Crate training dogs can become an important part of everyday life for your family. Puppies take comfort in their crates while their owners are away. If your puppy is going to be left alone for extended periods of time while you are working or out of the house, think of your dog's crate as her personal bedroom. As you begin to crate train her, give the create a special name that she will recognize as her special place to go and be safe while you are away. Keeping your dog crated while you are out of the house will keep your belongings safe from puppy attacks. Many owners find their couches saved from chewing, doors, and baseboards saved from marking, and the dog left feeling safe, comfortable, and self-contained within a confined space when using a crate. Puppies, especially, can become overwhelmed when left alone in your home while you are gone. If left to the entire house alone, your puppy could get into garbage or household cleaners, which could cause harm, children's toys which could be destroyed, or other household items such as your furniture, which can also be destroyed. For a puppy or an adult dog, an entire house with free reign is a lot of space to wreak havoc while you are away.
A crate big enough for your dog to stand up and turn around is big enough for your dog to rest, sleep, and quietly play while you are away from her. You will want a crate that is big enough for your dog to stand up and turn around in, but not too big. Too much space could make your dog feel uncertain and unsafe. If left with too much space, your house training dog may use part of the crate to urinate, separating a sleeping area from a potty space. This could mean if you have a dog who is going to grow a lot over the first two years of her lifetime you may need to partition a large crate off or use different crates as your puppy grows into a larger dog.
Depending on the age of your dog, it may take about two weeks and possibly up to four weeks to get your dog not only used to the crate but also feeling as if the crate is her home away from home when you are not around. It is important to use the same word each time you command your dog to go inside her crate.
You will need:
- An appropriate crate for the size of your dog.
- Treats for rewarding your dog and enticing her to get into the crate.
- Bedding and toys for comfort and entertainment while your dog is in the crate.
Some owners provide a small dish of water for their dog while in the crate. However, if you plan to be gone for an extended period, your dog may have an accident in the crate, leaving her feeling discouraged
Remember, do not use the crate as punishment. It should be a safe place for your dog. If she associates the crate with punishments, she is not going to want to be in her crate when you are away for extended periods of time.