ARTICLES & ADVICE
FAMILY HISTORY & GENEALOGY
(also called cages and
kennels) are the best and safest way to raise a puppy. If
you have never used a crate while training
a puppy, you may initially be opposed to the thought of crating your
after using a crate you'll discover that your puppy loves the crate and
helps with housebreaking, traveling and keeping you sane.
Dogs are den animals and really like having a place of their own. Think
crate like a dog apartment in your home. This is a place for pooch to
from the confusion in your house and know it is in a safe haven. The
as a secure place and safe haven that your dog understands from the
of his wild ancestors. Remember not to anthropomorphize your feelings
confined space. Dogs love to den and the crate is an excellent solution
A crate allows you to train your puppy and have control over pup when
not at home. Pups left home alone with too much roaming ability can
anxious, lonely and bored, all of which can lead to disasters in your
for your pup. Think about it in human terms. If you had an infant
around the house, would you leave the baby unattended and go do
The same applies for your puppy, safety first!
By using a
crate, you create a
positive behavioral pattern which enables the relationship between you
dog to develop and grow in a positive manner.
Some additional benefits of crate training your dog:
eliminates house training
problems and "accidents" in your house.
- Saves you
money in repairing and replacing damaged household items and furniture.
that your puppy will learn good habits.
the chance that you will give up your puppy because you can't deal with
are many styles of crates available for your companion. You will most
start with a wire or plastic crate. Wire crates offer plenty of
a good view of pup's surroundings. Plastic crates also have good
and can be used to ship dogs on airlines. Some newer style crates are quite attractive and can
home's décor and even become part of your furniture.
for Crate Training
- Have a
positive attitude toward crate training. You are helping your dog and
doing them a favor by using the crate. A crate trained dog is more
confident, more secure, has less stress and is a more functional member
of your family.
- Use a
crate that will be the correct size for your adult size dog to stand
up, turn around and lie down inside. If your pup will grow to be a
bigger dog, create a smaller space for pup now by sliding in a piece of
heavy cardboard or Masonite about half way back in the crate. When pup
gets bigger, simply remove the divider and the crate will be the right
- Keep your
crate in a semi-private space in the people part of your house like the
kitchen or family room. Make sure your spot is away from drafts and
before bedtime, place your pup in the crate and give a treat. Close and
latch the crate door.
start a routine with your puppy learning to use the crate for nap time
and whenever pup must be alone for 3-4 hours. Once you get back,
immediately take pup from the crate to your outside bathroom spot and
praise for elimination, and then go immediately inside. Your puppy will
quickly pick up on this association and will learn house training quickly. Your
relationship with your pet will be enhanced if you provide consistent
your dog to accept crate confinement is not cruel. There are several
schools of thought on how to train your dog to the crate. I’ll include
some options here and you can determine what is most appropriate to
your training style.
- Start by
putting some treats or kibble in the crate so your dog finds them and
thinks happy thoughts. Next feed your dog inside or near the crate,
again creating positive experiences. Then start adding some time in the
crate between feedings. We provide safe
chew toys in the crates for the dogs to have something to do. Remember
this is about building positive associations with the crate.
- At the
first sign of separation responses like howling or barking, intervene
with a sharply raised voice. The idea is for your pup to associate his
barking and howling to the sharply raised voice. Some pups will not
respond to the sharply raised voice, most will respond to the shaker
can (Altoids tin or coffee can with some coins inside works great) or a
newspaper or fly swatter slapped sharply against the crate door. As
always, NEVER hit your dog.
majority of puppies will quiet down after 3-8 attempts at emotional
responses. Once your puppy quiets down, keep him in the crate for an
additional 10 minutes. Do not praise the puppy immediately after
releasing it from the crate as you don't want pup to think getting out
of the crate is the desirable behavior.
about 30-45 minutes, repeat the procedure of putting pup in the crate.
Extend quiet time to around 30 minutes, then gradually extend your away
time and in a very short period you will be able to be gone for several
- Line your
crate with some type of soft bedding material. There are ready made
crate pads or even a towel or old blanket will suffice. Make sure pup
has one safe chew toy in the crate. Other than treats, don't put food
or water inside the crate. Remove collar and tags when crating your dog
to prevent accidental entanglement. We like Primo Pads for home and on the road.
your secure happy dog will help you to be a secure happy owner.
1985, I got
a handout on crate training. I have included the order information from
back of the handout in case you want to follow-up.
A Pet Owner's Guide to the Dog Crate by Nicki Meyer.
Contact information is:
Nicki Meyer Educational Effort, Inc.
31 Davis Hill Road
Weston, CT 06883