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Monthly Archives

March 2018

How to crate train your puppy

By | Dog Welfare | No Comments

Beginning to crate train your puppy can feel like an impossible task, but it doesn’t have to be. It can take weeks or even months to conquer the crate, but if you stay patient and persevere with it, you will reap the rewards…

The entire premise of buying your puppy a crate is to provide him or her with a safe, secure and positive space that is solely for your pet. This means you should never use the crate as a form of punishment.

Introducing your puppy to the crate

Much in the same way you wouldn’t appreciate being put in a crate without prior warning, your puppy will not like it either. It is important you gradually introduce your puppy to its crate, so as to allow him or her to build up a positive association with it.

Fill the crate with your puppy’s possessions such as its toys and any blankets and start by leaving treats in and around the crate so that your puppy will approach it voluntarily. Make their first impression of the crate a great one! During this initial training stage, never shut the crate door – keep it open at all times so your puppy does not feel restricted or trapped.

Another good way to make your puppy see the crate as a positive experience, is to feed them in the crate. Again, remember not to shut the door at this stage! You do not want to get ahead of yourself and rush the process. Patience is key in crate training.

Shutting the crate door

Once your puppy has built up a positive association with the crate and will go in voluntarily, now is the time to test the waters and try shutting the crate door. Close the door gently and feed your puppy a treat whilst they are inside. Don’t leave them shut inside for any longer than a minute or two at first, slowly increasing this time as you continue to train them.

Make sure you praise your puppy for using their crate, and ensure you leave the door to it open when you are not ‘actively training’ so that your puppy can choose to use it when he or she pleases. This element of freedom with the crate will show your puppy the crate is not to be feared and it will begin to symbolise safety and an area of respite and calm for them.

Don’t forget, crate training can take many months to master. However, eventually you will be able to leave your puppy in its crate for up to four hours at a time during the day and you can even make it his or her sleeping spot too!

Remember…

  • It is a good idea to crate train whilst your pet is still only a puppy as it can be very hard to train an older dog who is not used to confinement in your home.
  • The crate needs to be a sufficient size. It should be big enough for your dog to stand up, turn around and stretch out when lying down.

If you have any more questions about crate training your new puppy, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Alpha on 0844 800 2234, and one of the team will be more than happy to help you.