Teaching your puppy crate training is a great way to give him a good start, install positive habits early, and bond with your new pet. Puppy crate training is a very effective way to housebreak your new puppy, and also teach basic manners. Here are some concepts that will get you off to the right start.
Keep in mind that crate training should be a positive experience for both you and your puppy. Many people believe that crate training is cruel, and refuse to consider it as a training method. Dogs, however, enjoy having a den-like environment that feels save and secure to them, and crate training, used properly, focuses on rewarding experiences and positive reinforcement, not pain or punishment.
Crate training involves keeping the puppy inside the crate for a certain length of time, and then removing the dog to an established toilet area, where he can relieve himself. The reason that crate training works so well for housebreaking your puppy is that it encourages him to 'hold' it, and associate emptying his bladder outside the crate. The puppy won't want to soil its den, as that is where he lives and sleeps.
When first beginning crate training, the puppy may protest at first by whining or barking. Eventually, he will be able to stay comfortably in the crate for longer and longer periods of time. Start with 10 minutes at a time, and eventually, you can gradually increase up to two hours. However, a puppy should not be left in the crate for an extended amount of time, usually no more than three to four hours.
Once you get started, there may be occasionally accidents, and it very important not to punish the puppy or dog when it makes a mistake during the crate training process. You will also be more successful if you keep a diary of when your puppy eats, and when he requires a bathroom break when training. This will help you anticipate your puppy's needs on a regular basis.
A strong crate is the very basis of good puppy training. The crate should be large enough that your pup or dog can stand up in and turn. You can get a large crate, and then make partitions, creating a larger space as your puppy gets bigger. Or, you can start with a smaller crate, and then move up to a large size over time. It is important the crate be comfortable and long-lasting.
Once you've house-trained your puppy with crate-training, you've gone a long way toward creating a positive bond with your dog, and have instilled the habits that should stay with him for a lifetime. Crate training may take some time and focus at first, but, it solves the housebreaking problem, and helps to prevent accidents in the future. This investment goes a long way toward a happy household for you and your dog.
At the core of any worthwhile plan to house train a dog is always prevention, and never punishment. But what are the key points that you can control for a complete house training plan? Here are some of those.
1) Bring your dog to a veterinary exam and urine/fecal check.
How your puppy is healthwise will determine to what extent will the training be successful. Being a new puppy owner, bring your dog to a vet within 48 hours of his getting home from the breeder or shelter. If your puppy flunks the tests and is proven to be less than healthy, enlist the help of the vet in resolving any health condition that may compromise the house training; an example of this condition is bladder infection.
2) Confine the puppy when it cannot be watched.
Crate training or area confinement is an important device for dealing with a puppy or an adolescent dog, when it will be the only one in the house. If introduced appropriately to the pet and used in the intended manner, crate training can actually be seen to be efficient and humane in how it minimizes house training accidents, aside from how it safeguards your puppy when you can not keep an eye on it all the time. The crate is not supposed to be used for long stretches of time and, moreover, must not be a means of punishment. Keep your dog on its toes through enough daily activities done together, interactive playtime and exercise. In sum, a crate can be the best means to house train a dog, and moreover, to prepare it for obedience training.
Now here is more advice on how to handle crate training. If this type of training and the other modes of confinement will be used, then it must be together with sufficient exercise and companionship. We cannot downplay here the potential damage to your dog’s personality that excessive periods of isolation can cause, manifested in behavioral problems such as destructive behavior, self-mutilation, and excessive barking.
3) If possible, get the dog to eliminate within the walk; do not return until he does.
If your puppy has been kept the whole night inside a crate, bring him outside first thing in the morning. When your puppy does indeed eliminate outdoors, praise him mightily and give him a treat. Bringing your puppy back right into the house before he’s fully eliminated is the recipe for a potential house soiling accident indoors!
The solution to a dog that simply cannot eliminate, is return home, crate the dog, then try leashing him and bringing him outside every 15-30 minutes until he “goes”.
4) The dog must be barred from places which are inappropriate areas to eliminate.
Some dogs pick certain areas or types of surfaces to eliminate on, going for rugs, carpeting, etc. You need to keep your puppy off-limits from these delicate or sensitive areas or surfaces. A puppy bolting out of sight may mean that the dog will visit its secret spot to eliminate, so its very important to secure the entrances to rooms and passageways where the dog can furtively take a pee or poo.
5) Get rid of worms and parasites.
Get in touch with your veterinarian if you think your pet is infested with worms, coccidia, fleas, ticks, or other internal or external parasites.