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The Don'ts of Crate Training

  • Rush crate training. While it may be frustrating to go slow, you want to be sure to make the crate a positive place for your dog, so she is happy to use it the rest of her life.
  • Yell at her or pound on the crate which may only increase her vocalizations.
  • Give in when the whining or behavior gets worse! Your dog is throwing a temper-tantrum which you don’t want to reinforce by giving her what she wants.
  • Use the crate as a punishment for bad behavior. Again, you want to associate the crate with only good things so your dog is happy to use the crate.

Crate Training 101

How to Handle Winning

Figure out what crate you want to use. Metal or Plastic.

Make the crate comfortable. Use an old blanket or towel to fold on the plastic floor of the crate and make it inviting by placing a toy in the crate.

Keep the crate in a high traffic area- by keeping the crate in this area he puppy will not feel isolated. let the crate sit there for a little while before you ask the puppy to go into it.  This way the crate will become a normal piece of furniture instead of a strange object.

It is important that your puppy gets accustomed to being in left in his crate for periods of 30 minutes a day without winning before leaving him there while you leave the house for a short period of time.  As time goes you can leave him longer and longer.

In order to accomplish this you praise him for good behavior in the crate which is not wining and napping.  The ONLY TIME you respond to a wine is to take him to potty and return him to the crate.  There is no PLAY TIME when crate training.

Vary when you put him in the crate anytime between 5 minutes to 20 min before you have to leave.  Simply put him in the crate and give him a treat then, leave quietly when your ready.

Don't make a big deal when you come home or re enter the room. Though your puppy may be happy to see you you don't reward this happy hyper behavior.  Instead calmly release the puppy a few minutes after you get home and they are calm and immediately take them out side to go potty.

Generally, puppies can “hold it” for the number of months they are old plus one, in hours. For example, a 3-month-old puppy can generally be left for a maximum of four hours. However, by six months of age most puppies can hold it for a work day or overnight.

If your dog whines or cries while in the crate at night, it may be difficult to decide whether she is whining to be let out of the crate, or if she needs to be let outside to eliminate. Initially you can ignore the whining. Your dog may stop if she is just testing to see if she’ll be let out. If the whining continues after you have ignored it for several minutes, you can repeat the phrase your dog has associated with going outside to eliminate. If she responds and becomes excited, take her outside. This should be a trip with a purpose — not play time.

If you are convinced that your dog does not need to eliminate, the best response is to ignore the whining completely. Most attempts at punishing the behavior actually end up inadvertently reinforcing it because the dog is getting attention from you. During the process of ignoring whining, expect it to get worse before it gets better. You cannot give in, otherwise you will have taught your dog that she must whine loud and long to get what she wants! If you have progressed very gradually through the training steps and have not attempted to hurry the process and cut corners, you will not be likely to encounter this problem. If the problem becomes unmanageable, you may need to restart the crate training process from the very beginning.