Welcoming a new puppy into your home is an absolute delight, but there are occasions when you’ll need to ensure their safety and independence for short periods. Crate training is an invaluable tool that can greatly simplify your daily routine, whether you’re heading to work or accomplishing tasks on your to-do list. This guide aims to provide you with the necessary steps and valuable insights on how to successfully crate train your puppy.
The Advantages of Crate Training for Puppies
Not only does it provide a secure and comfortable haven for puppies during unsupervised moments, but it also instills essential boundaries that contribute to their overall well-being. Crate training proves advantageous in terms of successful potty training and promoting uninterrupted sleep throughout the night. Furthermore, having a crate-trained puppy facilitates the convenience of arranging pet-sitting or boarding services when you require them, such as during vacation periods.
Preparing the Crate for Puppy Crate Training
Before embarking on puppy crate training, it’s crucial to set up the crate appropriately. The type of crate you choose largely depends on your personal preference. Some individuals opt for wire-style crates, which allow the puppy to feel connected to the family even within their designated space. On the other hand, enclosed plastic crates are favored by others for a more secure feel.
Ensuring that the crate is of the correct size for your puppy is essential. It should offer enough space for them to stand comfortably and turn around, while avoiding excessive room. If the crate is too spacious, your puppy may utilise one side for sleeping and the other side as a bathroom area. Some larger crates come equipped with a divider, which proves beneficial during the puppy stage, allowing them to grow into the crate without the need for frequent crate replacements as they develop.
The interior of the crate should be furnished with veterinary bedding, a cosy and washable bedding option that provides comfort and warmth for your puppy. Introducing a towel or old T-shirt with the scent of the puppy’s mother can offer familiarity and additional comfort within the crate. It’s important to keep extras like chew toys or stuffed animals outside the crate, reserving them for supervised playtime with your puppy.
Puppy Crate Training First Time at Home
Introducing crate training from the very first night your puppy arrives home establishes boundaries and routines, helping them acclimate to their new environment. Consider these tips to prepare your puppy for a successful first night in the crate:
Exercise Your Puppy
A tired puppy is more likely to settle comfortably in the crate. Engage them in play sessions or take them for a short walk before introducing them to the crate, encouraging them to naturally wind down and prepare for sleep.
Plan your puppy’s mealtime
To prevent any bathroom-related discomfort or whining during the night, schedule the last meal with sufficient time before crate time. This allows your puppy to relieve themselves outside and reduces the likelihood of accidents or restlessness in the crate.
Create a cosy, dim environment
Puppies may be tempted to join in family activities if they sense excitement outside the crate. Promote a sense of calmness by covering the crate with a blanket or towel, providing a darker space while still allowing your puppy to see you through the crate door for reassurance.
Offer comfort without excessive attention
While it can be challenging, refrain from immediately responding to your puppy’s whining or attempts to be let out of the crate. Giving in may reinforce the idea that whining leads to freedom. Instead, calmly reassure them with phrases like, “Okay. It’s time to sleep now,” without engaging in prolonged eye contact or providing excessive attention.
How to Crate Train a Puppy
Crate training your puppy is an ongoing process that requires a positive approach to ensure their acceptance of the crate. Avoid using it as a form of punishment and instead focus on creating a safe and inviting space for your puppy.
Introduce the crate to your puppy by placing it in an accessible area where your puppy can freely explore, sniff, and enter it if they desire. Leave a few high-value treats or pieces of dog food inside. The more familiar your puppy becomes with the crate before any forced confinement, the smoother the training process.
When it’s time for your puppy to enter the crate, give them a command like “crate” or “bed” and use a treat as an incentive to encourage them inside. If they hesitate, gently guide them in and close the door, providing abundant praise. Begin with short periods and gradually increase the duration of crate stays.
As a general guideline, your puppy’s crate time can be calculated using the formula: their age in months plus 1, up to a maximum of 8 hours. For example, a 3-month-old puppy can comfortably remain in the crate for up to 4 hours, while a 7-month-old puppy can stay for 8 hours before requiring time outside the crate for play and exercise.
How Long Does It Take to Crate Train a Puppy
Crate training a puppy is a process that typically requires time, consistency, and positive reinforcement to ensure their comfort and adjustment to the crate. While each puppy is different, most can grasp crate training within a few weeks. However, if your puppy continues to exhibit excessive whining or bathroom accidents in the crate, consulting your veterinarian can help rule out any underlying issues and provide additional training guidance.
Need to take your puppy for its training classes? JoJo Pets, a pet taxi service in Malaysia is providing safe and timely pet transportation. Our trained drivers will transport your pet (and you) safely and comfortably to any local destination you have in mind.
Let us know if you have any questions. Book a ride with us today!
JoJo Pets also offers cashless payment with their JoJo Wallet, including all major e-wallets, credit/debit card as well as online banking.