The Basics of Crate Training
What is Crate Training? Crating is a positive training technique that revolves around a dog's natural instinct to have a den.
Why We Recommend Every Puppy is Crate Trained
Crating should be essential for each dog and puppy. But first, lets clear the air -
Crating is NOT a cage. It is a den, a 'bedroom', a safe space for your puppy.
The benefits of crate training show in every day to day life. While it's usually used a lot whilst in the puppy phase, dogs will happily use their crate for the rest of their lives to eat, sleep and feel safe. Many people who have not crate trained their dogs often find their pets looking for a place to create a den, like under the bed, in a corner or some place dark and safe.
In a nutshell, crating helps with:
Anxiety relief (ie thunderstorms)
So, What is Crate Training?
Crating is a positive training technique that revolves around a dog's natural instinct to have a den. Your dog's crate is perfect for sleeping at night and will also assist in the toilet training process. Most dog's will prefer to sleep and eat in their crate
The plethora of benefits include:
- Drastically reducing house-breaking times
- Simulates the feeling of security and safety
- Great for anxiety related to thunderstorms or fireworks
- Perfect for households with children or other pets as it provides a no-go zone for others in the house
- Great for travel
- Easy way to confine your pet for short periods of time (ie guest coming over)
- Provides a secure sleeping spot
- If your dog is injured, a crate is an ideal spot to keep him from moving around
How does crate training work?
Providing your puppy with a crate has a similar effect as your bedroom; a quiet place to sleep and relax. Often if you're stressed or anxious, you'll enjoy curling up under your blankets in bed.
Crate training is no different - it's simply a little space for your dog.
Your puppy will benefit greatly from having his own space in the house to sleep and relax.
How do I crate train?
Crate training starts from day one of owning your puppy. You'll introduce the crate as a positive space using treats and toys. Never punish your pet by placing him in his crate, nor let children or other animals surround the cage making him feel trapped - crate covers can help this if you have a busy household.
Normally, you'll place your crate in a spot you wish your puppy to sleep as an adult. If your pup is experiencing seperation anxiety, then have your crate in your bedroom and slowly move it further away each night.
How does it help with Toilet Training?
Puppies don't like peeing where they sleep. Therefore providing them with a small area to sleep will greatly reduce their desire to soil their bedding. Having your puppy in their crate overnight uses the simple rule of prevention to fast-track training. In the morning, you'll pick up your puppy and take him to the place you wish him to toilet, and reward them for doing so.
During the day, your puppy cannot be in the crate longer than two hours unattended. So you'll need to watch out for signals that they might need to go. Whenever you notice your puppy wandering off with their nose to the floor, it's best to take them out to the toilet; this is often a sign for "I'm looking for somewhere to pee". You're puppy generally needs to go every two hours while young.
If you are unable to watch your puppy during the day, keeping them in a small area with hard floors like bathroom is ideal. You'll place their crate, food, water, toys and a puppy toilet training pad in this area for them. Note that carpetted areas, rugs and mats are pee-attractants.
What size crate do I need?
You'll need to find a crate with a divider - this is very important. Your puppy will grow, thus making it hard to always have a crate to fit. A divider will allow you to adjust the size of the inner area to suit your growing puppy.
Look for a crate size that is suitable for your dog as an adult. Pop in-store and chat to the Small Animal team about what size would be appropriate for your furbaby.
What if I have two puppies/dogs?
One crate per dog is important, even more so if your puppies are siblings. Sibling syndrone can negatively effect their interaction with other dogs and humans; therefore appropriately seperating them during sleep and training is vital.
Need more advice? Please contact our friendly Small Animal team, we can answer your questions!