Making the crate comfortable for your puppy:
- Decide what bottom works best in your crate! Be mindful if you have a pup who loves to chew when selecting. You don’t want to choose something with tons of stuffing that your puppy can easily tear open and digest!
Step 3– Tips for setting up the crate for your puppy:
- A crate should only be large enough for your puppy to stand, sit and lay in comfortably.
- Any extra room will encourage your pup to use his crate as an apartment with a bedroom AND a bathroom.
- Be sure your crate is placed where you spend a lot of time.
- Your pup doesn’t want to feel isolated.
- Ensure that there is not too much heat, sun or that it is too cool.
- At night, you can bring your pup’s crate into the bedroom or have another crate in the bedroom for him.
- Read through our Your Puppy’s 1st Night Home Blog on how to get him to sleep all night.
Step 4- Do’s and Don’ts of Crate Training your puppy:
- DO: leave light music playing when you aren’t with your pup. Music is soothing. Any complaining your pup might do initially is not caused by the crate but by him learning to accept the controls of his new and unfamiliar environment.
- DON’T: Children should respect the crate and not use it as a toy.
- DO: Take your puppy outdoors to eliminate prior to going into the crate.
- DON’T: Put a puppy pad for elimination in his crate. They are designed to encourage your pup to eliminate.
- DO: Use association to teach your pup that being in is crate is a positive experience.
- DON’T: Use the crate for punishment. Used properly, a dog crate can benefit both dogs and people.
- DO: Remove your puppy’s collar/leash prior to leaving him in the crate.
- DON’T: Leave your puppy in their crate all day.
Step 5- Crate Training TIPS
- Be sure that you are practicing crate time periodically during the day as this is new!
- Your puppy should take naps in the crate and go into the crate when you are busy!
- You should get your puppy used to the crate with ½ hour sessions (1-2 hours max).
- Take your puppy to use the bathroom before crate time and that he has had plenty of play time beforehand so we know he will be nice and sleepy!
- If he fusses and cries, he’ll get one firm correction and that’s it- ignore him!
- If you keep correcting him repeatedly or trying to console him, it’s just going to reinforce that naughty behavior!
- After 10 minutes of quiet, take him out of his crate but don’t make a fuss.
- You don’t want him to immediately associate coming out of his crate with lots of positive attention or he won’t want to be in his crate.
- You should never allow a pup to cry longer than 25 minutes.
- If after 25 minutes he is still fussing, take him outdoors to do his business and then return him to the crate to start again.
- When you come back after leaving your pup in his crate, don’t immediately go to the crate and make a big fuss over your pup!
- It will encourage him to make a big fuss every time he thinks you’ve come back too.
- Instead, when you come back do something else for half a minute or so and then calmly go to his crate and take him out, telling him what a good boy he is
It’s so important to make sure that your puppy is getting enough crate time during the day so that he’ll be comfortable in the crate at night! As he gets older and you can count on him being housebroken, you can leave the crate door open at night. If he does well, you can eventually remove the crate altogether if you prefer. Crate training your puppy will allow you to be comfortable knowing that when you leave your pup alone, he is not destroying or soiling your home.
Royal Flush Havanese is ALWAYS here to help! Remember to be patient when crate training and teaching your puppy to be alone! Not only does crate training assist with housebreaking it can help dogs learn to self soothe, deal with stressful situations, and give them a nice quiet place to call their own! The first and most important step in crate training is to make sure it is a positive experience. Read through our blog on Separation Anxiety to learn how crate training prevents your puppy from developing a fear of being alone!