What is a Puppy Crate?
A puppy crate is a box-shaped container where a puppy can be kept secure. The most significant benefit of having that crate is that you will not have to supervise your dog all the time.
It is also beneficial for your pet’s safe transit from one place to another place. But to use the puppy crate successfully, you will require a lot of positive training.
Puppy crate training is a process to teach your puppy that its crate is an extra exceptional area for it, where it can spend a calm, relaxed, and joyful time. Training your dog to love the crate is not an easy task, but with positive practices, it could be a piece of cake.
Tips to Crate Train Your Puppy
There are certain tips you can follow to effectively train your puppy.
Set up a Crate
When you start with a crate training schedule, the first thing that springs into your mind is, of course, the place to set up the crate. You should set it up in a high traffic spot of your house, a place where your puppy doesn’t feel alone but rather like a part of the family.
Encourage Your Dog to Explore the Crate
To do so, you can put some treats for your puppy in its crate. Your puppy’s favorite treat could be anything it enjoys the most.
Make sure to give your puppy some commands such as “Go to your crate” and reward your puppy with a treat. This way, your dog will be more familiar with your instructions. Repeat the same process again and again until you longer need to offer your dog rewards to get it inside the crate.
Start Practicing to Close the Crate Door
Once your dog gets familiar with the crate, begin closing the crate door for a few seconds when it is inside. Put toys in the crate, so that your dog can play with them and won’t get bored. Over time, start delaying the duration to unlock the door.
Take Steps Away From the Crate
If your dog seems comfortable with closed doors, then start taking a few steps back from its crate. In the beginning, only stay away for a few seconds. Later on, increase the period to stay away from your dog’s sight.
With practice, patience, and consistency, your dog will grow to love its crate and consider it a safe place over time.
Once your puppy gets quite familiar with the crate, you certainly don’t want it to mess inside the house. Implementing a puppy crate training schedule is the most effective approach to achieve this goal.
Benefits of a Puppy Crate Training Schedule
A puppy crate training schedule helps you train your puppy with a routine. All pets love when they have a proper routine to follow because it allows them to expect things. Having a schedule will also assist you to be consistent with the pet training, and your pet will get used to it faster.
Example of a Puppy Crate Training Schedule
- At 7:00 a.m., let your puppy out of the cart for a potty break, then feed it breakfast.
- One hour later, let it go outside for a walk and potty break.
- At 9:30 a.m., allow your puppy to play and nap in the crate.
- After a few hours, at 1:00 p.m., let your puppy out of the crate for a potty break, and feed it lunch.
- An hour later, let your puppy play outside the crate.
- At 3:00 p.m., let your puppy nap in the crate.
- At 7:00 p.m., let your puppy out of the crate for a potty break, then feed it dinner.
- Ideally, at 8:00 p.m., take your puppy out for a walk and potty break.
- Once your puppy is back home, give it play time.
- One last time, before the puppy sleeps, take it outside for a potty break at 9:30 p.m.
- Lastly, at 10:00 p.m., get the puppy ready to sleep.
How Long Can It Take to Train Puppies?
There is no universal answer for this question because each puppy has unique learning potential, just like human beings.
Few puppies understand the routine within a few days, whereas others might take more than weeks or months. Remember that you can’t compel them to learn, so be patient and let them learn at their own pace.
Best Time to Stop Puppy Training
When it comes to puppy crate training, you must be wondering when to quit. There are a few factors that indicate when to give it a break. A few of them are:
- If your puppy seems happy with the routine and does not act strangely when you put it inside the crate.
- If it has not hurt itself in the past 15 days.
- If it stops showing aggressive behavior.
If your puppy is not exhibiting any of these signs, it’s probably the right time to discontinue its crate training.
Dos and Don’ts of Crate Training
Every ease and benefit comes with some challenges. These dos and don’ts can help you achieve those challenges:
- Do attach a water bottle with your dog’s crate when your dog will be inside of it for more than two hours.
- Don’t try to crate train your dog until it gets familiar with the crate. If your dog starts to panic in the crate, it may injure itself while escaping from the crate.
- Don’t punish your pet within the crate, or it will be scared of it and try to escape from it.
- Don’t leave your puppy in its crate for a very long time, let it in for a maximum of 30 to 60 minutes.
You can increase the duration with the growth of the puppy.
- At 8 to 10 weeks, crate duration should be 30 to 60 minutes.
- At 11 to 14 weeks, it should be one to three hours.
- Between 15 to 16 weeks, it should be three to four hours.
- After 17 weeks, crate duration can be up to five hours.
If you suspect that your dog needs to go outside, let your dog out of the crate, but try not to sway from your routine. This rule is especially for puppies that are still young.
Crate training a puppy seems like a critical thing at first, especially when your puppy is having a hard time with its crate. But with consistency and real patience, you can convince your puppy that a crate container is the safest place for it. The crate will be like a real gem for both of you and your puppy.
To make your puppy’s crate training successful, you will have to follow a puppy crate training schedule. It will help your puppy adjust to a fresh routine, which will later make it more confident as well.