Just like potty training a child, dogs of any age need praise and reassurance when they are learning to do their business outside. Crate training is an excellent and well-recognized way to teach dogs that the home is not a place to be messed. However, if you decide to crate train a puppy, it is essential that the crate be used as a positive training aid.
The association between a crate and a cage can negatively impact on some people’s view of whether or not to crate train a puppy. PETA are strongly against this type of training as they claim it can be a way for owners to ignore and neglect their pets.
To dispel this myth it must be stated firmly that a crate is in no way abusive to dogs. A crate of the right size, in the right place and with the right bedding is a place for your dog to go when tired, stressed or in need of a safe and familiar environment.
A crate becomes your dog’s bedroom and safe haven. It will only become a place to ignore your dog if you treat it as such. An owner that scares a dog into going into its crate, chases it in, sends it in for bad behavior or in any way makes the association bad for the dog, means that it has turned from being a training aid to a source of fear and stress for the animal.
Crate training may not be the best dog training for everyone and those without the space for a cage might just prefer to buy a dog bed. This is just as acceptable and in regards to potty training it won’t hinder or delay the process.
Puppies do not gain full bladder control until they are six months old so whilst crate training while they’re young will help prevent accidents, when they are older it won’t, as commonly thought, speed up the training initially.
How to train your dog is up to the owner but taking dog training classes when the puppy is young will help with dog obedience as well as providing information from qualified experts on doggy problems. They might even have a specialized potty trainer there to show you how to crate train a puppy if you are having problems.
Positive reinforcement is recognized as the best dog training as it builds on good associations and ignores the bad behavior that can become habitual to gain attention or another treat.
To crate train a puppy it is essential to follow these simple rules:
1. Remember that your puppy cannot stop itself from doing its business
2. To avoid accidents because of number 1 take the puppy out to relieve itself every hour, or even more if needs be.
3. Never treat the crate as a place to send the puppy when it has been naughty or needs to ‘calm down’ – the crate is a place the puppy can go when it wants to and when you are going out, and definitely not a place to go as a punishment.
4. When you crate train a puppy, use a potty training chart to note when accidents occur and to look for patterns in the behavior. This can also be used to gauge how well a dog is doing. Sometimes it might seem like he isn’t getting it, but it might not be as bad as it seems.
When you start to crate train a puppy, it is highly recommended that he stays in his crate in the bedroom for the first few nights. This limits his separation anxiety from being alone and without his litter mates for the first time.
This also means that you will hear him squeak when he needs to go out to eliminate. Wait for a break in the squeaking, and then take him out to do his business. If the crate door is opened whilst he is making a noise or scratching, he will associate that with acceptable behavior that ends with the door being opened,.
For more information about Puppy Potty Training, check out the highly recommended Complete 7 Day Potty Training Guide today!