One of the best decisions you’ll ever make for your new furry friend is to crate train them. Before you ever get your pup you should make sure you pick up a crate that is sized appropriately for them, so you can begin crate training right away.
The benefits of crate training
Giving your puppy a safe and quiet space to retreat to is imperative. Training your pup to be comfortable with their crate will give them a place to go when they’re nervous, during potty training, when you’re leaving your home, or when they want to take a nap. Crate training should not be used as a punishment! As we stated in one of our previous articles, positive reinforcement is key to successful training. You don’t want your puppy to come to fear their safe space.
Choosing a crate
If you’re looking to use your crate for potty training, then it is important that you buy the correct size for your puppy. The crate needs to be large enough for your puppy to sit, stand, and lay down, but not large enough for them to walk around in. Appropriate sized spaces are comfortable without giving them substantial room to play. When the crate is too big they’re more likely to use the bathroom in it. The crate isn’t for play time! Your puppy shouldn’t be spending all of their lives in their crate, so make sure you’re giving them time to exercise and hang out with your family.
Appropriate crate time
If your puppy is going to spend their lives in their crate, then you should wait until you have more free time to be a pet owner. Your dog needs exercise and affection just like a child does. Puppies should only be spending a few hours at a time in their crate, and then they need to be taken to use the bathroom. The crate will be a new experience for your pup, so expect them to be nervous at first.
Curving crate anxiety
For a more successful introduction, leave the crate in an area where your puppy can see you from inside of it. Leave the door to the crate propped open, and encourage your puppy to venture inside. Expect your pup to whine initially. Remember, the crate is a new experience and new experiences can be scary. When they get used to their crate, they will start going inside on their own!
Packing your pup’s crate
To get a head start on making the crate comfortable for your pup, put a soft bed and a toy inside. Consider giving them a small treat every other time they get in their crate willingly. Speak to your pup in a very happy tone of voice to remind them they’re doing a wonderful thing by getting in their crate.
Crate training is a process, but there are so many benefits! Get a crate for your furry best friend, and make it their comfortable home.