Crate Training for Puppies
Tips and Tricks About Crate Training for Puppies
When you bring a new puppy home, the excitement often levels out to harsh reality fairly quickly when you begin to understand the gravity of trying to housebreak a pup. But dog owners who use crate training for puppies experience fewer housebreaking headaches and are able to keep the number of piles and puddles to a minimum.
The History of Housebreaking
The traditional method of housebreaking was to use newspapers on the floor and start out training new puppies to do their business on the newspapers. Then you would gradually move the newspapers toward the door and outside until the puppy got the idea. Punishments would be doled out when the puppy didn't do his business on the newspapers, and he would eventually learn-sometimes. But using newspapers to do housebreaking comes with a number of problems:
It's messy. The harsh reality of cleaning up puppy droppings is enough to kill the thrill of having a puppy very quickly.
It teaches the puppy that doing his business inside the house is alright. The whole idea of housebreaking is to avoid puppy eliminations inside the house at all. You don't want to excuse it for a moment, not even when the puppy has just come home with you.
It doesn't teach the puppy how to "hold it." When you do get to the stage where you expect your puppy to "hold it" for a little while, he won't be able to because he's used to having access to his potty all the time.
- The odors of puppy droppings and urine are in your home-even if you've cleaned and can't smell it anymore. Just because you can't smell it, it doesn't mean your dog can't. When your dog smells that he's done his business in a spot before, he often assumes that it's alright to keep doing it there-newspapers or not.
How Crate Training for Puppies Works
Crate training for puppies is very simple. The basic idea behind crate training for puppies is the fact that puppies don't want to eliminate in the place where they sleep. You should purchase the crate and have it in place when you first bring your puppy home. The crate should be just large enough for the puppy to lie down in. For large dogs, it may be helpful to purchase a crate that can be divided into a small section while they are small and then enlarged as the puppy grows.
Don't keep puppies younger than six months in a crate for more than four hours at a time because they haven't developed bowel and bladder control for extended periods of time yet. Adult dogs that haven't been trained to "hold it" should be treated the same way until you work your way up to longer periods of time in the crate.
Also remember that dogs need exercise, so only crate him when you can't watch him, like while you're gone or overnight. He needs plenty of time to run around. Take the puppy outside immediately after he eats or plays because he will be more likely to eliminate outside while you're watching and can reward him for doing it in the right place.