Always Remember: Set
Teach your dog from the beginning what is and is not appropriate behavior. If something is "OK" today, your puppy will think it's OK forever. Make sure that every member of the family enforces the house rules. Consistency is the key to having a well-behaved pet.
Just remember prevention of mistakes, and rewarding for good behavior.
Crate training can be fun
for the puppy if you make it a POSITIVE experience. The DEN is an integral
part of the wild dogs upbringing and safety zone. The same thing applies to
the "crate". Giving the pup special "treats" is a great way to introduce him
to his crate. The only time the puppy receives these special treats is when
he is in the crate; the treats become associated with the crate.
Why Should I Use A Crate:
Providing your puppy or dog with an indoor kennel crate can satisfy many dogs' need for a den-like enclosure. Besides being an effective housebreaking tool (because it takes advantage of the dog's natural reluctance to soil its sleeping place), it can also help to reduce separation anxiety, to prevent destructive behavior (such as chewing furniture, or shoes or the like), to keep a puppy away from potentially dangerous household items (i.e., poisons, electrical wires, etc.), and to serve as a mobile indoor dog house which can be moved from room to room whenever necessary. Dogs like to have a place to call there own.
A kennel crate also serves as a travel cabin for you dog when
by car or plane, when he or she would be upset it, will be in a familiar
place. Additionally, most hotels which accept dogs on their
premises require them to be crated while in the room to prevent damage to
hotel furniture and rugs.
Most dogs which have been introduced to the kennel crate while still
young grow up to prefer their crate to rest in or "hang-out" in. Therefore a
crate (or any other area of confinement) should NEVER be used for the
purpose of punishment.
We recommend that you provide a kennel crate throughout your dog's
lifetime. Some crates allow for the removal of the door once it is no longer
necessary for the purpose of training. The crate can be placed under a
table, or a table top can be put on top of it to make it both unobtrusive
Preparing the Crate:
Vari-Kennel type: Take the crate apart, removing the screws, the top
and the door. Allow your pup to go in and out of the bottom half of the
crate before attaching the top half. This stage can require anywhere from
several hours to a few days. This step can be omitted in the case of a young
puppy who accepts crating right away.
Wire Mesh type:Tie the crate door back so that it stays open
without moving or shutting closed. If the crate comes with a floor pan,
place a piece of cardboard or a towel between the floor (or crate bottom)
and the floor pan in order to keep it from rattling.
Furnishing Your Puppy's Crate:
Toys and Treats: Place your puppy's favorite toys and dog treats at
the far end opposite the door opening. These toys may include the "Tuffy",
"Billy", "Kong", "Nylabone" or a ball. Toys and bails should always be
inedible and large enough to prevent their being swallowed. Any fragmented
toys should be removed to prevent choking and internal obstruction. You may
also place a sterilized marrow bone filled with cheese or dog treats in the
Water: A small hamster-type water dispenser with ice water should
be attached to the crate if your puppy is to be confined for more than two
hours in the crate.
Bedding: Place a towel or blanket inside the crate to create a
soft, comfortable bed for the puppy. If the puppy chews the towel, remove it
to prevent the pup from swallowing or choking on the pieces. Although most
puppies prefer lying on soft bedding, some may prefer to rest on a hard,
flat surface, and may push the towel to one end of the crate to avoid it. If
the puppy urinates on the towel, remove bedding until the pup no longer
eliminates in the crate.
Location of Crate:
Whenever possible, place the crate near or next to you when you are home.
This will encourage the pup to go inside it without his feeling lonely or
isolated when you go out. A central room in the apartment (i.e.: living room
or kitchen) or a large hallway near the entrance is a good place to crate
your puppy. You may want to leave a radio on for him or her. Make sure you
don't place it where the sun coming in will make him or her to hot and not
be able to come out to get away from the heat.
Introducing the Crate to Your Puppy:
In order that your puppy associate his/her kennel crate with comfort,
security and enjoyment, please follow these guidelines:
NOTE: To be successful, you want to prevent your puppy from making mistakes. Many people punish a dog like mad for messing in the house, and then virtually ignore the good behavior when they eliminate outside. So you get a dog that learns it is wrong to mess in the house when the owner is present. Never clean up a mess when the puppy is watching.
A Note About Crating Puppies:
Puppies under 4 months of age have little bladder or sphincter control.
Puppies under 3 months have even less. Very young puppies under 9 weeks
should not be crated, as they need to eliminate very frequently (usually
8-12 times or more daily).
Accidents In The Crate:
If your puppy messes in his crate while you are out, do not punish him upon your return. Simply wash out the crate using a pet odor neutralizer (such as Nature's Miracle, Nilodor, or Outright). Do not use ammonia-based products, as their odor resembles urine and may draw your dog back to urinate in the same spot again.
Crating Duration Guidelines:
The Crate As Punishment:
NEVER use the crate as a form of punishment or reprimand for your puppy
or dog. This simply causes the dog to fear and resent the crate. If
correctly introduced to his crate, your puppy should be happy to go into his
crate at any time. You may however use the crate as a brief time-out for
your puppy as a way of discouraging nipping or excessive rowdiness.
Children And The Crate:
Do not allow children to play in your dog's crate or to handle your dog
while he/she is in the crate. The crate is your dog's private sanctuary.
His/her rights to privacy should always be respected.
Barking In The Crate:
In most cases a pup who cries incessantly in his crate has either been
crated too soon (without taking the proper steps as outlined above) or is
suffering from separation anxiety and is anxious about being left alone.
Some pups may simply under exercised. Others may not have enough attention
paid them. Some breeds of dog may be particularly vocal (e.g., Miniature
Pinchers, Mini Schnauzers, and other frisky terrier types). These dogs may
need the "Alternate Method of Confining Your Dog", along with increasing the
amount of exercise and play your dog receives daily.
When Not To Use A Crate:
Do not crate your puppy or dog if:
Where to buy a crate: Crates can be purchased through most pet supply outlets, through pet mail order catalogs and through most professional breeders.
Crates can cost between $35 and $150 depending on the size and the type
of crate and the source.
The Cost of Not Buying a Crate:
Alternative Method Of Confining Your Puppy:
Use a small to medium-sized room space such as a kitchen,
large bathroom or hallway with non- porous floor. Set up the crate on one
end, the food and water a few feet away, and some newspaper (approx. 2'x3'
to 3'x3') using a 3 to 4 layer thickness, several feet away. Confine your
puppy to this room or area using a 3 ft. high, safety-approved child's gate
rather than shutting off the opening by a solid door. Your pup will feel
less isolated if it can see out beyond its immediate place of
confinement. Puppy proof the area by removing any dangerous objects or