Adding a Chihuahua to your family is going to bring everyone a lot of fun. These dogs are smart, fun, and full of life. With this in mind, you might think it cruel to train your pup to stay in a crate. But, in reality, providing your dog with a place he can call his own can turn out to be a very good idea. Thing is, you can't look at the crate as a jail cell, your pup won't see it that way. What he will see is a private space that is all his, one that can become his den, if you are willing to put in the training time.
When you look at this way, you are using the crate to provide your pup a safe spot, not a place of punishment. You should never use his crate to punish him. This will only result in your pup thinking of his crate as a jail cell, making it even harder to crate train him.
Crate training your dog should be considered as a part of your Chi's general training. While you can use the crate as part of his potty training, you can also turn his crate into a den where he can go to get away from the hustle and bustle of daily life, to hang out when you are at work, or to sleep in at night. Keep in mind that you must keep the training sessions short at first as your pup will not be able to hold himself for very long at a young age.
Rather than teaching your Chi that a crate is a bad place he is sent to when he has done something wrong, you will be teaching him that his crate is his den, his private place to go to, his hotel room at night. With this in mind, you should do all you can to make his crate feel more "den-like." Carpet it so he has a soft surface to walk on or lay on, put a nice comfy doggy bed in there for him, and toss in a few of his favorite toys--anything to make him comfortable and feel like he is at home.
One of the most important steps in crate training your Chihuahua is to make sure you buy the right size crate. Too big and he may see one end as his den and the other as his personal toilet. Too small and he may not be able to stretch out or turn around. You will also need a few things to help make the training go further.
Much like any other type of training, you will need plenty of patience and time to work with your pup. Go slow and give him plenty of time to get used to the crate before you try to leave him in it for longer periods of time.
I've had Jr about a month. He is a great dog! Only complaint is house training him. We have 3 other large dogs which he follows all day but at night he has accidents. He has a crate which is his safe spot to hide away but I've never left him in it for long. He woke me up once (I think to potty) but refused to go outside; it was cold. Is he old enough to hold it all night? How can I train him?
Hello Tiffiny, Is the door to the crate closed at night with pup inside? If there anything absorbent inside the crate, including a soft bed or towel? Is the crate only big enough for pup to stand up, turn around, and lie down, and not so big pup can have an accident in one end then stand in the opposite end to avoid it? If pup is not staying in the crate, the door needs to be closed before you can expect pup to wake you when they need to go outside at this age. When pup can't get out on their own, normally they will cry to be let out, so you can take them potty outside then; otherwise pup will just exit the crate and have an accident instead of waking you. If pup is in the crate with the door closed but having accidents in there, make sure there is nothing absorbent in the crate, including a soft bed. www.primopads.com or k9ballistics have non-absorbent crate mats. I recommend using something like that until pup is old enough for a soft bed in a few months. Additionally, if the crate is too big, that can encourage pup to go potty in it. You can use a crate divider for most metal crates to make the crate small enough until pup grows into it, if you are using a wire crate. At this age, most puppies will still need to go potty 0-2 times a night. They may have some nights where they make it 8 hours without a potty trip now, but most nights they will need 1 potty trip for another month. When they wake and cry to be taken out, take them on a leash, walk them around slowly outside to get them to go, then return them straight back to the crate after, closing the door and ignoring any crying when their bladder is empty until they fall back to sleep. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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How do you get your pup to not cry when in his cage?
Hello, does Rocky like the crate at any point? If not, this is an excellent guide to encourage Rocky to see the crate as a positive place to call his own retreat. All of the methods are good and the Surprise Method may work well: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate. When Rocky is out of the crate, hide a treat or two there and always leave the door open. He may go in and retrieve the treat. Also, look at the Feeding Method. A slow approach to teaching them the crate is an okay place is always good. Take a look at the Crate Training Method here, which is a guide on not crying: https://wagwalking.com/training/not-cry. Make sure that Rocky is getting lots of exercise and mental stimulation with interactive toys, games of tug of war, etc. This will help tire him out and be more relaxed. Good luck and enjoy your pup!
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Hi, i have chico now for 3 days, he is comfy with his bed, so i put the in den with a training pad, sodt floor and toys he seems to ignore the toys, and when i leave him in his den for short period of time he cries loudly and don't stop, i did put n warmbottel under his bed so it's comfy and not too cold, how is the right way to teach him its a safe place for when i am busy doing house work etc, i have to clean and puppy proof, but i realise he needs to be trained to be in his den, please help.
Chico is still very young and since it has only been 3 days you will have to be prepared to give him extra time and attention until he is more settled in. There are a few things you can try - I like the exercise pen idea to give a pup a little freedom yet keep them contained when you are busy. This gives excellent tips and explains the set up very well: https://www.preventivevet.com/dogs/how-to-set-up-puppy-long-term-confinement-area. As well, to get your dog used to a crate, which Chico will soon learn to love: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate. Thank you for the cute pictures and enjoy little Chico!
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