Safely & Effectively Using a Puppy Crate

A young puppy should not have the run of your home. They are just learning right from wrong and will destroy your home in 12.6 seconds if you allow them to roam free. While there will be many opportunities to let your pup play in the house, there will also be times when you can’t watch them and they need to be in a safe and secure location. This is both for the safety of the puppy and your home.
Debate continues unabated about whether or not or not crate training dogs is healthy or harmful.

‘Crating’ involves placing a pet inside a cage, usually plastic or metal of roughly the size on the canine, for a period of time throughout the day or night.

Proponents argue that crating provides the canine a sense of ‘property’, a place it can call its personal. In this small residence within the house, the dog feels safe surrounded by familiar smells and objects. Here, the dog can retreat from fearful noises or boisterous children.

Those who favor crate training assert that potty training is very much easier when combined with use of a crate. Dogs, they say, will naturally prevent soiling their ‘den’ and ‘hold it’ until they’re released to go outside.

Opponents counter that locking the dog into a cage barely huge ample to turn around in suppresses its natural desire to roam. It removes the dog’s ability to explore its natural environment at will and to soak up stimulating sights and smells.

Those against the use of crates point for the frequent instances when puppies will play in their own waste and basically soil themselves worse. Locking the puppy away, they say, is far more for the convenience of the owner than the well-being with the puppy.

As with any debate of this kind, you will find no doubt excellent and poor points on both sides. Objective studies for the issue are sparse and equally divided. Provided particular ‘rules’ are observed, there’s almost certainly no harm, and possibly some great, being had from crate training.

Even proponents recognize that excessive lengths of forced crate time is undesirable for the canine. Any dog locked up in the small space isn’t getting necessary physical exercise and could be restrained from eliminating for longer than is healthy.
Opponents worry that crated dogs can injure themselves through a normal wish to escape or rowdiness inside the cage. Make sure that the collar won’t snag. Check to make certain you can find no sharp edges on the crate, and that construction is strong ample to withstand the dog’s standard jostling and pushing about the walls. Above all, make sure it can’t tip over.

Advocates assert that crate trained animals will do greater on car, train or plane trips. They’re used towards the confinement and they have a familiar-smelling atmosphere with them during a time of tension. For owners who have to take their pets on long trips, there might be some value in this view.

Critics suggest that (except in instances of permanent re-location) it’s very best to leave pets at residence. Apart from short trips for the grocery store or vet or to a neighbor’s house, animals fare greater in common territory. But, if you have to take them, be specially cautious to perform so inside a well-constructed crate. Make confident no objects can fall into, not just out of, the cage.

Though the debate isn’t likely being settled anytime soon, exercising typical sense is the top method to judge the actual net effect – good or undesirable – on your particular pet. Try leaving the door open following a few weeks of training and see whether they seek or avoid the crate. Let the canine weigh in on the question.

What is the best way to Crate Train?

Just like humans, a puppy likes to have a place that they can call their own. They want to feel safe and secure and most importantly, a puppy wants a place that is familiar.

When you are ready to bring a crate into your home you will want to make sure not to line it with newspaper if you have chosen to paper-train your pup. You do not want them eliminating in their crate.

In your puppies crate you should put soft bedding, water, and a chew toy or two.

You should choose a nice comfortable dog bed that cannot be chewed and swallowed by your mischievous puppy. Also, make sure to select bedding that is suited to your climate.

Do not put items in the crate that you wouldn’t normally allow the puppy to have. For example, do not put an old shoe in their for the puppy to chew on. They cannot tell the difference between the old shoe you are allowing them, and the new pair of work shoes you spent $200 on.

This is an excellent opportunity to establish good habits with your puppy. You are showing them what they can chew on. This will help prevent them from chewing on items that they are not allowed to, such as furniture, clothes, and your children’s toys.

Make sure to keep a supply of clean fresh water. Select a weighted wide based bowl that won’t be tipped over. There are also bowls that will attach to the crate wall.

Not only will crating teach your puppy good habits, but it will keep him safe too. There are many dangers in a house that can be harmful to dogs. A chocolate bar lying around in reach, foreign objects, cables or wires from the TV or lights. Puppies will chew, so we want to try and decrease their exposure.

So far I have talked about behavior and safety, but did you know that there is an emotional side to crating too? Many puppies are sad when their owners leave the home. If you make the crate a safe and happy place for your dog, they will feel comforted in having a place of their own to go when you are not home.

Because we want your puppy’s crate to feel safe, you should never use the crate as a punishment. If your puppy just had an accident inside your home, do not send him to the crate for being bad.

When is a good time to use your puppy crate?

Aside from times that you are away from the home, a great time to use your puppy crate is when you have a party at your home. This can be a very overwhelming experience for a small pup, and they will feel safer in a space that they know.
What type of crate should you use?

If you plan on moving the crate for car or air travel, make sure to select a lightweight crate approved for airplanes. This will be very useful for trips to the vet or a vacation out of town with your puppy.

There are two basic styles of crates that you will find in your local pet store.

  1. durable plastic
  2. wire mesh (often collapsible)

Make sure to purchase a crate that will be large enough for your fully grown puppy. Many crates can be partitioned off to allow the inside space to grow as your puppy grows.

Step-by-step Instructions on How to Introduce Your Puppy To The Crate

The most important thing to remember when you introduce your puppy to his crate is to make it an exciting, happy experience.

  1. Bring the crate into the room that you will keep in it.
  2. Place your doggie bedding, water bow, and chew toys in the crate.
  3. Leave the door open, so your puppy can go in and out on your own. Allow them to explore the crate on their own before you try and interfere.
  4. Place a few doggie treats around the crate and let your puppy eat them.
  5. When your puppy makes his way into the crate praise your pup enthusiastically.
  6. At the next meal time, put your puppies bowl in the crate with the door open.
  7. After meal time, when your puppy is playing wih you, place a chew toy inside the crate and close the door. You will be amazed as your puppy scratches or barks at the door just trying to get in to get that toy.
  8. Open the crate door, allow your puppy to go in and get the toy, and praise your puppy for going in to get the toy.
  9. Once your puppy is going in and out of the crate on his own, close the door and feed him some treats through the closed door. Only leave the door closed for 15 seconds, and gradually increase the time that the door is closed.
  10. You do not want your puppy’s first long stretch in the crate to be when you are away at work. Therefore, you should do an eight hour test run at bedtime one night.

What if my puppy is paper-trained?

If your puppy is paper trained, you may need a gated area as well as a crate. You would place the open crate in the gated area. The paper would be in the gated area, away from the crate .You would leave the crate door open when you are away from home.

Dogs honestly need room to stretch their legs, so I prefer this option for all dogs, whether paper trained or not. However, due to lack of space, dogs jumping gates, or other challenges crate training may be your best option.

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