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How to Crate Train Your Puppy

 by amanda on 28 Dec 2012 |
2 Comment(s)
Crate training your puppy is a great way to develop a bond with your puppy, provide them with their own "space" and to keep your pet safe. It's just a coincidental 
bonus that crate training also has a way of keeping your belongings safe from curious puppy teeth.
I suspect you already know all of that though, which is why you're here on PetBucket, getting to know the process, so you can have an easier time training your puppy to enjoy his or her new kennel.
The process itself, is really simple. Most of it is about persistence and patience
You're puppy is still new to the world, and still learning all the rules of his or her new home. To them, the rules are numerous, confusing and sometimes really boring. So it's important that you keep a regular schedule when you through kennel training into the mix, and it's especially important that you stay patient throughout the process.
To get started, you first need to decide when your pup will be in their crate. Will it be only at night? Will there be some times during the day when they will need to be in their kennel? Or will the crate just be there for occasional use?
Once you decide on a schedule, it's simply a matter of sticking to it.
The rest of your training sessions will depend on the temperament of your puppy, and the types of challenges that temperament that might come up.
Most of the time, the greatest challenges are getting your puppy to willingly enter the kennel on their own, and getting them to stay quiet while they are in their crates. 
If your puppy is pretty laid back and trusting, then crate training will be a breeze, with few needs for "training tips". On the other hand, if your pup is either very anxious or very headstrong, you will want to consider what sort of high value rewards you will use to help encourage your puppy to climb into their kennel without a big fuss.  
I have found that meaty treats are the best to start out with if your puppy is only a little resistant to going into their new kennel. Alternatively, if you have a stubborn young friend, then you might try feeding them their meals inside the kennel. This will help them associate their kennel as a good place to be when you put them in there.
On the issue of keeping quiet in the kennel, the best trick I know of, is to make sure you have a thick blanket you can place over the kennel. Most puppies have a hard time staying quiet in a kennel at first, and often times even after they are used to being in a kennel. By placing a blanket over the crate, you are communicating your canine friend, that it is time to relax and be quite.
Outside of the above guidance, the only thing left to keep in mind over the next few weeks of crate training, is that you should never use your puppy's kennel as a disciplinary tool while you are training them. If they misbehave in someway or need to be corralled, place them in a bathroom, backyard or bedroom. You can use the crate for these things later on after they have made it through the training days, though you want to wait at least a good 4 or 5 months before you let yourself slip.
It's all too tempting to use the crate as an all purpose corralling and disciplining tool for your young puppy, but you can make them really despise going into the kennel if you use it the wrong way.


linda northrop - Comment
linda northrop10 Jan 2013Reply
Woefully incomplete. What about short, gradually increasing sessions, toys, when to stay beside her and when to go away, criteria for letting her out, etc. I know you only have so much room, but this is too much fluff and not enough essential info, and if the next offering isn't better, I will unsubscribe.
katherine - Comment
katherine11 Jan 2013Reply
I also found that filling a Kong with yogurt and freezing it makes a great special treat for the pup when it's time to go into the crate. My Rosie loved it and spent her time in the crate licking out the yogurt. When I let her out, she would go back in to retrieve her Kong! I only gave her this special treat when in the crate.

She is now 11 months old and when I have to go out and she needs to go into the crate, I just say -- come on, girl -- time for me to go out. And Rosie goes right to her crate and lies down!

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