Sunday, August 16, 2009

House Training Dogs – 7 more tips for Puppy Crate Training

Here are 7 more tips for crate training your puppy

  1. Start slowly; this is for your puppies benefit. Dogs are den animals, i.e. they like to have a place that this familiar, safe and comfortable to rest, sleep and spend time. The goal is for your dog to come to see his crate as his den and to grow to love being in there.
  2. When your dog’s not looking, tie a chew toy to the back of the crate! When he sees it, encourage him to go after it. He will have a great time playing “pull” with the toy and at the same time start to feel comfortable being in the crate. Keep encouraging him while he’s playing; remember a key part of house training dogs is for you to make them understand that what they are doing makes you happy as well.
  3. Start with short periods of confinement in the crate. The younger your puppy the shorter the periods, typically no more that 20 minutes for each month of the dogs age e.g. if the dog is 3 months old, the confinement period should be less than 1 hour.
  4. Puppy crate training is based on the principle that most dogs do not like to eliminate in the same place that they eat and sleep, so make sure that your crate is the right size, you dog should able to stand and move around comfortably but not roam. If the crate is too big your dog may have enough space to eliminate which defeats the whole purpose of house training your dog.
  5. When you let your dog out of the crate, carry him straight out side to the area you have designated as his toilet space. If nothing happens, place him back into his crate and wait 10-15 minutes before repeating the process. When he successfully eliminates in his “special” area make sure to praise and reward him.
  6. Assign a specific area as your dog’s bathroom zone. He will benefit from the structure (dogs like routine) and you will only have one area to clean up.
  7. You must ignore any complaints from your dog when he is in crate during the training period. If he whines or barks and you release him he will quickly learn to bark and whine as every opportunity. This will make it difficult for you to tell when there is a real problem.

Remember, house training dogs and puppy crate training in particular is primarily for your dog’s benefit. It gives them a feeling of safely and security and provides a place where they are safe from dangerous household situations. The crate also provides a means of safely carrying your pet in the car, on trips and to the vet or groomers.