Why Crate Training is Important for Your Puppy
When crate training a puppy, there's a lot of questions that come up. If you need help crate training your puppy, we cover all the best tips and more in our in home puppy training. Crate training is mainly important for two reason, it helps significantly with potty training and it also helps extremely lower the risks of your dog developing unwanted behaviors. For example, a puppy who is crate trained is more likely to be happily chewing a bone in their crate than chewing on your coffee table.
The reason crates help so much with potty training is because your dog's natural instinct is not to go potty where they sleep. So if they see their crate as their den area, then it's more likely they are going to start holding their pee and poo longer when they are in there. It's a great tool to use to help teach your puppy where it's ok to go potty because they'll probably need a bathroom break as soon as you take them out, that's when you bring them straight outside.
Once your pup loves their crate, you'll see they're happy to go inside and relax. This is how a crate should feel to them, a relaxing happy place. When they're in here they should enjoy it and you on the other hand can enjoy that they wont be having as many accidents and chewing up your power cords. Its really a win-win situation when done correctly.
How to Handle Crate Training
How you handle crate training from the very beginning has a HUGE impact on how well it's going to go long term. Again, you want them to see this space as their safe happy place so it's important not to use this area as a time out zone or for punishment because that will create negative associations. The best way to help them love their crate is to start very early as young as 7-8 weeks, with short periods of time in the crate. Since puppies may be with their breeders at this age, it's something many breeders introduce to them to help them acclimate.
The crate should be a place where all the fun things in life happen! Feed them their meals in there, give them bones in there, and any other special treats or toys that they really enjoy. This is how we help build a positive association with being in the crate. It's ideal to have the crate in a living room where they'll be surrounded by voices and gentle praise. For more shy dogs, you may consider putting it in a closed off room instead.
What to Expect From a Puppy That's Crate Trained
When a puppy is correctly crate trained you can expect them to hop right in it without any hesitation. Puppies should never be forced into their crates or you may start to see anxiety develop about going inside. But happily trained pups will voluntarily hop in their crate to eat, sleep, and relax. They should find comfort in being in there. They'll also be potty trained faster and have much less bad habits than dogs who are allowed to roam the house freely unsupervised.