Finally, the time has come for you to bring a puppy home. Playing and creating a schedule are some of your first chores once your puppy gets home!
Teaching puppies to gradually handle times when they will be alone is an essential component of creating a routine.
Crate training your puppy can help with this. Your puppy will have a safe haven in the crate, where housebreaking may proceed quickly.
If crate training is not done properly and gradually, your puppy may grow anxious, frustrated, or have separation anxiety. Keep reading to find out how to successfully crate train your new family member!
Table of Contents:
Crate Training: What Is It?
The gradual procedure of educating a puppy to relax and unwind in a pen is known as crate training. Starting gently is crucial while crate training your puppy.
If you train your puppy too quickly, they can grow to detest it. Instead, go at their pace. You may be crate training too quickly if they are:
- Refusing to enter.
Crate training a dog might take anything between a day and a month. While some dogs are certain and composed from day one, others require more assistance. Within two weeks, many puppies can be trained to use crates.
It is preferable to establish a gradual training programme and start crate training with the assumption that they will require more assistance. This will reduce the chance that your puppy may dislike it.
Is it harsh to confine your puppy at night? is a regular query from new dog owners. The reply is that it depends.
Crating a puppy overnight isn’t really harsh and will assure their safety when dozing off unattended if they have plenty of room, can change positions readily, and have spent brief periods of time in the enclosure during the day.
Why Should Your Dog Be Crate Trained?
The benefits of crate training pups are numerous:
- When worn out, your puppy can retire there safely.
- When complete supervision cannot be provided, it helps to keep kids safe.
- Prevents unsupervised practice of unwanted activities, such as chewing.
- Outlines a clear limit so that kids know when to avoid interacting with the puppy.
- Housetraining is expedited because puppies are far less likely to defecate close to their beds.
- Helps puppies get ready for visits to the vet because all veterinarians will crate pets prior to and after surgery.
Tips Before Purchasing A Crate
There are several sorts of dog crates that are available. The size should be considered first. Make sure you purchase the appropriate size for your pet.
Ensure your puppy has enough room to walk around comfortably and to accommodate a bed, bowl of water, toys, and a place to eat meals.
To avoid having to buy additional crates as the puppy develops, pick a crate with divider parts if you are getting a large breed.
Material and construction quality come next. Metal, plastic, cloth, and wooden are the four main materials. The least expensive material is typically fabric, while metal and plastics are more costly.
For dogs that enjoy chewing, the crate’s construction should be carefully considered. Additionally, some materials are simpler to maintain than others; it is highly likely that your puppy will urinate in the pen at some point.
If there are any incidents, plastic and metal are both easily cleaned. Since they are fast and simple to fold, metal or fabric are ideal for puppies on the go.
Steps For Training A Puppy
Follow the steps outlined below to crate training your puppy over a period of two weeks. Remember, some puppies may need a little longer – it’s more important to take it slowly and do it properly than rush and instil bad habits.
Step 1: First 2 Days
Before you begin crate training, it’s crucial that the crate is properly set up.
It can generate a great deal of noise and may terrify your puppy, so ensure you install it when they are not present. Secure the door open for the first several days so that it won’t slam close and startle your puppy!
Position the crate in a room or section of your house that you frequent, but away from walk-throughs and crowded or noisy hallways. The optimal location is a sitting room’s corner.
Make it look as welcoming as you can. Make it seem like a den by putting a cosy blanket inside, adding some toys, and covering it with a large blanket.
The first time your puppy encounters their crate, it should be a positive one.
From the exterior of the crate to the inside, leave a trail of treats. Then let the puppy inside so he may look around and eat. Praise him verbally when he discovers the snacks.
Watch your puppy’s initial exploration of the crate to see what he looks like. Does he enter with great confidence after the feeding, or is he hesitant and wary?
When you can move on to the next step of crate training, you can tell by looking at their body language.
Sprinkle additional treats inside the crate sporadically during the day (whenever your puppy isn’t looking).
Your puppy should begin to spend more time and act more confidently around their crate as they learn to believe it to be the magical reward dispenser.
You shouldn’t move on to step 2 until they are consistently looking to “check” for treats and, ideally, occasionally taking a nap in there. This could take one day, two days, or even three days. Watch your pet very carefully!
Step 2: Days 3 – 6
The time a puppy stays in their crate should be gradually increased. You can begin extending the amount of time your puppy spends in the crate if they are self-assured and have learned where many “secret” treats are hidden.
The only time you should go on to this step is when the puppy is content entering and exiting! Feeding him inside the crate is the easiest way to extend the time there.
Tips for feeding your puppy inside the crate:
- Place his food in the box, watch for him to begin chewing, then gradually shut the door behind him.
- At this stage, keep your distance to make sure he doesn’t ever panic.
- So that he doesn’t even realise the door was closed, open it just as he finishes his food.
- Increase the amount of time the door is shut after each meal.
Some puppies may require you to move more slowly, while others will like moving more quickly.
The trick is to keep an eye on your puppy’s actions. Avoid allowing your puppy outside if he starts to whine. He’ll become used to crying out to be let outside!
Open the door when some calm time has passed. The following time you feed, start at a stage or two earlier than when he was content and work your way back up.
You can proceed to step three once your dog can handle waiting for ten minutes.
Step 3: Days 7 – 11
After a week of training, the puppy ought to be contentedly eating inside of it. Some will now comprehend the cue to “go to sleep.”
