Why Crate Train Your Puppy?

Because it's a Proven Method
for House training Your Dog

So you want to crate train your puppy? This is a good decision since crate training has been proven to be one of the most effective ways to potty train a new puppy. It can take anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks and should always have a positive association for the dog.

A crate (or kennel) is really just a travel carrier. Dogs instinctively want to keep their sleeping area clean which makes crate training an easier method for housetraining.

Tips to Crate Train Puppy Successfully:

  1. When you crate train your puppy, make sure to choose a crate big enough for your dog to stand up and move comfortably, but not so big that he has plenty of room to relieve himself away from his sleeping area. Make sure you choose a size that will be able to hold your puppy's adult size. You can just block off any extra space in the crate so your dog can't eliminate at one end and then sleep and play at the other end.

  2. Make the crate a place your dog will want to be – keep his favorite toys, bones and blankets in there. Puppies actually like to sleep in small close places so this is not a punishment.

  3. Introduce the crate in a positive way and reward him when he goes inside. Don’t use it as punishment; like sending a child to his room without supper.

  4. Feed your pup in the crate with the door open. After a while when your dog is comfortable, you can close the door. Once again, this will give your puppy a positive association with the crate.

  5. Keep the crate near you when you’re at home and put it in your bedroom while you’re sleeping so he is assured that you’re close by. Your puppy will do much better if he knows you are near-by.

  6. Gradually increase the length of time you leave your dog in the crate. Reward him for entering the crate and for good behavior while in there. You can stay outside the crate with him for a while and then just go about your business and leave the dog alone in there for longer periods. Do this several times throughout the day.

  7. While you’re training your dog, it’s important to have him sleep in the crate in the evenings instead of with you in your bed. For many dog owners this is one of the hardest things to do. Don’t give in during this initial training period or it will just delay success. It is okay, and even recommended, that you keep the crate in the same room with you at night.

  8. If your dog starts barking or whining DO NOT GIVE IN. This is essential to crate train a puppy successfully. This is the hardest part of housetraining your dog. How can you not want to pick up that cute little puppy and comfort him when he’s so obviously miserable? But giving in at this stage is the worst thing you can do for your dog. If he thinks that barking will get him what he wants you will never have a well behaved dog. One or two sleepless nights are easy to overcome but years of bad dog behavior are not. The shelters are full of tragic stories that could have been prevented with just some consistent training efforts.

  9. Keep your dog on a consistent schedule for outside potty breaks. If you don’t give your dog the opportunity to get into trouble you won’t have to correct bad dog behavior.

If crate training isn’t for you or your dog, you can get similar results by potty training your dog in a confined area in your house. I actually trained Luc this way by confining him with a baby gate in a small room in the house. Bathrooms and laundry rooms are great choices because of the small size and they’re generally easy to clean (no carpeting).

Some dogs don’t do well being enclosed in a room behind closed doors. They don’t like feeling isolated so a crate or baby gate is probably a better option since it allows your dog to feel more secure and not excluded from the rest of the family.

Favorite house training tips from other Coton owners

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