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Crate training a dog for potty training

Crate training a dog

Crate training a dog employs your pet’s natural instinct to look for a safe den to sleep. The point is to earn the crate canine’s goto safe location, which he partners with agreeable things. Once done properly, Crate training a dog process is effective to canine also helps diminish his or her stress. Additionally, as your dog’s instinct is never to soil own nest, then the crate can be just a excellent tool for house breaking.

Is it cruel to crate train a dog?

Many people ask this question “Is it cruel to crate train a dog?. The crate is your dog’s sanctuary, the place where he can get away from it all. It’s where he sleeps at night and where he’s confined at times during the day. The crate needs to be respected as your dog’s safe haven, not his jail, and should be associated with reward, not punishment.

Although most dogs naturally love a cozy den environment, the crate is obviously not found in nature, so most dogs need to be trained to love their crate. Of all the good reasons to crate train your dog, the most significant is that crate-trained dogs tend to be better trained in general.

The Crate training a dog process teaches a dog to settle down and have quiet time. It encourages him to chew only on acceptable things, because you provide him with those things while he’s in the crate. A crate-trained dog tends to be better able to cope with anxiety and—if necessary—rehoming.

When a dog travels, his crate offers security and comfort. Veterinarian staffers and groomers truly appreciate working with crate- trained dogs, and so will you. When I have guest dogs boarding in my home, I require that they accept some kind of confinement, preferably a crate, until I determine that they are sufficiently mature to be trusted with free access to my home.

The Kennedys’ dogs Splash and Sunny can be in my home without crates, but young Cappy (Bo Obama’s littermate) needs to be crated. Even if you work at home, crate train your dog. Using a crate is similar to having a playpen for a toddler or a crib for a baby: It provides a safe area that allows you to take your eyes off your youngster for a moment. Never get your dog out of the habit of being crated.

Throughout the life of a crate-trained dog, he is likely to spend more hours inside his crate than in any other one place, so it’s important to keep it comfortable and clean. Inside the crate is your dog’s bed or mat, which should have a machine-washable cover. Many dogs like having a padded side or bolster to nestle up against.

When should you start crate training a puppy?

While there isn’t set of basics about how long to leave a dog in a crate and when should you start crate training a puppy, here is a general set of guidelines:

  • 30 to 60 minutes for 9 to 10 weeks old.
  • 1 to 3 hours for 11 to 14 weeks old.
  • 3 to 4 hours for 15 to 16 weeks old.
  • 4 hours for more 17 weeks old.
  • Note that with the exception of night time, you shouldn’t leave your pet dog for longer than 4 hrs at a time.

crate training a dog for potty training

Crate training a dog for potty training

Some people mistake crate training a dog for potty training, so to be clear: The crate is not your dog’s bathroom. Good crate training does facilitate good potty training, but if you insist on having your puppy potty inside your home, do not use the dog’s crate as his bathroom. Instead, set up an x-pen adjoining the crate for your puppy’s potty.

The alternative of crate training a dog for potty training is utilizing of puppy pads and paper training that can be accurate because you are bolstering two different choices for the puppy. In an ideal status, puppies would learn to hold it indoors and only make toilet at particular spots outdoors. But some cases may need a bit of creative thinking, such as someone who has a job that makes it impossible to get home several times a day, or for a little dog living where the winters are tough. Puppy pads training award dog the choice of relieving herself in an approved potty spot at the house. When the dog matures, the dog owner should work on having his pet do her business outdoors all the time.

Read More About Potty training:

Types of dog crates

There are many types of dog crates. When choosing your dog’s crate, factors to consider are cost, durability, portability, and style. The wire-cage style can be covered with a blanket or fitted cloth cover as long as it gets adequate ventilation. Some crates are portable and made of lightweight fabrics and mesh, similar to camping tents. Crates can also be stylish, with finishes that include molded plastic, stamped metal, wicker, and furniture-grade wood.

crate training a dog for potty training


Crate training a dog protocols

1- The first protocol of the crate training a dog is selecting your main goal in this training that is simply to help your pet love her crate. The majority of puppies accept the crate without complaint, associating it with the comfy coziness of nap time. But if your dog isn’t immediately comfortable with going in her crate, don’t force her. That would be unproductive.

