After acquiring a new puppy it might be a good idea to start what is called crate dog training. It might look like a jail to you, but to the dog that has been trained from puppyhood to use it, a crate becomes a favorite place, the dog’s own secure haven. Crates should be pleasant places and should never be used for discipline. Crate training encourages house training, reduces the potentially destructive behavior, and eases traveling with your dog.
1. Before starting crate dog training, place soft bedding, a bowl of water, and an interesting toy inside the crate. Using a tasty snack and the verbal command “Go to your crate”, entice the puppy into its new home. Ensure that the door remains open so that the puppy can leave the crate at any time.
2. Once the puppy has become accustomed to the crate, it will continue to use it without any prompting from you. While the puppy plays contentedly, close the crate door for a few minutes. Keep the crate in a busy place like the kitchen.
3. Having the dog get accustomed to the crate, the puppy is content to be confined to a playpen. Some dogs, especially rescued ones, will not tolerate crate confinement, but this rarely happens with puppies. Eventually, the relaxed puppy will fall asleep in the security of its crate. However even fully crate-trained puppies should not be left in crates for more than two hours during the day, and should always be exercised before confinement. If the playpen is lined with newspaper, puppies can meet and play without causing havoc in the home.
Problems with traveling are eased if you have a crate-trained puppy. When confined to its own crate, this puppy feels secure in the car.
Not for punishment
Never send a dog to its crate in response to some misdemeanor as you might send a child to his room. A dog’s attitude to its crate must always be positive.
Crates should be big enough for the puppy to stand up and turn around, but not so big that it might use one end as a toilet. Most puppies do not soil their own bedding, so crating with plenty of toileting breaks also helps with house crate dog training.