The "Why" Always Matters for Your Puppy Training
Understanding why you're struggling with crate training your puppy matters. This is mainly because understanding the root of the issue can help you get to a solution faster. For example, certain puppies who come from breeders may not have ever experience a crate before and in their case, exposure may be the key to success. In other situations, the issue may be that the puppy was exposed to a crate but had a traumatic experience with it, like being kept in there too long resulting in negative associations that you'll have to combat. Take some time to try and figure out why it is that your puppy is having trouble.
What YOU Can do to Make it Better Immediately
The good news is, you start working on this problem immediately! You'll want to start by building up the positive associations your pup has with the crate from day one. If you've already had your puppy for a while now and having started yet, that's ok! Just start right away with these tips. First, start by feeding all meals inside of the crate. This can be by bowls, feeding toys, or food stuffed Kongs. You'll also want to give fun and exciting new toys in the crate. This is a great time to invest in some durable puzzle toys that will kept your puppy happily entertained for hours.
What to do for Your Puppy Continuously
After you've set up you're original positive associations with the crate, you'll want to be sure to do the following steps to ensure the crate remains a happy place to be. Make sure that your pup is well exercised before going in the crate. This gives them a much better chance of being able to settle in there. You'll also want to make sure they've always done their business before going inside their crate. This both prevents accidents from happening and prevents the dog from developing a bad association about the crate.
How to Plan For Long Term Benefits
Even if it's tough in the beginning, remember that you're training for something thats going to be a HUGE benefit to you and your dog in the long run. Crates help keep your puppy safe when you're not able to directly supervise, they help aid in potty training, and they help to keep your home safe from destruction during their younger stages of life. You can also use them as a tool when transporting your dog and it'll come in handy for them to be comfortable being crated whenever they go to the vet or groomers because they'll likely be crated there as well.
Alternatives for Your Dog
If you've gone through of all these preventative measures and still are not having success with crate training, don't worry! There are some wonderful alternatives you can use. Our most recommended alternative is a gated area. The gated area works exactly like a crate, keeping your pup safely contained but most dogs find it easier to manage. Next up, you could switch to a "puppy-proofed" room. Usually a bathroom is great for this. Lastly, you can use a doggy daycare in cases where dog's are not comfortable being left alone in any scenario. Always remember to reach out to a puppy training company if you're struggling!