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Preparing for Puppy - Crate Training

There are many who debate the use of crates for training a puppy. I too had preconceived notions of cruelty only to find out that it was a huge misconception. After crate training our last four dogs, I have found that it is one of the kindest ways to train your puppy or grown dog. Crating makes the transition to dog ownership easier. It is not surprising that most breeders recommend them. There are many benefits.

Dogs are from the canine family, which in the wild, are den animals. This means a crate becomes their safe and secure space to seek shelter when they are frightened, tired or just want to be alone.

A helpful tool

One of the most frustrating parts of having a new puppy is training the newcomer where to do its toilet business. A crate is the perfect solution. A den animal will not soil its sleeping quarters. This does not mean that you can leave your dog unattended for extended periods of time without having an accident. If you're using a crate, this can become a big mistake. Once they have soiled it, it can set back training by weeks or months. A good rule of thumb is no more than an hour per month old up to four hours. Using the crate, you will:

  1. Take your puppy out of the crate
  2. Take it out to eliminate
  3. Bring it into the house, to eat, drink or play
  4. Take it out to eliminate
  5. Let it rest in its crate again

The crate is not a punishment tool. Do not use it as a long term storage facility. If your dog is hyperactive for a long period of time after you let it out, you are not exercising it often enough. The crate is not a substitute for attention, exercise or love. If your dog has an accident in the house, it probably is more your fault for not taking him out soon enough. Never punish him, instead guide him to the proper spot. You may need to carry him from the crate to the outside. Consider the crate a long-term piece of furniture. When used properly, your dog will love it.

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It's a Den, Not a Jail