Are you considering crate training a puppy? Would you use a playpen to keep a child safe? A dog crate is just like a playpen but better. It has some food, water, toys and a bed. It is safe, comfortable room with a view. It’s your dog’s den. What more could a dog want? Maybe you should consider crate training your puppy.
Crate training is the art of helping your puppy to be happy in his home. Crate training is teaching your dog to enter the crate, enjoy being in his crate and helping him to learn that the crate is a place where he can find comfort and solitude while providing you with somewhere you know he’s safe, secure and not destroying your home.
Crate Training Philosophy
Dogs are instinctively den animals which is why you may see them hiding under tables, curled up in corners and why they nest their blankets before sleeping. In the wild dogs live in dens and crate training helps them feel comfortable and safe in a human environment by capitalizing on their den instinct.
The primary reason for crate training a puppy is housetraining. Unless you bought your puppy from a puppy mill he won’t want to soil his den. The crate also limits access to the rest of the house, allowing you to control how quickly you introduce him to other rooms and it stops him from destroying furniture. The crate training keeps puppy in check while he learns the rules of the house.
Warning: Crate Training Won’t solve all your problems
Puppy Crate Training isn’t a silver bullet, it won’t solve all your problems and if implemented incorrectly it will leave your puppy feeling trapped, frustrated, depressed and anxious.
Never put your puppy in the crate as punishment. He will start to associate the crate with bad things and begin to fear the crate, attempt to avoid it and eventually refuse to enter it. Crating your dog as punishment will also confuse your dog and begin to undo all your other good training efforts.
Don’t crate your dog for too long. A dog that is crated all day and night won’t get enough interaction or exercise to be healthy. Puppies shouldn’t be crated for more than three or four hours as they can’t go much longer than that without eliminating.
Continue crate training a puppy only until you are satisfied he won’t destroy your furniture or mess up your home. Once your puppy is satisfactorily trained the crate truly becomes his den and somewhere he goes voluntarily. A collapsible crate then comes into its own as you can easily move it around the house or pack it into the car and take it on vacation with you. Taking your dog to a vacation home can be a little nerve wracking. You don’t want your Doberman going mad through somebody else’s house and it can be a little disconcerting for your Doberman not knowing the rules of the new house. If you take your crate with you then you have a den for your dog ready to go.
Is Crate Training for you? Read the answers to some of our commonly asked crate training questions.