How to Crate Train a Corgi Puppy

How to Crate Train a Corgi Puppy
Easy difficulty iconEasy
Time icon3-6 Weeks
General training category iconGeneral

Introduction

The long-anticipated wait is over, today is the day you get to bring the newest member of your family home. Your new Corgi pup is a bundle of energy and so much fun to play with, but then without warning, the little pooch lifts his leg and pees on the floor right in front of you. Argh, now you have a mess to clean up. It also means that it's time to start crate training your pup and working with him to only go potty outside where it is allowed.

But potty training is only one reason for crate training your Corgi. He should see his crate as his den or safe place. During his puppy days, a crate can be used during the day when you are work or at night when you are trying to sleep. Although there are many who feel crates are inhumane, the reality is that when your Corgi sees his crate as his den, he will enjoy being in it. 

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Defining Tasks

When handled properly, crate training can be a great housebreaking tool, to create a safe place for your pup when he is scared, a way to go on vacation with the family, and of course, the perfect place to sleep at night. Part of the training process lies in turning the crate from what, to many, might look like a prison into a comfortable space for your pup that he can call his own. Due to his natural instinct to search for a den, he will soon see his crate as just that.

Bear in mind, you should never use his den as a form of punishment. If you do so, he will soon start refusing to go in it, completely negating all the hard work you put into crate training him in the first place. If you feel you must have a place to use as punishment or time out spot, have a gated off area in a different part of your home and set it up with the bare necessities. Perhaps nothing more than a piece of carpet. Never leave your Corgi in the time out spot for more than 10-15 minutes. 

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Getting Started

It starts with choosing the right size crate for your Corgi. If you get one that is too small, your furry buddy won't have room to move around or stretch out. If you buy one that is too big, your pup may tend to use one end as his potty and the other as his place to sleep, negating its usefulness. If you must buy a larger crate to be used when your dog is full-grown, put a divider in it to keep it smaller at first. Beyond this, there are a few supplies you might need.

  • Treats – As rewards
  • Bed – A doggy bed for added comfort once your puppy is trained
  • Toys – To keep your pup occupied

Along with these items, you will need a large supply of patience and the time needed to work with your pup.

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The Incremental Method

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1

Make a home in the crate

Start by placing the crate in a quiet corner of the room and creating a comfortable home in it for your pup. Cover the floor with a non-absorbent flooring. Add a few toys, and if you like, a blanket over the top (leaving the front open) to create a nice little "puppy cave."

2

Lure him in

In the early stages, you may find it works best to toss a treat in the crate to get your pup to go inside and explore his new den. Keep doing this until he will follow the treat into his crate.

3

Add the cue word

For this, you need to choose a cue word. Consider the obvious, such as "Kennel!" or "Crate!"; it's up to you, but stick with the one you choose.

4

Teach your pup the cue

Each time you send your pup into the crate, give him your cue word. This way he will learn to put together the fact that "Kennel" plus going into his den equals a reward.

5

Extend his stay

Over time, you need to cut back on the treats until he will go inside on command with one and at the same time start extending his stay. Always be sure to take your Corgi straight outside every time you take him out of the crate to go potty and soon he will look forward to his long naps in his new den.

The Open Door Method

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Place the crate carefully

Place the crate in an area where there is plenty of fresh air and light, one where you can see the crate and your pup can see you.

2

Make it fun

Make the crate a fun place to sniff around by occasionally placing a few toys there for him to seek out.

3

Food and water

Place his food and water bowls close to the gate and leave the door open. Let him wander in and out of the crate on his own. Be sure to praise him when he does, but do not close the gate at first. Let him wander in and out for few days, then try closing the door.

4

If he whines

If he whines, open the gate and immediately take him outside. When he has gone potty, take him back in and put him in his crate. Once he is getting used the routine, you can add a bed. After the potty break, chances are good he will lie on the bed and take a nap.

5

The rest is up to you

The rest truly is up to you, the more time you can invest in working with your pup and crate training him the better. During the early stages, your pup should not spend more than two hours at a time in his crate without being taken out to go potty.

The Create a Den Method

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Set up the crate

Choose an area of the house where your pup can see you and you can easily keep an eye on him. Make the crate a welcoming spot and even add a few toys. You are trying to create a den for your pup.

2

Place your pup

Gently pick up your pup and place him in the crate while saying "crate" or "kennel" or your choice of cue words. Close the door and step back.

3

Wait for the whining to stop

It's only natural for your pup to whine at first, it's okay. It may take time for him to calm down. When he does, reward him with a treat and let him out.

4

Potty break

As soon as you let your pup out of the crate be sure to take him outside immediately, so he can go potty, investigate the outdoors for a bit, and stretch his legs.

5

Repeat

The rest lies in repeating this training and extending the amount of time your Corgi spends in his crate until he will spend the night there or the day while you are at work. Like most dogs, Corgis will not foul their dens unless they simply cannot hold it.

By PB Getz

Published: 01/24/2018, edited: 01/08/2021

Training Questions

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Training Questions and Answers

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Duke

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Corgi

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13 Weeks

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Question

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We have done all the suggestions for crate testing, but our puppy will not go in the crate! We’e had him 5 weeks now, and we need to start leaving the house , but we know we shouldn’t force him into the crate. At night, we physically pick him up and put him in, but we want him to go in on his own.

June 18, 2020

Duke's Owner

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Caitlin Crittenden - Dog Trainer

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1133 Dog owners recommended

Hello Karen, At this point, with you needing to go back to work, I would use a leash to quickly lead pup into the crate, and work on tolerance to being in the crate and general calmness about entering - even though that will involve leading pup into it instead or luring with treats. Have treats sprinkled in the crate for him. Lead pup into the crate quickly with the leash - keeping pup's momentum going so he is inside before he hits the breaks. Close the door. Wait until he gets quiet in the crate for a second, then sprinkle in more treats. After a few minutes, while he is quiet, open the crate using the method from the article linked below - so pup doesn't burst out of the crate but learn to go out slowly and calmly. Practice the going in and out of the crate from the video linked below for several short sessions each day - until going in and out have become boring its happening so often - and it's not just associated with being crated for long periods of time. When pup is doing well in the crate, sprinkle treats through the crate wires. When you crate pup for longer, place a dog food stuffed hollow chew toy like a kong - look up various interesting way, including freezing them, to stuff Kongs to make them interesting for pup. If you give a frozen kong, place a straw through the holes before loosely stuffing the sides with mushy dog food (that's been soaked in water until mushy), then freeze the whole thing. Remove the straw after its frozen, to leave a hole to prevent suction while pup chews. Crate manners: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mn5HTiryZN8 Skip to the part where the door is closed with pup inside in the surprise method from the article linked below, and practice the treat rewarding and Kong reward for quietness during the day while in the crate also - which I described a bit above - this is just more details with timing. https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

June 18, 2020

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Stitch

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Corgi

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10 Months

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My pup Stitch is deaf is there anything different I should be doing while crate training?

April 12, 2020

Stitch's Owner

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Caitlin Crittenden - Dog Trainer

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1133 Dog owners recommended

Hello Raul, I actually suggest following the training advice from the Surprise method from the article I have linked below instead of the Corgi specific article. The return of your presence and treats when pup gets quiet in the crate, outlined in the surprise method, should help communicate how to be calm and quiet in the crate to pup, without needing to use verbal praise to teach that. Surprise method: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

April 13, 2020


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