There’s nothing worse than a new puppy that is left alone for hours at a time. They don’t understand why they are being placed in this box and often have accidents as a result of their confusion.
Crate training your new pet can solve these problems, but it takes patience to do so. In this article, we will discuss the steps you need to take to crate train your pup correctly and keep them happy.
Select the Right Crate for Your Puppy
The first step to training your new pet is purchasing a good crate. The right size of the crate will depend on how large your puppy grows, but there are some guidelines you can follow:
- If it’s an extra small breed of dog, they may outgrow their crates in just a few months and need something bigger ASAP
- Larger dogs will only be able to use smaller models for short periods of time until they grow into larger ones
If at all possible, purchase several different dog crate sizes so that as soon as your pup begins growing too big for one model, you already have another sized up for them ready to go.
Select a Good Location for the Crate
Another important consideration is where you place your pet’s crate. You want to select an area that stays cool, but not too warm and away from direct sunlight exposure.
It should be in a high-traffic area of your home so it doesn’t go unnoticed when training time comes around
You also need access to this room or space as well, so make sure you plan accordingly!
It might be best if the door isn’t closed all the way in order to keep an eye on them while training. Keep in mind they will likely whine at first, especially with young pups who are still getting used to their new surroundings.
Guide Your Puppy into Their Crate When They’re Resting
The next step is training your pet to enter their new crate on their own when they are tired or ready for a nap.
As far as training goes, it’s actually pretty simple! All you have to do is put the dog in the crate with something that smells like them and take away distractions. If they start whining, ignore them at first until they stop before letting out any attention towards them again.
They will quickly learn what happens if they don’t settle down.
Reward Your Puppy When They Go into Their Crate
After training them to go into their crate on command, you can then move on to training them to enter voluntarily.
Make sure they have a treat in your hand and put it just outside the door of the crate so that when they stick their head out for it, they will naturally walk inside since there’s nowhere else to go!
Give them plenty of praise throughout this process as well. Make training fun for both parties involved.
Leave the Room While Crate Training Your Puppy
Another training practice is to leave your pet alone in their crate for short periods of time. This is a good way to get them used to being left alone, but it can be accomplished with or without closing the door.
If you keep the door open and don’t close it until they stop whining and settle down on their own, this will help reinforce that idea they are not trapped inside here – just separated from everyone else
On the contrary, if you do choose to shut the door while training at first, make sure you return every few minutes so as soon as they start whining again, let them out.
Make Your Puppy Very Comfortable in the Crate
You can also help your pet be more comfortable when they are in their crate by training them to lay on a bed or blanket inside.
Make sure you leave enough room for the dog to move around, but not too much that it’s difficult for them to get out again if needed. Remember this is just temporary training until you have full control over where they go once crated.
This process will take time so make sure you have patience during training sessions and throughout.
Some dogs may pick up faster than others, but it’s definitely worth the wait. Once trained properly, your pup won’t mind being left alone while crated because of how relaxed they feel.
Don’t Keep Them in the Crate For Too Long
After training your pet to be comfortable and relaxed throughout this process, you shouldn’t have any issues keeping them in their crate for longer periods of time.
However, there is a “rule of thumb” that recommends new puppies should only stay crated up to an hour at a time, especially before they reach 16 weeks old.
Any more than that can cause stress and discomfort which leads back to the training process again.
Take Off Your Puppy’s Collar Before Placing Them in the Crate
This training process will be much more successful if you take off your pet’s collar before placing them inside their crate.
The extra jingling could cause some anxiety throughout the training which can make this time period longer to complete successfully.
Also, don’t forget that it’s important for your puppy to have identification tags with current contact information during training so no one mistakes his or her new location as a stray.
You can use these same guidelines when introducing someone else’s dog into your home during training too.
Puppies can easily get their heads stuck in crates or wire cages while training so be very careful with them around anything like that if you are training at home.
Set Up Your Puppy for Success
Another training technique is to set up your puppy for success.
Your pet should only get food and water inside their crate while training, so you can leave both of these things just outside the door during training sessions.
This will help them associate the idea that there’s nothing wrong with being in a crate, even when they are hungry or thirsty because it won’t seem like such a long time until they receive attention again from you.