2- The 2nd protocol of the crate training a dog is using the following exercises to train her to like it. And remember: It’s best to do this training session before your dog’s meal so that she will really want the treats that you will toss around (and eventually inside) her crate. Using treats that your dog enjoys, toss a few of them around the crate and leading toward the opening, and then take a step back.

crate training a dog for potty training

3- The 3rd protocol of the crate training a dog isn’t tossing any treats inside the crate just yet. If your dog looks at you and then at the crate where the treats are, say “good” and toss a couple more treats near the crate’s opening. (Have a lot on hand.) When she finishes those treats and looks to you for more, try placing a few just inside the opening, and then step back again. Little by little, toss the treats a bit deeper inside the crate.

4- While you do these first crate training a dog trials, stay silent except to praise your dog for showing any interest in the crate: sniffing around it, moving toward it, daring to go inside it. Don’t say “in your crate” or any other verbal cues. Don’t bend down or step forward, as your dog may be uncertain and feel cornered, which could make her averse to the crate.

5- If your dog is already averse to the crate as some re-homed dogs are, slow the progress down and do many trials tossing treats around the crate—you may need to feed her entire meals outside her crate at first. To start helping her trust going inside the open crate, leave the door open and put treats inside, but don’t force her. Be content with feeding your dog just outside the crate near the door opening. Be sure to clamp the crate door open so that it can’t accidentally swing and startle her when she goes near it.

6- Once your dog is comfortable going inside the crate, it’s time to feed part of her meal in a bowl inside the crate. Since you will also be doing the hand-feeding protocol right now, use your judgment on how much she should be allowed to eat from a bowl without you touching her. If you have been hand-feeding your dog in different parts of your home and using different bowls (as I hope you have), it will likely be easier for her to trust that it’s safe to go into the crate to eat.

7- This slow, deliberate progress is called behavior shaping, which is a technique you will use to teach your dog many training cues. You can also start getting your dog comfortable with the idea of eating in her crate by stuffing a Kong with part of her meal and setting it inside.

8-Your dog’s next step is to eat an entire meal there. Put a portion of her meal in a bowl inside the crate and back away, leaving the crate door open; later, you will teach your dog to accept being fed with it closed. Remain silent as she goes inside to eat. When she has eaten all her food and looks to you for a refill, praise her.

9- Continue feeding the rest of her meal in small portions. If she does not eat, she may not be ready for this step, so proceed more slowly and make sure that she is hungry when you try again. Don’t force her; just praise what she does right and write that note in the training log. My Brieo is so well conditioned that when he sees me touching his food bowl, or when he comes back in the house after going potty, he’ll run into his crate, whether or not I happen to feed him in his crate for that meal.

10-The next step is to name the crate. Naming is another technique you will use to teach your dog cues. Select the name for the crate; I suggest the obvious: “crate,” “bedtime,” or “den.” As you place a couple of treats in it and she goes inside, say “good crate.” Notice that you’re not teaching her to do something that she hasn’t already done, but simply giving a name to something she has been doing. Repeat this about 10 times throughout the day (for a few days), and make it a fun game by tossing kibble in and around the crate. Your dog is learning that good things happen there.

Steps of crate training a dog

1- Now it’s time to direct your dog to go in on cue. A cue is a word or action that gives the dog information about what you want her to do. Start with her outside the crate. Let her see you put a few treats inside and then close the door. Open the door and say “crate.” When she goes inside, say “good crate” and close the door. While she is inside, offer a few treats through the crate and praise her.

Wait a few seconds before you let her out. If she stays in the crate or she goes out and goes back inside, say “good crate.” When she comes out, praise her, including the words good crate, and close the door. Repeat this step about six times throughout the day. If you’ve made the exercise fun, your dog may want you to do it even more, and that’s great.

2- Next, hold a few treats in your hand for your dog to smell, but don’t put them in the crate. Open the door, say “crate,” and when she goes inside, give her the treats and praise her. Repeat this step about six times. If she doesn’t figure it out or resists, back up to the previous step.

The next step is to introduce her to being inside the crate for a longer time with the door closed. Start by showing your dog that you’re putting some of her meal in the bowl. Hold the bowl in your hand, open the door, say “crate,” and when she goes inside, say “good crate” and put the bowl inside.

You may want to put some of her food in a Kong (stuffed with a special treat, like peanut butter) and place the Kong in her food bowl. As she starts to eat, gently close the door and say “good crate” again. When she finishes eating that portion of her meal, wait a few seconds before you open the door, and praise her for staying in the crate quietly, so that she understands that she’s safe. Say “good crate” as she comes out, then put more kibble in her bowl or a Kong.

Let her see you fill her Kong or food bowl so that she knows you are the provider of all these wonderful things, and then put the container in the crate (or simply toss kibble inside). When she goes in again, close the door while she eats. After she has finished, wait a moment again, praise her, and let her out. It is important that each time you let her out of the crate, you act like it’s no big deal: no excitement, no relief, just a calm greeting and praise.

