Puppy crate training is part of responsible puppy ownership. Unfortunately, puppy crate training can often be a long and frustrating process. It’s easy to be impatient when crate training your puppy. Many people wait days for results and when they do, they are disappointed. So what should you do to get your puppy on their best behavior fast?
First, give your puppies enough outdoor time that they can run, play, and exercise. Indoor puppy crates are great for short trips in the house, but they should not be used for long periods of time. When dogs are left in a puppy crate for a long period of time, they become anxious and frustrated and may become destructive. Add in the difficulty of trying to get your puppy to sleep in his crate at night, and the whole experience may feel more frustrating than helpful! Even though your puppy is doing fine eating their food or taking long daytime naps in there, sometimes just waking up from sleep in there can feel like a whole new ball game!
If you have an indoor puppy crate, you should put it somewhere out of your family room. Puppies are notorious chewers and can be in the family room for hours playing with mommy and daddy. They will also chew on furniture, bedding, stuffed animals, anything they can reach. This is a big problem because the family room is one place your puppy should never be when you are gone. Once you do decide to put your pup in a crate in the family room, keep a close eye on them during the entire time.
Outside the house, look for a place that will be easier for you to supervise your dog while they are in the crate. Ideally, it should be a fenced in area with some sort of ventilation. Try to find something like plastic pallets that will allow proper air flow but not let too much air in since your dog may chew on these to try to get rid of that smell.
Another way to limit the amount of chewing your dog has to do is by providing some kind of bedding. There is some debate whether you should use bedding or towels when you are supervising puppies. Some people believe that since bedding is a bedding material, it can provide warmth and comfort and will entice your puppy into sleeping. That may be true, however, most dogs enjoy snuggling up with a favorite blanket or towel. The main thing is to keep it in close proximity, just far enough away so that the puppy can reach it.
If you have the luxury of having an outdoor pergola somewhere you can sit and watch the puppy, this would be the ideal place to position the cage. Set it up so the front face is facing away from you and facing the gate. Put a small TV screen on the other side and place some tasty treats in the crate. The idea is to have the dog feel like they are watching TV while they are getting their exercise in. While the puppy sleeps, you can put their food and water bowl nearby.
Another method for helping reduce the amount of chewing your dog has to do while they are in the crate is to give them chew toys. Puppies love to play with different kinds of toys and having one in the crate can help minimize the amount of times you have to go through the process of cleaning out the crate. Also, if you are using a blanket or towels to cover your puppy during the day, you can make a difference by using one of them. Many dogs don’t chew on just blankets, but on towels or blankets that have a distinct pattern or design on them.
Puppy crates can be a great tool to have in your arsenal when it comes to house training your dogs. However, they must be used properly and with consistency to be effective. When you are ready to let your puppy into the home, make sure they understand what is expected of them before they are allowed to go inside the crate. By using a combination of a crate water bottle, a towel and a toy or treat, you can successfully house train your puppy.