Crate Training Puppy
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Crate Training Your Puppy
Crate training has many huge benefits, but the biggest by far is how much easier it makes housebreaking.
Crate training works with the puppys natural instincts. A dog is, by nature, a den animal. He will feel comforted and safe in his crate, and he will not want to soil where he sleeps. This is your golden ticket to housebreaking. Of course, you may have to convince him that this is his bed at first.
The first few nights your puppy is home, expect he will cry and howl for you to let him out. He wants to be with you. This is natural, as is your desire to let him out. Restrain yourself. He needs to learn from the very beginning where his place is to be. If you allow him to run the house now, be prepared for the mess that will cover your floors by morning and for many mornings to come.
Crate training works very well and after the initial break-in period, his crate will be a favorite place for him to be. Once he knows it is a warm, safe place, you will often find him putting himself to bed when he is tired.
Here are some basic rules of thumb to get started:
Your puppy should be in his crate if you cant be right with him. If you need to do something or be somewhere the puppy cant go then put him safely in his crate.
Make sure the crate is always a pleasant place to be. Give him a favorite toy, or an old t-shirt that smells familiar to him. (Unless he is apt to destroy and eat them, then minimize what goes in with him)
Never scold him when you put him in. If he has had an accident then scold him and put him outside, not in his crate.
You might even feed him in there so he associates the crate with good things.
Once he goes in at night, do not revisit him, he will settle down....eventually.
The reason that crate training works so well for housebreaking is that it encourages the puppy to hold it. The puppy does not really want to mess where he sleeps. Make no mistake, he will soil his bed so make sure everything that goes in is washable. The difference is that he really doesnt want to go there. He will tend to wait as long as he can. He will start to build control over his body this way.
It is important to mention that if the crate is too big then you are defeating its purpose. If he can mess far enough away from where he wants to curl up, he wont mind going there a bit. The crate area should be plenty big for him, but not so big he has no exposure to his indiscretions.
To encourage success, make sure you take your puppy out to the yard as late as possible before you go to bed, and plan to get up with the sun to take him out again. In time he will be able to hold it longer, but when he is very young you cant expect him to go more than several hours.
He will have to go immediately on waking up. Dont even call him to the door, just pick him up and take him out. You will eliminate many accidents this way.
He will have to go about five minutes after he eats. Make sure you are ready to take him out quickly and spend time out there with him until he figures out why he is out there.
Feed your puppy often and offer water frequently. You are creating opportunity to praise! Just be on your toes and try to have him in a place where he should go. The more success he has the faster he will catch on.
When he goes, praise him, praise him, praise him! Do a little dance, cheer, whatever it takes to show him you are delighted with what he did in that spot.
Conversely, fold your arms, scold, and scowl at him when he picks a spot indoors. Show him his mistake and tell him No, Outside and take him out where you want him to go.
If you have no yard and actually want him to pick a specific area of your home for him to go on newspapers or training pads, the same rules apply except that will be your final destination and you may say something like Paper instead.
You need to be consistent with your training for this issue and all others. The more consistent you are the faster progress you will make.
If you can spend a solid 3 or 4 days at this you will probably be able to train him in a week or so. His age will be a variable however, very young puppies simply dont have the control over their body that they will by 10 or 12 weeks.
Once you have put the crate into play it should not take more than a week until he really understands that it is a good place. You can take his crate, or his crate pad at least, any time you take him somewhere with you. He will feel right at home no matter where he is.
A crate creates a safe place to hide during thunderstorms and windstorms. You will have a safe place to put him if you have construction going on. He will have a safe place to be when fireworks are going off. If there is any doubt as to the surrounding circumstances when you are away, you can put him in his crate and know without a doubt, he will be fine. He will be there when you get home, and your home will be intact. Frightened dogs can do a lot of damage trying to escape scary situations. It is a great relief for you and him.
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