3-Next, ask her to go into the crate, and when she’s inside, close the door for a moment, and give her the treat through an opening as you praise her and name the crate. Then open the door to let her come out, praise her and name the crate again as she exits, and close the door once she’s out. If she chooses to stay inside, that’s great because it means that she is understanding the process: Good things happen inside the crate! Repeat this exercise six times, each time keeping her in the closed crate for one second longer.

4-Now comes the hard part: getting your dog used to being in her crate while she can see you doing something else in the room. With your dog inside the crate, and the door closed, start by letting her see you take a step away as you put a treat through the closed door. Then return, pause a few seconds, and tell her she is a good dog in a very low-key, calm tone of voice.

Then repeat the process and drop a special treat (like a piece of hard cheese) into her crate. Get up and turn away from her. Return and pause a few seconds before letting her out.

5-Next, repeat the process, but this time give her a special toy to chew on or a stuffed Kong while she is in the crate. Increase your number of steps each time. Add some business in the room that she can see you doing, even if you’re just shuffling papers, opening a bag, sitting down and watching a little TV, or getting her food ready, as you add time with each repetition.

Each time you let your dog out of the crate, remember to treat it as an ordinary, almost boring moment. The goal is to teach your dog that she gets something really great in the crate when you leave (not when you return).

crate training a dog for potty training

The final stage in crate training a dog

1- The final stage in crate training a dog involves your leaving the room. Some dogs will accept this step without complaint right away, but others may take many weeks to get through this stage, so don’t press your dog to progress faster than she is ready or you may add to her anxiety and set her back in her training.

2- Start by leaving for literally one second, returning, and letting her out. Build up time on each repetition. While you do these final-stage exercises, give your dog a Kong stuffed with treats and/or peanut butter. On each subsequent repetition, leave the room for a second or two longer. The hope is that your dog will become so engrossed in the Kong that she will barely register that you’re leaving.

3- Walk into an adjacent room and go about some business that your dog can hear, occasionally reentering to just check in on her and praise her; then leave again. When she’s comfortable with that, practice keeping her in the crate when you leave your home. At first, leave as quietly as you can. Stay outside for a few minutes, and make a little noise as you reenter (but don’t make a big deal). Subsequently, you can build up to being gone longer and making a little more noise as you leave. Eventually, go out and run a short errand.

4- Some dogs will whine or bark in their crates when you disappear from their view. If this happens, do not reappear when she’s making noise, as you do not want to teach her that whining brings a reward (your return). Instead, wait until she settles down and stops whining, and then reappear quietly.

5- Make notes in your logbook about how much time elapsed before she started whining, so that the next time you do this exercise, you can be sure to return more quickly, before she has a chance to get going. If your dog barks or whines for a very long time, you may need to bring in a trainer or behaviorist to determine if it’s the beginning of true separation anxiety, or simply part of your dog getting used to her new home.

6- It’s counterproductive to get your dog so worked up that she gets into a pattern of barking and whining.  If your dog shows anxiety when you return, or there are signs that she was anxious while you were away (her pillow is shredded, for example), you may want to ask another person your dog already likes to stay in the room while you do these sets of exercises, and then start removing that person, too.

Recommended ideas for crate training a dog

I also recommend moving your dog’s crate to different rooms. Many years ago, my Irish Water Spaniel, Aisley, loved the crate when it was upstairs in my bedroom, where I also have my office. But during Aisley’s training, I moved her crate downstairs to the kitchen and she barked her head off. We took a few steps backward on her training, but I continued to move Aisley’s crate around to different rooms, playing crate games (such as tossing kibble in and around her crate) as we went, and she adjusted beautifully.

Throughout this crate training a dog program, I recommend returning to the crate exercises if your dog’s behavior backslides at all. This is not a form of punishment. Rather, it is a way to get her refocused on success. After Saxon died, Brieo understandably backslid: He didn’t eat well, paced and looked for Saxon, and chewed on himself and developed a rash. I rebuilt Brieo’s comfort and confidence by going back to basic crating and hand-feeding protocols; that helped a lot.

How long can you leave your dog in a crate?

The recommended general rule is 1 hour for month old age for young pups until the puppies will be potty trained (3 months age , no more than 3 hours). Depending on activity degree and water consumption and breed. But normal adult dogs should not be left crated more than six to eight hours without relief.

Video about crate training a dog 

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