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Underdog Blog

Tips for Crate Training Your Puppy (or Rescue!)

Ali Legros

Using a crate is an effective way to train and manage your pet. Crates are not just useful in providing your pet with shelter in your home or when you travel, it’s a very common and safe technique to house train your pet while it adjust to the rules of the house. Without a crate, some dogs will mistreat your home instead of showing you and your home the respect it deserves.

Crate training is simple. Dogs don’t like to soil their own dens or home. This teaches the dog simple concepts like using the bathroom outdoors and not chewing on the furniture. Yes, I know chewing on furniture may sound like a lot, but trust me it happens to more owners than you think. To properly crate train your pet, you must first determine what type of crate you want for your pet. Some crates have plastic outer shells, while others are made out of strong wire mesh all around. Wire mesh crates are best for dogs that want to see all around them. This also provides the best ventilation for your dog during those hot summer months. I recommend the wire mesh crate because it allows your dogs to be alert for your security while you’re sleep, and they are easily collapsible to travel when need be. Whatever your choice, the crate should be large enough to stand, lie, and stretch out. Keep in mind you don’t want the crate to big that the dog can still have room to use the bathroom in the corner. You want it to be comfortable, but to also serve its purpose of housetraining your pet. Make the crate welcoming by adding pillows, a few toys, and maybe an old shoe just for enjoyment. Use positive reinforcement by throwing treats or scraps from the dinner table so that your pet understands the crate is not a punishment, but its own personal space for when the family is away at work or sleeping.

Once your pet becomes accustomed to using the crate, you can start leaving it alone. This means you can put the dog in the crate and walk away without having to worry about it crying or becoming lonely. When dogs get lonely, they become anxious and tend to be disruptive. Leaving the house with your dog alone inside the crate is the most important part of crate training. Both you and dog need to be comfortable leaving one another knowing that when the other comes back all will be ok with both your pet and your home. Over time your pet will learn your routine of using the crate when you are away at work or out and about on the weekends and when you are home. You will know your dog is successfully crate trained when it starts to love their crate as their very own special place. Yes, accidents may still occur when you leave it in the crate for too long, but you will see it respects its crate and your home equally. Crate training is a slow process and can’t be rushed. It’s something you have to build up to so that your dog knows how to behave both when you’re home and when you’re not.