When used properly the crate is a helpful tool, particularly during puppyhood and adolescence.
- A crate keeps your puppy safe while you are away from home.
- It is a powerful tool to aid in potty training.
- It provides your puppy with a place of his own where he can feel safe.
- It safeguards your home from puppy destruction.
- The use of a crate provides you with downtime from supervising the pup.
- It is a place where your pup can go to have a nap and sleep off the exercise from socializing, playing games, and training.
- It is a place where you know your dog is not getting into trouble when you are otherwise occupied.
- It is an important skill to teach a pup in the event he will need to be crated at some point in life; at the vet, at the groomers, when boarding, etc.
Properly introduce the crate shortly upon arriving home. We recommend starting with some simple games and then moving on to use a method called shaping to comfortably increase the time your puppy spends in the crate. If you have never crate trained a pup work with a coach who can help you with the process.
In order to make the initial introduction of the crate a successful one, use toys and treats to create positive first impressions. Leave the door open so that your puppy might explore it on his own.
We recommend a good-quality rubber toy that can be stuffed with your puppy’s food for use with the crate. Fill it with a yummy soft treat and give it to the puppy in the crate.
Check our guide on how long you should leave your puppy in the crate at his given age.
In order to reach the goal of having a potty-trained puppy, you will need to keep an eagle eye on him when he is up and moving around the house. That means 100% management of what your pup is doing all day, every day to ensure no accidents. We can hear a collective sharp intake of breath as you read this! Employing the use of a crate helps you set yourself up for success.
If your pup has an accident in the house, it is your accident, not the puppy’s. To reduce the possibility of accidents, we recommend the use of a crate. Crating a puppy allows you a break from overseeing what your dog is doing. At the same time, it ensures that your pup is safe.
Dogs are inherently clean animals. A mother dog will clean any soiled area of the nest. A responsible breeder will also be sure to keep the whelping area spotless. This ensures that the puppy is accustomed to a clean environment and it will carry over once you begin to crate the puppy. They are used to a clean space and generally speaking are not going to soil in the confined space of their crate.
Crating may or may not be a permanent setup. If you do a great job of crate training your dog will love his crate and you may want to leave one around for him to continue to use. It is a place of comfort and safety. Or once your pup is bathroom trained and has gone through adolescence you may consider not using a crate. Either way, this will depend on the dog and you.
It is valuable to maintain your dog’s comfort level with the crate throughout his life. It’s extremely helpful at the vet, groomer and during travel.