It’s now time to begin crate-training him when he is not eating. Start by including naps in his schedule. Follow the steps below:
- Tell your dog to “go to sleep” or “get in the crate”.
- Give him praise and drop some treats that he can eat as he enters.
- Shut the door after him.
- Spend some time with him while you sit calmly close to the crate.
- He ought to fall asleep, at which point you can momentarily step aside.
- Doors should be opened after 5 minutes and try again in 10-15 minutes if he doesn’t nod off.
- Keep a close eye on him since you’ll need to be there once he wakes up.
- Increase the amount of time he stays in his crate gradually throughout these nap times.
Do this throughout the coming days to increase the amount of time that he spends inside!
When he feels secure, you can gradually leave him alone. You’ll need to progressively increase the amount of time you leave him alone in the crate.
Step 4: Days 12 To 14
It might be upsetting and stressful to leave your puppy at home. But it’s a fact of life, and our pets must learn to adjust to being left alone.
You can start crating your puppy whenever you leave the home if he has finished step three and can sleep soundly for 30 minutes while you are in a different room.
These departures ought to first fall within a 30- to 40-minute window – for example, a trip to the store rather than a full day away from home. Follow the steps below before you leave the house:
- Ensure the crate is cosy and has a few toys that are safe for puppies.
- Ask your dog to “go crate”
- As a reward, toss some treats around him.
- Shut the door after him.
- Get up and head outside.
- Avoid exchanging many good-byes and depart discreetly and promptly.
To make sure the puppy is secure when you’re away from home, it is useful to set up a pet camera.
When it comes to lengthening his alone time, the camera will also help you. You can extend the duration if he sleeps for the majority of your absence.
When you get back home, softly welcome your puppy home, release him from the crate, and take him outside for a bathroom break.
Step 5: Days 14+
It’s crucial to teach a puppy to spend the night in a crate to prevent accidents or gnawing when they can’t be watched. Put the crate in your bedroom with you to start with.
Support him verbally and physically throughout the day until he falls asleep.
When you hear whimpering in the late hours of the night, it may be time for a bathroom break. For the initial four to eight weeks, prepare for midnight bathroom breaks.
You can begin to move his crate farther away from you at night as he gains comfort with crate training throughout the day.
It’s a good idea to introduce your puppy to a routine. It will make sure your dog is taking frequent bathroom breaks outside (which can speed up housetraining) and tells your puppy what to anticipate and when.
Maintaining a regimen also enables you to monitor your puppy’s sleep patterns. To avoid a puppy that is overtired, nap periods are crucial.
Golden Rules For Crate Training A Puppy
Puppy crate training has a lot of advantages. By creating a secure environment, it helps to stop undesired behaviours like using the bathroom inside the home.
However, there are a few fundamental guidelines that you must follow when crate training. Following these guidelines will assist to prevent your puppy from experiencing stress or annoyance:
- Make sure it’s large enough. Your puppy must have the ability to move about freely, switch positions while sleeping, and have access to toys and a bowl of water.
- Make it cosy and comfortable. You may prevent your puppy from being easily disturbed while they are sleeping by providing a bed large enough for your dog to spread out on and lots of blankets (see also ‘Complete Kirkland Dog Bed Brand Review‘).
- Never put your puppy in the crate by force! This will hinder your training and cause worry or annoyance at being restrained against their will.
- When your puppy is in its crate, don’t play with them. When your puppy is napping inside, don’t let kids try to play with him or climb in there.
- It should never be used to keep a puppy in confinement for more than a few hours. After training, don’t exercise continuously for more than three hours.
- Use it right away; doing so will assist your puppy become accustomed to it and seek out its protection early on.
- Be mindful of weeping and whining. When there is a small pause, let the puppy out. The dog shouldn’t come to believe that being contained is bad.
- Never apply it as a form of discipline.
- Do not put your puppy’s safety in the hands of the crate. When you don’t have time to play, train, socialise, or amuse your dog, you shouldn’t use it excessively.
- Don’t hastily complete crate training. During the first several weeks, you should put in time and move slowly.
- Don’t let him out when he’s barking, as this will make him more inclined to bark. The best time to create good associations is during meals.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can My Puppy Be Crate Trained On The First Night?
Yes. It is a great idea to instil the practice of sleeping in a crate at night in your puppy from the very beginning.
However, as mentioned in the section on “crate training overnight,” you should try to assist this as much as you can by being present and speaking in a calming tone.
What To Do If My Dog Is Barking At Night?
If the dog is barking at night while confined to his crate, check with your veterinarian first to make sure he’s fit and healthy.
Follow the instructions above if the puppy is barking. You have pushed the crate training phase if your dog starts barking, whimpering, or howling.
What To Do If My Dog Won’t Enter The Crate?
Don’t push the issue if your dog is extremely anxious about the crate.
For extended lengths of time, adhere to the first and second instructions in this tutorial. They will become more self-assured as a result before beginning crate training.
By cushioning the underside with blankets, you can lessen any clattering noise the crate creates as it is stepped into.
To make it simpler to enter, you might also drape a soft blanket over the rim. Using pheromone products like Adaptil may also be a good idea because they can assist puppies understand that they are safe.
We hope that this article has been helpful in teaching you how to effectively crate train your new puppy in around two weeks.
It’s important to start crate training as early as possible so that your puppy will get used to being in the crate from an early age.
Make sure to take things slowly with your puppy while he acclimatizes to the crate. Completing crate training properly will save you a lot of work in the long run!