Crate training your puppy is a great way to keep her safe and happy when you’re away or unable to keep an eye on her. Puppies are notorious for getting into everything at any given moment. Even the cleanest home can have potential dangers for your puppy.
Entirely puppy-proofing a home is almost unrealistic as you can’t remove every cord from the ground or puppy level, and they’ll find different things to chew on that you wouldn’t even expect. The house training and crate training process doesn’t happen overnight, though.
It’s going to take time and patience to get your puppy to the point where she goes in her cage without trouble and waits until outside to use the restroom. The best way to kennel train is to start out knowing a few simple training steps.
Continue reading below to learn how to kennel train a puppy today!
1. Introduce the Two Slowly
When you’re ready to start crate training your puppy, you’ll want to introduce the two to one another slowly. Set the crate up in a room where they’ll feel included in the family. A place where the family spends a lot of time, such as a living room or den, is acceptable.
You do want to avoid high foot traffic areas, just as entryways, though. Then, you can place a few of your pup’s favorite items inside it. You want to make it as comfortable as possible for her.
Use blankets and a toy or two, and don’t forget to make the crate a positive thing. Don’t force her into it. Let her sniff around it and explore it on her own time.
She might even be curious enough to go inside by herself. Let her explore it without you even addressing it. Once she’s no longer curious about, you can move on to the next step.
2. Give Meals Inside the Crate
You can now start to give your puppy meals inside the crate. Start by feeding her once or twice with the bowl next to the crate. Then, you can move the bowl inside the crate.
Let her get used to this and slowly move the food bowl back further into the crate with each feeding. This might take some time. Once she’s comfortable eating at the back of the crate, you can begin closing the door while she’s eating.
When she’s done, open the door and allow her to come out. Do this a few time. You can also wait a bit longer before opening the crate after she’s done eating to help her get used to being in it without eating.
3. Start With Short Timeframes and Praise Them
The next step is to start keeping her in the crate for a short timeframe and gradually extend the amount of time she’s left in the crate. For the first session, leave her in the crate for 5-10 minutes.
Leave the room during this time and then come back to let her out. As you continue to do this, you can make the time you spend away from her in the crate longer and longer. When it comes time for her to stay in the crate while you’re away, she won’t have as much anxiety.
She’ll know you’ll be back to let her out and show her love soon.
4. Place Crate in Bedroom Overnight
If you’re going to keep your puppy in the crate overnight while you sleep, then it might be best to place the crate in the bedroom. It’ll help ease her anxiety, knowing you’re there with her in the room.
Because she’s a puppy, she’ll need to take nightly bathroom breaks. Having her in the room with you also makes it easier to hear her when she’s ready to go out.
5. Be Patient With Them
Patience is a must when kennel or crate training your pup. Remember to be patient with her. She’s still a puppy and learning what’s allowed and what’s not.
Don’t be surprised if she has a few accidents here and there. It’s important that you’re patient with her because if you begin to associate the crate with negativity, she’ll most likely have anxiety about going inside it and whine while there.
6. Remember to Choose a Crate Right for Them
Don’t forget to find the right crate for your puppy’s size as well. Not only do you want a crate that’s big enough for her now, but you’ll want one that’ll be big enough for her when she’s fully grown as well.
Ask her vet about how big she’s expected to grow. You’ll then want a crate for that dog size. She should be able to stand up, turn around, and lay down without trouble.
7. Don’t Extend the Time Too Long
Although you want your puppy to learn how to stay in the crate while you’re away and overnight, you don’t want to keep her in there for more than 3-4 hours at a time. She’s still learning how to control her bladder and will need to be taken out on walks regularly.
If she stays in the crate for too long, she’ll have accidents and will be left sitting in a mess. It’s also crucial that she gets enough playtime and exercise, so she shouldn’t be kept in the crate for an entire day.
Follow These Crate Training Tips for a Happy and Healthy Puppy
When you’re ready to crate train your puppy, be sure to follow these crate training tips listed above! Keep this guide handy if you need to refer back to it.
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