A new puppy is a source of wonder and excitement for the whole family. They are fun to play with, fun to watch, but not so fun to clean up after! If you want to train you puppy to be a good, indoor dog you need to start when the dog is young. One of the best methods for training dogs is crate training.
When you use crate training, you are helping your dog to establish his place in your home along with giving him a sense of security. The crate is his space and his space alone. You want him to always feel safe when he is in the crate.
When choosing a crate for your dog, keep in mind how large the dog will be at adulthood. You want a crate that the dog can turn around in, but you don’t want it to be too big for the breed. This is very important when you are house training a dog. Dogs will not relieve themselves in their personal area, but if the crate is too big they could make a mess in one corner and still have a good portion for themselves. So make sure it is only big enough for the dog to turn around in. While the puppy is small, block off a portion of the crate using boxes wrapped tightly with towels. The towels will prevent the dog from chewing up the cardboard!
There are a few things to keep in mind when you are crate training your dog.
Make the crate your pet’s space. Put some toys, a blanket, and maybe a pillow in the crate for the dog. Even though the space is small make it welcoming for the dog. Make it a happy place for your pet, much like a child’s bedroom.
Use the crate wisely. Many people get a dog and then don’t want to interact with it. As a result, the dog spends most of its time in the crate. Dogs are very social animals and they like to be with their ‘pack’. You are part of their pack and your dog considers itself a part of your family.
If your workday is so that you could run home at lunch, put the dog in the crate when you leave in the morning. Come home and allow the dog to go outside and have a drink. Then put the dog back into the crate until you get home for the evening. This is a very effective way to house train a dog. However, if you cannot come home at midday don’t put the dog in the crate all day. Put your puppy in a small bathroom or utility room while you are gone. Make sure there is nothing the puppy can destroy in the room because they like to chew!
Separate the crate from the dogs eating area. You want the crate to symbolize a place of peace and rest to the dog. Don’t put food or water in the crate otherwise the dog will associate it with eating. Make sure it is located in a quiet area of your home so it truly is a place of rest for your dog.
Make crate training consistent. If you dog is showing unacceptable behavior such as jumping on people, put him in the crate immediately. Make sure you follow the same routine each time the unacceptable behavior occurs. Soon your dog will understand that his behavior is wrong.
Schedule crate time. Just like kids, dogs need naps. Dogs are naturally light sleepers so having a scheduled time when your dog goes to the crate for a nap will make him a better behaved and calmer dog.
Crate training is good for everyone involved. It gives your dog a place of security and a sense of structure within your home. Crate training allows you to set boundaries and retain control of your home. The dog will come to realize that you are the leader of the pack and are to be respected and obeyed.
Dogs are wonderful animals that make extremely loyal companions. Start your relationship right with proper training and care. As a result you will forge a strong bond with your dog that will last for a lifetime.