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. While you will want a crate that is big enough for your dog to stand up and turn around in, you want to make sure that it's 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:
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.
We rescued Guaro about 2 months ago, at the shelter they said he is about a year old, he is not house broken yet, we are crate trainning him, also it seems like he was abused and he is really shy and nervous, he loves his crate even when we are at home and we keep it open. We have Cutie a 2 year old maltese mix, she is really well behaved and house broken completely. Can we leave Guaro in his crate and Cutie loose while we are not at home? Cutie doesn't enjoy the crate and we leave her unsettled and barking.
Hello Tatiana, If Cutie was left out of a crate in your home while you were gone before you got Guaro, Guaro does not seem aggravated by Cutie when he is in the crate, and Cutie is not pestering him through the crate walls, then Cutie is fine to be left out while Guaro is crated. If you have never left Cutie out while you are gone, then leave the house for five minutes and see how she does. If she does okay, then leave her out for ten minutes another day. If that goes well, then leave her for thirty minutes. Gradually increase how long you leave her out for while you are gone. A long trip to the mailbox, a walk around your neighborhood, or a short trip to a nearby store are good times to do this. Keep adding more time until you have reached two hours. If she does alright for two hours for a week to two-weeks straight, then try leaving her for a normal work day or day where you are gone. Just be sure that you are not gone for longer than she can hold her bladder for. If she handles the full amount of time consistently, then she is ready to be given freedom in your home while you are gone. If she destroys something or begins having accidents, then you need to wait another three months and then try again using the same gradual process. If Cutie is fine being left out but seems to aggravate Guaro when she is free and he is confined, then confine Guaro in a part of the house that Cutie cannot get to. For example, put Guaro's crate in a bedroom and close the door so that Cutie cannot come in, or use a baby gate on your stairs if you have multiple levels in your home, and place Cutie downstairs and put Guaro's crate upstairs, so that she cannot get to him to bother him. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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