How to crate train your puppy!

How to house train a puppy in 4 steps

Looking for tips on how to crate train a puppy?

It’s not as hard as it sounds, but you’ll need a little patience and the right method to succeed. I’m going to share the tips and techniques that I learned from, so you can successfully train your pup just like I did. But before we dive into the methods I used, let’s first talk about why crate training is so effective and a few things you need to do before you get started.

Why Crate Train a Puppy?

Did you know that dogs are den animals? A dog’s den is where he sleeps, takes refuge from danger and raises his family. Your pup’s crate will serve as his “den”, giving him a safe place to hide when he’s feeling anxious and a comfortable place to sleep at night.

You may be wondering “what does this have to do with crate training?” Crates are used for housetraining because dogs don’t like to soil where they sleep. Crates are also a great way to restrict your dog’s access to your home while he learns the rules. While he’s in his safe and comfortable “den”, he can’t chew on you furniture – or your favorite pair of shoes.

Before Training

Before you start training, there are a few things you need to know:

  • Make sure that you purchase the right sized crate for your dog. He should have enough room to stand up and turn around. If you’re training a puppy, choose a crate that’s large enough for his adult size. To accommodate your puppy’s small size, you can block off any excess crate space to prevent accidents.

  • Learning how to crate train your dog can take time. In some cases, training can take weeks.

  • Always associate the crate with something pleasant.

  • Take small steps when training to avoid overwhelming your dog.

How to Crate Train Your Puppy

Step 1: Get Your Dog Acquainted with the Crate

First thing’s first, you’ll need to introduce your dog to his new crate. Do your best to make sure this is a positive experience. Place the crate in the same room where your family spends the most time. Make the crate more comfortable by putting down towels or a soft blanket. Let him explore his new den. If you’re lucky, he’ll want to start sleeping in it right away.

If he’s not too keen on the idea of being in his crate:

  • He may just need a little encouragement. Create a trail of treats starting outside the door and all the way into the crate.

  • Bring your puppy to the crate and use a pleasant tone of voice to encourage him to explore his new home. You may want to remove the door at first, so it doesn’t frighten him.

Don’t force your pup to go inside and always use a pleasant tone of voice. The goal is to create positive associations with the crate, so he willingly goes inside.

Step 2: Feed Your Dog in His Crate

Feeding your pup in his crate will reinforce those positive associations you started in the first step. Before you start this step, he should be ready and willing to go into the crate on his own.

During his regular meal times, place his bowl in the back of the crate. Once he’s comfortably standing inside, you can close the crate door. As soon as he finishes eating, open the door. Each time you feed him inside of the crate, you can begin leaving the door closed for just a little bit longer. If he starts whining, you may have kept the door closed too long. When he stops whining, let him out of the crate.

Step 3: Crating When You Leave

Once your dog is able to eat his meals inside of the crate without any signs of anxiety or fear, you can start extending his time in the crate. Do this gradually by keeping him in the crate for longer periods of time until he’s able to stay in the crate for 30 minutes.

If he can stay in the crate for 30 minutes without whining, you can attempt to crate him for short periods while you leave the house. Keep your departures short, and don’t get emotional. When you return, make sure that you do not reward excited behavior.

Step 4: Crating Your Dog at Night

The final step is to train your puppy to sleep in his crate at night. If he’s still a young puppy, you might want to keep the crate in your bedroom at night. Puppies need to go out often, so you want to be able to hear him whine when he needs to go out.

Once your dog is comfortable sleeping in his crate, you can begin to gradually move the crate out of the room (if you prefer).

Crate training is one of the most effective ways to house train a puppy. If you follow these steps, your dog should be house trained in a matter of days or weeks. Remember: be patient and never scold your dog if accidents occur. Keep training and encouraging good behavior. Eventually, he’ll get the hang of it and learn the rules of your home.

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