Table of Contents
How to Crate Train a Puppy or Dog: 12 Easy steps
The crate is facing a high traffic area. The beginning of crate training makes a dog feel more comfortable.
There is a The crate floor should be covered with puppy pads as the pup is still learning how to use the potty.
There is a Adding a soft blanket and toys to the crate will make it more appealing.
There is a For the first time a dog or puppy is introduced to the kennel, leave a treat near the back of the crate. Dogs are encouraged to enter the crate voluntarily.
There is a After an activity that tires the pup out a little, crate training should begin.
The pup knows it is time to go into the crate. The words “kennel” or “crate” work well.
The first time a crate is introduced to a dog or puppy, stay in the kennel as he explores his new den, and then give him lots of praise for going inside.
There is a When a pup has been in a crate for the first time, call him to come out and give him a pat on the back.
There is a Positive experiences should only be associated with a crate. Step 6 to 8 will be repeated two more times.
On the third time the pup enters the crate, close the door behind him, and sit quietly in the kennel for a few minutes.
There is a Give him praise as he comes out after a few minutes.
There is a Wait a minute or two longer to let the dog or puppy out of the crate, until the pup is comfortable in the crate for 30 minutes.
Puppy crate training schedule
Young puppies should not be crated for long periods of time because they are still learning bladder and bowel control.
A crate should be used for rest, chew-time or hanging out in if it is broken up with walks, play or short activities.
There is a Puppies under 6 months should never be in a crate for more than 3 hours as they have not mastered potty time.
There is a crate in hours for the age of the puppy in months, plus one is the rule for puppies older than 6 months.
A reminder that the in-crate hours should not be consecutive for puppies but rather broken up over 24 hours to fit the puppy’s activity and feeding schedule can be found below.
Puppies and dogs should not be crated for more than 8 hours in one day. Young puppies must be taken for a potty break at least every 4 hours. If there are accidents, increase the number of breaks.
Introduce it Casually
Bringing your puppy home and locking him inside a crate is the worst way to introduce him to a crate. People and dogs don’t like being trapped. You should treat the crate like a piece of furniture, but one that he can enjoy. Place it in a part of the house that he frequents, add a blanket and a toy, and keep the door open. Give him a chance to explore it. Some dogs will immediately start sniffing around and going into the crate, which is a great sign. Encourage your puppy to check it out by placing favorite foods and toys near the crate. It could take days to get him comfortable with going inside. You should be patient with the process.
Extend Crate Time
When your dog is hanging out in her closed crate without signs of stress, it’s time to extend her stay. Encourage her to enter the crate by giving her a toy or treat. Go into a different room for a few minutes after hanging out by the crate. She gets used to being alone in a crate. Don’t open the crate when you return. For a few more minutes, sit with her and then open the door. If you keep increasing the time, your dog will be able to stay in the locked crate for half an hour without you. She is ready for you to leave her for short periods and maybe even sleep in a closed crate overnight when she is able to do this. You should keep the crate nearby for overnight stays. Puppies need to go to the bathroom. You will want to let her go.
Keeping it Comfortable
Don’t forget your dog’s social needs. The best place to crate your dog for the first few nights is directly beside your bed, close enough that you can stick your fingers in if you need to. Puppies are prone to fear of being alone, as they have always had plenty of company from their Mom and littermates.
If you have another dog, be sure to crate it next to your new dog, or at least have it in the same room with your puppy. When you are away, this helps prevent the feeling of social isolation. If you don’t have another pet, leave a radio or TV in the room at low volume. If you must be away all day at work, you can hire a professional dog-sitter or have a neighbor walk the dog in the middle of the day. If you have an experienced trainer in your area, doggy daycare can be a good option. Always check with your doctor for references.
Make sure that your pup gets a quick walk after he finishes going potty outside, and don’t put him back in his crate the second he comes inside. Some pups will prolong going if the fun always ends and they have to go back to their crate. They can enjoy your company a bit longer if they stay outside in the fresh area.
Source: The Humane Society of the United States has an adapted version.