This process may take some time depending on how many times per day you feed your dog but don’t worry, if done correctly this shouldn’t be much longer than a week to complete successfully.
Also remember, never use force training methods as this could lead to anxiety issues later on down the line.
Make sure you keep up training sessions for at least 30 minutes each day and don’t forget that removing the collar before training can help speed things along as well.
You should also leave some of their favorite toys in there if possible so they have something new to do during training times.
Don’t Use the Crate for Punishment
Training a puppy to be comfortable in a crate shouldn’t really involve punishment training at all.
However, if you do catch your pet chewing something they shouldn’t or making messes inside the house then it is okay to place them back into their training crate as a time out for bad behavior.
Just keep in mind that this isn’t meant as any form of long-term punishment and should only be used for about 15 minutes max so they don’t think training means being stuck there forever.
You can also help make training more enjoyable by including some fun toys while crated up too.
Remember That Small Puppies Can’t Hold Their Bladders Long
Smaller puppies may not be able to hold their bladders for as long as larger breeds, so training should take that into account.
If your pet is a smaller breed but still over 16 weeks old then it shouldn’t be an issue training them using the same guidelines mentioned before in this article.
However, if you have a very small puppy under 16 weeks of age then training could take longer depending on how often they need to go during training times and might require more frequent breaks from time to time as well.
That’s why we recommend keeping food outside the crate while training even with younger pups just because there could potentially come a day when accidents happen inside without prior warning signs.
Crate Your Puppy Until They’re Ready to Be Left at Home Alone
Training your puppy to be comfortable in a crate will also help them deal with being left at home alone when you’re ready.
Just keep in mind that this could take between one and two months of training before they are completely used to it though, so don’t try leaving them for long periods of time if their behavior seems like they may not want to be left there by themselves yet.
Remember, training is all about taking things slow while finding what works best for both the pet parent and new pup during each step along the way.
Watch Out for Separation Anxiety and How to Stop It
Separation anxiety can be a real problem when training a new puppy and we want you to know that the best way to stop it before it even starts is by making training sessions as enjoyable as possible.
Never use training methods that involve force or intimidation because this could lead your pet down the road of serious stress and fear which may cause separation anxiety issues in the future.
Instead, always try using positive reinforcement training techniques during all training sessions with any type of dog breed from small breeds all the way up to large dogs too.
This will help them associate being left alone while home without any negative feelings at all so they won’t feel frightened about what might happen next time you walk out of sight.
Exercise with Your Puppy Before Crating Them for Training
Exercise is good training too, so it’s a great idea to get your new puppy playing around with you before crating them up.
This will help tire out any excess energy they may have built up while also giving training sessions more of a chance since taking breaks won’t be necessary as much during training time.
Just remember that if you’re using the crate for potty training then training should take priority over playtime unless there has already been an accident or two in which case keeping things short and sweet might be best until potty training takes effect again.
That’s why we recommend starting by leaving them in their crates without food overnight just after bringing home your new pet to see how long they can hold their bladders so training can begin as soon as possible.
Always Leave Them a Chew Toy
If your new puppy is chewing on everything in sight then training could take a little bit longer to get started, so it’s best if you leave them with something edible overnight while crated or even during training sessions too.
This will keep their minds off things they shouldn’t be chewing and help training move along more smoothly because there won’t be any unwanted distractions either.
They can have an old sock that’s been torn into small pieces for this purpose just make sure the fabric isn’t irritating their skin though when using cotton materials instead of synthetic fibers.
Puppies are much easier to train than older dogs simply because they’re still learning about how the world works around them which makes training fun rather than frustrating.
Expect Your Puppy to Whine in Their Crate
A lot of pet parents are concerned about training their new puppy to be comfortable in a crate because they think it will lead them to be aggressive or barking nonstop until they’ve been let out.
Whining isn’t usually considered normal behavior for dogs either, but once again this is just something that comes with training and older pets know enough not to do these things by now.
Therefore, don’t automatically assume your pup is misbehaving if you hear whining during training sessions.
Need More Help Training a Puppy?
As you can see, there are many factors in training a puppy in a crate. To learn more about this subject, continue reading our blog for more helpful articles.