Crate training is an essential part of raising your dog. It teaches your puppy proper potty behavior while also curbing undesirable habits. Going through this training now will also make future trips to the vet significantly less stressful.
This type of training is a must for dogs, but many people and pets struggle with it. If you’ve had trouble crate training your puppy, the tips in this article should help you out immensely. Plus, we’ve invited Cathy Challand (Tailored Pet Services Certified Dog Trainer) to add her expertise to the points below.
Tip 1: Find the Right One for Crate Training
Selecting the right crate will be crucial to the success of your dog’s training. According to Petco, you should measure your dog’s height and length then add four inches both ways to find the crate that has the appropriate dimensions. A crate of that size should give your pet enough room to move around.
In terms of material, you need something durable that can keep your dog in one spot. Plastic and metal crates would be ideal for training. “Wood is more tempting for the dogs to chew and destroy” says Cathy.
Tip 2: Create a Comfortable Environment inside the Crate
Next, you want your pet to be comfortable inside the crate. Place their bed in there so they can get nice and comfortable.
You should also place the crate in a warmer part of your home so your dog doesn’t get too chilly. “The crate is best placed next to a wall close to or in a well trafficked area” says Cathy.
Tip 3: Place Your Dog in the Crate at the Appropriate Time
You need to pick the right time to put your dog in the crate. Ideally, you want them to rest inside the crate.
Try to line up your pet’s bedtime with their crate stint so they will just sleep and not worry about anything else. “Bedtime is a good time to introduce the dog to the crate, but only after a few days of short periods of time during the day/evening” says Cathy.
Tip 4: Lure Your Dog into the Crate Using Food
Early on, your puppy may not voluntarily go inside the crate. You may have to lure them in there using food.
Pick up your pup’s favorite treats and feed them to your pet while they’re inside the crate. If treats are part of the training, your pet won’t mind staying in the crate for a while. “Food is a good incentive to go in the crate, putting it into a Kong or other food containing toy is best for it to last a few minutes” says Cathy.
Tip 5: Be Mindful of How Long Dog Stays Inside
Your dog should not stay inside their crate for an indefinite period of time.
According to the ASPCA, a puppy that’s no older than 10 weeks should get no more than an hour of crate time. The maximum crate time for a puppy no older than 14 weeks is three hours. Your 16-week-old should also only stay in the crate for a maximum of four hours.
Even if your dog is over 17 weeks old, they shouldn’t stay inside a crate for longer than six hours.
This is just part one of our two-part series on crate training. Stay tuned for part two so you can train your puppy more effectively!
Do you need help crate training your dog? If so, we at TAILored Pet Services would be glad to help. Call 425-923-7791 or visit our classes/workshops page to learn more about training your pup.