Crate Training with Puppies
Crate Training as a Potty Training Tool
When my girlfriend and I adopted our first rescue dog we took on the arduous task of potty training him immediately due to the fact that we were living in an apartment with no yard. Our land lord was nice enough to allow us to have the dog without paying any sort of pet rent so we wanted to make sure that we left the place free of any puppy damage when we left. As we looked around online for potty training methods and tool it seemed like crate training was by far the best bet for our situation.
My girlfriend automatically saw it as a cruel way of locking our puppy up, jailing him so to speak. Those first few nights were definitely a struggle when he began to whine but let me tell you, crate training worked out very well for us. In fact, now we have three rescue dogs and they all love their crate, it’s treated like their safe little den. So how did we do it? Let me tell you.
Dog Crate Size
When crate training your dog it is important to choose the proper size for your dog. You want a dog crate that is big enough from them to stand up and move around in but nothing to large where they can pee on one side and then lay on the other. This is important because you obviously want them to be comfortable but they must understand that they have no room for doing their business.
Not a Tool for Discipline
You want to use your dog crate specifically for crate training, not as a form of punishment. Do not by any means use your dog crate as a way to punish your dog for something they may have done wrong. While crate training you want you dog to feel comfortable in their crate and not affiliate with something bad. Your dog crate should be placed somewhere that they feel safe and that they can preferable see what you are up to. It is more reassuring when they can see what their favorite humans are doing.
Routine, Routine, Routine
I can’t say it more, you must stick to a routine while using crate training as a tool to potty train your dog. Make sure that you take your puppy out to pee just before you put them in their crate for the night or while you are away on errands. Young dogs need to pee more often than mature dogs but even young puppies can be in their crate without an issue for up to 4 hours. They rarely pee in their crate due to the fact that they associate it with a comfortable safe place.
Immediately after taking your dog out of their crate take them to their dog potty box. When crate training this is very important, they will learn to hold their pee if they know they will be taken to pee immediately after leaving their crate. The only way the can understand this is if you stick to a routine with them. Remember that dogs by nature love routines and are much happier when they know what is expected of them.
Heap on the Praise
When using crate training as a dog potty training tool be sure to heap on the praise when your puppy holds their pee and goes when let out. Make sure that you have some treats with you when you take your puppy out to their dog potty box so you can offer one to them as soon as they pee on the grass. Praising them is crucial as it adds a reward to their routine and you know how crazy your dog gets when you even say the word “Treat!” out loud.
Finally, I have to tell you that our dogs love their crate. At night all we have to say is “Go To Bed” and they all go to their respective crate for the night, we don’t even have to close the dog crate door.