Puppy Dog Crate Training
dog training

Puppy Dog Crate Training

Picking the right spot for the dog crate is an important part of puppy dog crate training. Different dog owners have different opinions regarding this, and you also have to take the personality of your dog into account. Dogs are social animals and puppy dog crate training will therefore be easier if you place the dog crate in a room where you spend a lot of time, such as the kitchen, the TV-room or the room where you work. On the other hand, a dog crate should be a place where the dog can feel really safe. A dog crate is not a prison, it is a dogs’ den and it must always be associate with peace and security for the dog. It is therefore not suitable to place it in a room with very hectic activity, such as next to the front door where people come and go or in a play room with boisterous children.

When you have found the right spot, you must also decide whether or not you want to move the dog crate during the night. Many dog owners move the dog crate into their bedroom during the night, because this makes it possible for them to hear when the puppy needs to go out and relieve itself. Other dog owners opt for a stationary dog crate, since they feel that moving the dog crate around makes the dog less safe and disrupts the puppy dog crate training. As always, you have to take the personality of your dog into account here.

Puppy dog crate training is usually quite easy, since puppies have a natural inclination to stay in their den. They also like to retreat to a den when they feel scared or tired, especially if the den is in a room where they can still be close to their keeper. During the first few nights the puppy will probably whine, but this usually have more to do with the unfamiliar situation than with the dog crate itself. If you have just taken the puppy from its mother and siblings, it is natural for it to feel alone – especially during the night.

If you place the dog crate in your bed room you can still be close to the puppy during the night. Some owners sleep on the floor next to the dog crate during the first few nights (especially if the dog crate is not in the bedroom), since this makes the puppy feel safe. If you can’t stand hearing the puppy whine, it is much better to calm it by sleeping next to the dog crate than calming it by removing it from the dog crate and letting it sleep in your room. Having a small puppy sleeping in your bed may be very cosy, but having the same dog sleep in your bed three years later when it has turned into a fully grown St Bernard may be a little more problematic.

Another important aspect of puppy dog crate training is to reward desirable behaviour and ignoring non-desirable behaviour. If the puppy whines or barks, there is no use in punishing it. Remember, barking and whining to get your attention when left alone are natural behaviours and the dog does not realise that it is doing something wrong. If you start punishing it, it will only feel more stressed and scared and be even more desperate for attention. Instead, simply leave the puppy alone until it stops whining and barking. When it becomes silent, it is time for you to return to the dog crate with a lot of praise and a tasty treat for the puppy. Make it realise that being silent is a good behaviour that is rewarded with attention. If you return while the dog is still barking in whining, the dog will assume that barking and whining is what brings your back. The next time you leave it alone in the dog crate, it will naturally retort to the behaviour that worked so well the last time – barking and yelling.

Dog Crate Training Articles

Adult Dog Crate Training - An article about how to crate train adult dogs.
Older Dog Crate Training - An article about how to crate train older dogs.
Separation Anxiety Dog Crate Training - Information and tips about how to crate train a dog that is suffering from separation anxiety.