Crate training your dog is one of the most effective methods to make sure he never goes potty while inside the house, and instead wait until he steps outside before he does its job. While he seems a little “crueler” than traditional paper training, it’s been found to be faster and more effective.
What Is Crate Training
Crate training involves the use of a cage, where the dog is crate-trained spends a fair amount of its time in. The cage should be just big enough for the dog to lie down comfortably, and not pace or jump around too much.
The cage is meant to teach the dog how to hold in its poo or pee until he gets out. Dogs normally don’t want to leave a mess in places they sleep, so the small confines of a cage will encourage him to wait until you let him out again.
It’s important to remember, though, to make sure the dog doesn’t stay in the cage for longer than a few hours. Pups can generally hold their poo or pee in for up to 7-8 hours, but if you can avoid it, please do. The only times you should leave the dog in the cage are times when you don’t have your eye on him all the time, such as when you’re working, eating, or sleeping.
While your dog is in its cage, make sure you don’t put any food or water in with him — he could make things harder for him to hold things in. But to keep him from getting too bored, throw in a chew toy or something he likes to play with.
Before you put your dog in the cage, take him to a spot outside the house where you wouldn’t mind him going potty. Give him a few minutes to do its job. But after a while, whether or not he went potty, take him back inside and put him in the cage. Then leave him there for a bit while you go ahead and do whatever you need to do.
But when you get back to free your dog, make sure to bring him back to the exact spot outside the house. If all goes well, your dog should go ahead and do its business. And after he does, feel free to pet it, praise it, and give he treats. You’ll want to make him realize that going potty OUTSIDE the house is a good thing!
But here’s the thing — it’s important to bring your dog back into the house soon after he goes potty outside. This makes him easier for your dog to see the difference between the outdoors and the indoors — and that going potty is ONLY okay when done outdoors.
Take note that while crate training your dog may work a little better than paper training, it’s not foolproof. That means there WILL be times when accidents happen. This is fine — but HOW you react to these accidents can make or break the success of your crate training efforts.
When your dog poos or pees in your full view, make sure to reprimand him right away. (Don’t hit your dog!) It’s enough to direct its snout to the “crime scene,” give a sharp “No,” and put him in the cage for a while. You may want to keep his chew toy outside the cage to make sure the lesson sticks.
Don’t reprimand your dog if you see poo or pee on the floor, but you didn’t really catch him in the act. Doing so will confuse your dog. It’s much better to just clean up the mess and forget about it, and just keep a more watchful eye on your dog while it’s outside its cage.
Crate training may seem cruel, but it’s still a very effective way to make sure your dog is just as clean as all the other members of the household. And besides, once the job is done, you won’t need the cage anymore!
The benefits of Crate training your dog
If you’re a new dog owner, it may take you a while to get used to the idea of crate training your new puppy. It seems like a cruel way to separate the dog from you and your family, but it actually provides many benefits for everyone concerned.
Believe it or not, dogs come to love their crates. A dog who is used to being in a crate will often seek it out voluntarily and take a nap for a while. It provides a cozy space that belongs to no one else but your dog, and it can provide a perfect area to temporarily isolate your dog in case a guest with allergies comes over.
Of course, the dog has to become accustomed to using the crate, and it is much easier to accomplish this when training a puppy. If your older dog is not used to the idea of being inside a small space like that found in the crate, you may want to save crate training for your next dog because the process would be much more difficult and uncomfortable for both of you.
There are a variety of styles available including high impact plastic and open mesh. The crate was originally used for transportation purposes, and it is still quite useful when you need to transport your dog in an automobile or commercial airline. Just make sure that you buy the appropriate type of crate since some are intended for lighter use.
Using a crate when traveling by car is not only convenient but can actually protect your dog in the case of an accident. A dog can be pushed around in an accident just like a human being would be without wearing a seatbelt.
Buying a high-quality crate will likely be one of your highest expenses related to having a dog.
However, it is a good long-term investment that can provide so many useful functions, so make sure to purchase a good quality item. If your dog is currently a puppy, you can go ahead and buy a larger crate that will accommodate an older dog. When your dog is fully grown, he should be able to turn around inside the crate comfortably.
If you’re trying to house train a puppy, you can temporarily make the crate smaller by adding in a panel. This can then be removed as your puppy grows older so he can always have a comfortable living space, even though the crate should not be so big that it allows the dog to play around and make a mess of things.
How to crate train
If you’re interested in learning how to crate train your dog, you’re in good company. Many dog owners in the United States (and other countries) choose crate training in order to keep the dog in a separate room while the family is away. This will hopefully reduce instances of anxiety, barking, and overall destruction in the house.
It’s important to understand that most dogs will come to enjoy their crates. Dogs are creatures of habit, and using a crate routinely can help them become accustomed to it. Moreover, a dog who lives in the wild will naturally seek a small and safe place to spend the night.
So how exactly should you go about crate training your dog? Well, it is always best to begin this kind of training while your dog is young. It will be much more difficult for older dogs to become accustomed to the small space inside the crate, and this kind of training may involve a great deal of anxiety for your dog. A puppy, however, will adapt much more quickly to crate training (and probably other kinds of training as well).
After several weeks of crate training, you can leave your dog in his crate at one location. However, in the beginning, when the puppy is still becoming accustomed to this, it is best to keep the crate in a room where your family will be spending a lot of time. At night, you can put the crate in your bedroom to help keep the dog calm. Later on, you can settle on one spot in which to keep your dog’s crate.
You may be wondering how big the crate should be. Well, you don’t want to give your dog too much room, because if he can walk around you can certainly have a mess inside of the crate. Your dog should be able to turn around inside the crate and have some comfortable space to sleep (along with water and a toy). The crate doesn’t have to be much bigger than this, however.
Also, be careful not to cave into your dog’s whining when you first put him in the crate. Do not remove the puppy from the crate until he or she has been quiet for several minutes. Otherwise, you’ll be teaching your dog that you are willing to reward fussing and whining. Also, your dog will never become accustomed to the crate if you keep taking him out as soon as he gets upset.
At the beginning of your crate training, try to introduce the puppy to the crate for a relatively short time (perhaps one or two hours at the most). As the dog grows older, you’ll be able to leave him in the crate during the night or while your family is away.
Crate training can provide some peace of mind for you and your family and reduce your dog’s anxiety when you’re away. Also, you can keep your dog from destroying your house while you’re at work or the family is asleep!