Monday, May 18, 2015

Puppy Crate Training in 7 Easy Steps

Puppy crate training is probably the least stressful housebreaking method, both for you and your new puppy. Fortunately, puppy crate training can be broken down into just 7 steps.

Follow them exactly, and your puppy is bound to be well-behaved and house trained in less time than you think!


Reward Your Puppy
Step 1 - Get Everything Ready Successful crate training starts before you bring your puppy home. Purchase a puppy crate and assemble it, and make sure you get the right size. The crate should have enough room for your pup to stand, turn around, lie down, and stretch out - no bigger. Puppies feel most secure in a crate that's cozy, just like a den in the wild. If your puppy a large breed, you can buy a crate with an adjustable partition. This allows you to adjust the size of the crate as your puppy grows. Place a soft, thick towel or blanket in the crate, along with a toy and a puppy treat.

Step 2 - Puppy, Meet Your New Crate! As soon as you bring your puppy home, begin crate training Let your puppy explore the room for a few minutes and give him a little drink of water. Then remove his collar and leash - you don't want your puppy to get tangled up or snagged on the wire crate - and place him gently in his crate. Close the door, and go about your business.

Step 3 - Ignore the Complaints What happens next depends on your puppy's personality. Some puppies calmly settle down with the treat and then take a nap. But other puppies may whine, cry, or yelp, or even bark. Don't respond!

The best thing you can do at this stage - tough as it might be - is ignore the complaints. If your pup seems especially distressed, here is a trick you can try: cover the crate with a lightweight blanket. This makes his new home feel more safe and cozy.

Step 4 - Reward Your Puppy. After about twenty minutes, it's time to remove your puppy from his crate. So open the door, put on his collar and leash, and take him outdoors. With any luck, your puppy will "go potty" shortly after he goes outside. If so, praise him and pet him.

Step 5 - Repeat the Positive Crate Experience Puppy crate training depends on repetition and positive reinforcement. So now it's time to go back inside and repeat. So when you bring your puppy back indoors, play for about twenty minutes. Then put your puppy back in the crate for another 20-30 minutes. Eventually your puppy will be comfortable staying in the crate for two hours or more. He might even feel so "at home" in his crate that he will choose to lie down in it, even when the door is open and he doesn't have to.

Step 6 - Damage Control Most puppies will not go potty in their crates unless they have an upset tummy. But if your puppy does have an accident, do not scold and do not punish! At this point your puppy hasn't made the connection that going potty indoors is not acceptable behavior. So getting angry not only doesn't help, it can make your puppy frightened of you. If there's an accident, calmly remove your puppy from the crate and take him outside. When you bring him back, quickly clean up the mess, play for a little while, then put him in the crate.

Step 7 - Stick to a Routine and a Schedule Every time you remove your puppy from his crate, make sure you take him outside first thing. This encourages him to "hold it" and reinforces his natural desire to keep his crate clean. And when you take your puppy outside, take him to the same "potty spot" every single time. This way your puppy will associate this particular spot with going potty and he'll take care of business quickly. Puppies learn best when the training is consistent, repetitive, and predictable.

So with the right preparation, patience, repetition, and routine, your new puppy will soon be a perfectly "potty trained" dog!

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