So, you're bringing home a Pomeranian puppy to join your family. Whether you went to a breeder, adopted one from your local shelter, or someone gifted you with him, congratulations on your new puppy! Contrary to what many people believe and what you might have heard, most dogs come to love their crates and see them in the same way they would their den in the wild. That is, as a safe place, one they can sleep in, raise a family in, and get away from predators in.
In your home, your pup should come to see his "den" as a safe place where he can get away from noisy guests, overly playful children, dinner time in the home, or to simply go lay down and take an undisturbed nap. In the meantime, using a crate can protect your carpet and furniture from your pup until he is potty trained and no longer feels the need to turn your furniture into toothpicks.
While many use a crate for nothing more than potty training, those that choose to do so are robbing themselves, their Pom, and their crate of an opportunity to be far more. If you train your pup to see the crate as his den, he will continue to use it throughout his life, even when you don't need him to. Remember that while you may be crate training your pup in the early days to protect your home when you aren't there, by the time your pup is an adult, he will see it as his protection from the world.
Training him to see the crate as his den is not a hard task, but one that simply may take a few weeks for your pup to be fully ready to comply with. At no point should you ever use his crate as a form of punishment or a jail. You want your dog to associate his crate with good things or he may resist going in it no matter how hard you try to train him.
The most important part of crate training your Pom or any other dog is to make sure you are using the right size crate. He needs one that is big enough for him to stand up in, turn around in, and stretch out in, and generally move around in. If you plan to buy just one crate that is big enough for when he is an adult, you should use a divider or partition to make the crate smaller at first. This will make it far less likely your pup will use his "den" as a bathroom.
Beyond this, there are few things you need to turn the crate into a comfortable den your pup is going to love. These include a mat or piece of carpet cut to fit the floor of the crate (this is much easier on his paws), a comfy bed to nap on, a few toys to chew on, and if you are going to be gone for extended periods of time a water bottle. Oh, and you are going to need a large supply of his favorite treats.
Once I brought him home, he was doing great crate training. Which was about 3 weeks ago, starting today, he pooped in his crate and tried to hide it under his blanket in his bed inside the crate. I took it out to wash it and as soon as I turned my head he is staring at me while he pees inside the crate! And proceeds to pee again! I’m confused as to what I’m doing wrong, his eating routine hasn’t changed, nothing has changed.. I’m worried this might become a dirty habit. Also, his barking is getting worse and worse. He understand “no” but will continue to growl at me HELP
Hello Erica, In order for crate training to be successful for potty training there shouldn't be anything absorbent in the crate. Take out the blanket, any towels, and any bedding that is soft. If you want to give him something to lay on in the crate, I suggest www.primopads.com Primopads don't look very fancy or fluffy but they do provide firm support to keep a puppy off the ground and prevent sore spots, and they are good for potty training because of the type of material they are covered with. The crate also has to be small enough that the puppy cannot pee or poop on one end and stand in the other end away from it. The crate should be just big enough for a puppy to stand up, turn around, and lay down. If you have a wire crate, you can purchase a metal divider to block off part of the crate, then you can move the divider as Waffles grows and needs more space. Your crate may have come with a divider also, so it's worth checking the box it came in. For the barking, check out the article that I have linked below and follow the "Quiet" method, the "Chew Toy" method while in the crate during the day (don't give food at night), and the "Desensitize" method. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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