Properly training your dog is a crucial step. Ideally, you get to them when they are puppies so that you can implement training that will stick with them for the rest of their lives. The question becomes whether some of these methods would work for breeds like the Pitbull.
The good news is that you can indeed crate-train your Pitbull. Like any other breed, it is helpful to know proper crate training methods. By the time you are ready to approach training, it should become an effective means for teaching them how to potty or even creating a comfortable, safe space that they can retire to.
What is Crate Training?
Before you can worry about creating a Pitbull crate training schedule, it helps to know what crate training is to begin with. Crate training can be a great way to potty train your dog, particularly during their puppy years.
Most vets recommend training your dog using a crate. The idea is that it creates a safe space for them to rest while also preventing them from having accidents around the house. You can use the crate for as long as you want, depending on how the dog takes to the crate.
For the most part, the crate is used to house the dog at all times other than feedings and potty time. You want to get your dog used to the idea that they will be in the crate, allowing them to feel as comfortable as possible.
By the end of crate training, they should be able to recognize when it is time to go back into their crate. It can become a home of sorts for them, a quiet spot to rest or sleep.
Should You Crate a Pitbull?
The great news is that you can crate train just about any breed of dog. Despite their reputation as more aggressive dogs, Pitbulls take to crate training, which can be a great way to establish potty training habits or to give them a quiet place to lie.
The caveat is that you implement a proper Pitbull crate training repertoire. If you plan to use it for potty training your Pitbull, just make sure that you use it consistently. When they are not in the act of going potty, keep them in the crate to ensure that accidents around the house don’t happen.
How long you crate train them all depends on how they take to it. If you find that they make their way to the crate without prompting, they enjoy the space and feel safe while there. If they don’t really care for it, it can be used for potty training purposes before ultimately moving on from it.
How Big of a Cage Does a Pitbull Need?
One of the matters of importance surrounds just how big a crate is needed. No matter what kind of breed you are crate training, having the right size is essential. After all, the crate should be comfortable and unrestrictive.
Given that a Pitbull can weigh anywhere from 40–80 pounds, if not more, you need to have a crate that can accommodate its size comfortably. On average, a crate that is 36 inches long by 24 inches high by 24 inches wide should more than accommodate.
No matter what breed you are crate training, make sure that the dogs are able to turn around comfortably. The crate doesn’t need to be the size of a small apartment, but it should be large enough to remain comfortable for your dog.
A plastic crate can also be a great material to use for a crate. There are some concerns about the metal bar crates with some dogs getting their collars stuck. You can play it safe by taking their collar off before putting them in the crate so that there are no accidents.
Puppy Crate Training Schedule
When you have the right crate, it is time to create a schedule that works for the needs of you and your dog. It is important to establish commands, verbal cues that tell them when it is time to leave the crate, to go potty, and more.
Test out these commands. It might be something like “go in” when you want them to go into their crate. Figure out which commands work best for you, and make sure that they adhere to them before you begin closing the door.
When they go in, make sure to praise them and give them a treat. Close the door, let it sit a second, then open it while commanding them to come out. Praise them without the reward, repeating the process several times.
After they are comfortable with the door being closed, it is time to spread out how long the door remains closed. Try five minutes at a time. If they do fine, go to 15, 30, and an hour. The goal is to show them that things aren’t different even when the time frame is longer and longer.
Keep in mind the needs of the puppy potty schedule. You wouldn’t want to leave a puppy in there for more than two hours at a time because there is a greater likelihood of it having an accident in its crate. Bring the puppy out at least once per hour, taking it to the designated potty spot and trying before returning it to its crate.
Consistency and persistence are crucial for crate training your Pitbull. Within a few months, it should be comfortable going into the crate on its own and waiting for your action.
When to Stop Crate Training?
When you have gotten into Pitbull crate training, the question becomes when you to end it. For the most part, owners use crate training to help establish potty habits to prevent mishaps from happening inside the home.
What many don’t consider is that the crate can become a safe spot for your dog. If it becomes frightened or just needs a quiet space to spend its time, the crate can be precisely that. It all depends on your dog specifically.
Generally speaking, however, you can stop with crate training around two years old. Because they are still puppies to that point, they aren’t quite mature and can get themselves in situations that would require a crate.
When you have properly trained your dog, it shouldn’t mind crate training. It can be a temporary process or one that you use going forward. It depends on your goals and how your dog takes to the crate as a whole.
Just like any other type of dog, you can crate-train your Pitbull. It takes a little bit of knowledge beforehand to know what to do and for how long. The good thing about it is that you can create a welcome spot for your Pit, allowing it to have a safe space when it needs it.
Crate training is not necessarily for every pet owner. That said, it can be an effective means not only for potty training but also for creating a safe spot for your dog.