Think of the crate as puppie’s own private room or den, you will see why, when introduced correctly, dogs love their crates! To help make your puppy’s introduction to crate training a positive one, start by tossing a yummy treat into the crate and letting your puppy wander in to get it.
Repeat this a few times before closing the door for a few seconds. Gradually increase the duration of the time that puppy is closed in the crate from a few seconds to a few minutes.
To keep puppy content in his crate, offer him an appropriate chew toy, such as a Kong stuffed with reduced-fat peanut butter, applesauce (no sugar added), or other delicious ingredients. Freezing the Kong will make it last longer. Better yet, offer the stuffed Kong only when puppy is in his crate. The goal of crate training is to teach puppy that he can entertain himself and be alone feeling stressed. It is important for puppy to sleep in his crate, and in bed with you. Some crying will be expected at first, but as long as you are sure he doesn’t need to potty, ignore his behavior. To help him feel a bit less stressed, try covering the crate with a heavy blanket and playing soft music, tucking a hot water bottle in a blanket (be sure he doesn’t chew it up!) and keeping the crate in the room you sleep in or within hearing distance. He does not need water overnight.
If puppy is having accidents in the crate, be sure the crate is an appropriate size He should have enough room to get up, turn around, and lay down. If he is still having accidents, you may be asking him too hold it too long, or his stress level is too high and he is unable to hold it. Crates are a wonderful training tool when used properly. Please discuss any concerns or questions with our staff!