Do you have dreams of bringing home a new puppy who will instantly add joy, laughter, and love to your life? Do you see a smooth transition where the new puppy just blends in seamlessly into your lifestyle and instantly becomes your treasured companion? While some of that may be true, typically there is a whole lot of training involved in order to get that new puppy scheduled and in-line with your lifestyle.
Unfortunately for many new pet owners, this is a part of pet ownership that comes as a shock that they didn’t quite prepare for. One of the best pieces of advice for that new puppy owner is to get started with crate training the minute the puppy enters the house. Not only will crate training make your life easier, it also makes life for your puppy easier. Here are three tips you can use in the crate training process that will make it smoother and more enjoyable for all.
Make Sure the Crate is the Right Size
First things first, you want to be sure you are buying the right sized crate for your dog. Ideally you want to pick one that is roughly twice the size of your puppy. If it’s too large there is a chance they may start messing in the crate. You want it to be small enough that it feels like a den to them.
Helping Your New Puppy Learn to Love Their Crate
A crate is meant to be your puppy’s safe spot, their quiet den, and the place that keeps them safe and out of trouble. What this means is that the crate isn’t a form of punishment, rather it should be a place your puppy is encouraged to go to whenever they want, and a place they love.
You can help to make it more comfortable by placing some warm cozy blankets in there, and even some treats as you train them how to go in and out on their own. The goal is to have them comfortable enough to enter on their own, and when you tell them to go into their crate. You’ll want to pick a cue word that you can use, such as “crate” so your dog understands what is expected of them.
Because your new puppy is bound to get into trouble now and then, you may feel tempted to use the crate as a form of punishment. It’s important to resist this urge as your dog will then learn to see the crate as a negative experience rather than a positive one.
Set Them Up for Success with Housetraining
A crate can be a wonderful tool when housetraining your new puppy, but at the same time you want to be sure you are setting them up for success. What this means is that they shouldn’t be locked in the crate for long periods of time. Puppies who are six months and under shouldn’t be in the crate for more than three to four hours at a time. This is the maximum amount of time they are physically able to hold it for.
Be Patient and Stick with It
Crate training a new puppy is definitely a process, but if you’re patient and stick with it, you’ll find that you end up with a well-trained and happy dog.