How to Crate Train Your Puppy Properly

As a new puppy parent, learning how to crate train your puppy properly will be crucial to raising a good dog for the rest of their lives. When done successfully, crate training can be a huge lifesaver in keeping your pet safe. Before you attempt to crate train, there are essential things to know to ensure success. Keep reading this blog for tips and tricks to crate train your puppy properly. 


To Crate Train Your Puppy, You Need A Good Crate

Choosing a proper crate for your puppy is an important first step. It would be best if you chose a crate that will accommodate your dog when they are a fully grown adult. In adulthood, they should have enough room to stand, sit and turn around comfortably.

Metal crates are the most popular kind that pet parents choose for their puppies. Choosing one with multiple exit doors can help lessen your dog’s anxiety. 

Lastly, don’t forget to line the crate with warm blankets or a dog bed. Make it inviting by adding fun toys and giving your dog fun things to do while crated. If they are a chewer remove till they are past that stage. 


Steps To Puppy Crate Training 

Establishing a proper schedule for your puppy is important to crate training success. A routine will help keep your dog’s life predictable and reduce stress and confusion. 

You must also be patient throughout this process. Crate training can take a while, depending on the dog. Don’t rush or punish your dog if they don’t accept their crate immediately. 


Step 1

Allow your pup some time to explore the crate at their own pace. Let them sniff it, walk around it and allow the introduction to be slow. As we mentioned above, making the crate cozy and inviting can help your dog get acclimated faster! You want to ensure your dog is relaxed while exploring and checking things out. 


Step 2

Next, you want to entice your dog to want to enter the crate of their own free will. This means using reinforcement items such as food, toys, and treats. You also want to ensure that your dog is relaxed when entering their crate. The goal is to associate the crate as a relaxing place to go. If you put your dog in there while they are in “play mode,” it is likely that they will want to get out immediately. 

During the initial introduction, don’t leave your dog in the crate for too long, especially if they choose to go inside. Keep the doors open, so they don’t feel trapped the first time they enter the crate. A maximum of 10 minutes in the beginning, should suffice.

Crate Train Your Puppy Properly

Step 3:

Once your dog is noticeably comfortable with their new space, you can leave them there for extended periods. Be sure to always reward them for a job well done. 

You can also close the door to the crate. When you do this, be sure to continue communicating with your pup and feed them treats to distract from the fact that the crate door is closed. 

To up the ante, you can close the crate door and walk away for a few moments. Set up your phone to record your dog while in the crate during your absence. Take note of their behaviour. Do they appear anxious? Or are they waiting calmly for you? If they seem anxious, you should repeat steps one and two for longer. 

If your dog is calm and displaying desirable behaviour, reward them with plenty of praise and treats! 


Other Crate Training Tips

While your dog is in their crate, remove their harness or collar before you let them in. Collars can get easily caught on the crate and can lead to strangling.

Don’t just crate your dog while you’re away. Crating them while you’re at home teaches them that it is an excellent place to get some rest and relaxation.

When the door(s) are open, you may want to clip them open with a carabiner or other kind of clip.   A mental door slamming closed could scare them away. 

Do not make a huge fuss when they go in or out of the crate. This needs to be a normal activity and routine.  Keep things calm and nonchalant for the best success. 

Be very patient with this process. Never force your dog into their crate space if they aren’t ready to go inside. Some dogs may love their crate faster than others. 

Giving your dog a crate is not a punishment and should not be used as punishment. Creating negative associations with the crate will only set back your dog’s training. Crate training a puppy doesn’t have to be a huge undertaking. If you follow these steps, your puppy will become comfortable in their space sooner than you think! A dog who accepts their crate will have a world of advantages for you and them!

Does your pup need a crate break during the day while you’re at work? Contact York Professional Pet Sitting today to set up weekly dog-walking visits for your new puppy! 



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