There are many excellent reasons for crate training your dog or puppy, not only for their safety, but also because all dogs need a place to feel secure and at ease. Older dogs are usually able to be crate trained with some extra love and patience. Young puppies should be able to adjust to the crate routine in anywhere from 8 to 16 weeks while they're learning all of the wonders of their new environment.
The Benefits of Crate Training Your Dog
– Crates give dog owners a safe place to keep their pet during times when they may be underfoot and possibly get injured.
– Housebreaking your dog becomes considerably easier when crate training because no dog likes to soil where they sleep. Confinement to a crate helps the dog gain better bladder control by associating going outside with the act of relieving themselves.
– A crate gives a dog a much needed sense of security, a den of his own to retreat to when they are tired or not feeling well.
– A crate helps a dog to get used to being confined. This is especially important when you need to peacefully travel with the dog.
Here Are A Few Crate Training Tips
Place the crate somewhere in close proximity to a busy area of the house so that the dog may be defined, but not isolated from the rest of his "pack". A family room or somewhere near the kitchen would be an ideal place. The crate should be placed in a corner if possible, or have a sheet or towels draped on the back to create a den-like appearance.
While the crate may not be one of your most beautiful pieces of furniture, it is important for the development of your dog. It also keeps the rest of your home intact while your puppy is learning and growing.
The size of the crate will obviously depend on the size of the dog. Widthwise, you should be sure the pup will have enough room to lay down, stretched flat on his side. For the height, the dog should be able to sit up without hitting his head on the top of the crate.
The majority of crates come in standard sizes so it should be reliably easy to gauge the type you'll need, but if in doubt, always get the next largest size. It is much better to have a crate that is too large than one that is too small.
When you first show your dog their new crate be sure to provide some bedding like an old blanket or an unwashed t-shirt that has your scent on it. The dog will find the sent comforting.
Do not put the dog's food or water dish inside the crate. If you have children, be sure it's clear that the crate is not a play area, but rather a type of bedroom for the dog. When the dog must be crated for longer periods of time, there are clip-on food and water dishes that are designed to attach to the crate in a secure manner.
Initially place the dog in the crate for one to two hours a day at regular intervals centered around nap time. Also, if you'll be leaving the dog alone for any period of time, he should be crated. Always remove their collar to prevent it from becoming caught on the crate.
It's imperative to establish and stick to a routine right away so as not to confuse your dog. Following a regular schedule every day of the week. This is important not only for puppies, but for adult dogs as well who may have security issues and behavioral problems.
A very important rule to keep in mind when crate training your dog is that it should never be used as a form of punishment. The crate should always be a positive place where they can feel secure.
No adult dog should ever be left in their crate for more than 8 hours. Three to four hours is plenty for a puppy. Additionally, a dog's crate should always be kept clean. If your dog does happen to soil the inside, that simply means you are crating them for too long at a time.
As a dog grows and matures, they should be able to spend more and more time outside of their crate. Once they are able to be trusted alone, increase the amount of time they are allowed to roam freely about the house. Keep the crate open and available to the dog at all times.
Crate training your dog takes patience and a gentle firmness in order to be successful. The rewards are plentiful as you will have a piece of mind knowing that your precious dog will be safe and free from mischief while you're away.