March 01, 2019
Have you considered a crate for your puppy? By nature, dogs like cosy, enclosed spaces to rest in, especially if they're feeling unsure about things. A crate provides this safe refuge for a puppy, who can seek it out when they need to take some time out.
A crate is also a great way of teaching your puppy the boundaries of the house while keeping him safe and secure. Crates can be made of various materials such as plastic or collapsible fabric or wire. A crate should be big enough so that your dog can stand up, turn around and lie down. How do I 'crate train' my puppy?
Initially, your puppy may need to be ‘crate trained’ and this should always be done in a positive way and at a pace that suits the puppy. Ensure that the crate looks inviting and let your puppy go over and investigate it. Use food rewards around the entrance of the crate, as well as place a few inside. Also offer him verbal praise to encourage him to view the crate as a great place to spend time. Don’t close the crate just yet, let the puppy enter and leave the crate as they would like.
With practice, your puppy will become more comfortable spending time in their crate and you can close the door. If your puppy whines, ignore this behaviour and let him out as soon as he is quiet. Slowly build up the amount of time your puppy uses their crate.
When they are happy spending some time in the crate, you can start to use it at night. Provide your puppy with chew toys to help him self-settle in the crate. Remember that young puppies will need regular toilet breaks every 2 to 3 hours. This should be done in a quiet and calm manner, so as not to signal to the puppy this is play time. Once puppy has relieved himself, place him back in the crate to settle.
With some practice and patience, your puppy will come to view his crate as a wonderful place. He now has a safe place to go when he needs a rest or some time out. A crate can come in handy for other reasons such as if your pet needs to be confined such as after surgery and makes a great portable home, and can help a pet feel settled if you go on holiday together.
To view our video on puppy crate training, click here