Crate training is a popular method to housetrain your dog however, there are a few rules that must be followed in-order to have the most success. Crate training requires a commitment and a strict schedule.
Keep in mind, dogs are not perfect, so they will sometimes relieve themselves in places that you will not truly appreciate. It’s fine to show your disapproval immediately with words like ‘No’ and ‘Uh uh’ but do not become angry, shout or hit your dog as it is not the correct training method.
Your dog should not to be locked up for long periods of time. Allow the dog to come out, take him for a walk outside or just let him play. No matter what method of crate training you choose, bear in mind that it takes a lot of hard work, patience, consistency and commitment.
While some may think crate training is a cruel process, which is not required, this is not the case. In fact, research has shown that proves crate training is beneficial for your dog. Yes, the training takes a lot of time, but when the goal has been achieved, your dog finds a safe place, which he comes to appreciate and feel relaxed in.
Different Dog Crate Types
Remember that the crate should be big enough so that your dog can easily sit, stand and stretch out in it. But, ensure that the place is not big enough for him to use one corner to relieve himself and the other as a sleeping area. This being said, there are basically two types of crates normally used for the training process, wire mesh crates and plastic crates.
Wire Mesh Crates
Wire mesh crates, which we recommend, are chosen for dogs that prefer to see what is going on around them and for dogs that are to be kept in high humidity and/or a hot climate as wire mesh crates provide more ventilation.
You can get a wire mesh crate with an adjustable insert to reduce the crate space. Your also going to want to place something at the bottom of the crate to avoid rattling when the dog uses the crate. Some people also put a towel or a blanket over the crate to give the crate a den-like feeling for your dog.
Plastic crates are made of hard plastic and have a rigid outer shell with a wire door. These types of crates are best used for dogs that prefer to be in a safe den and tend to become restless when exposed to their surroundings. They also work quite well for dogs that suffer from any anxiety issues. In addition, plastic crates are a lot easier to carry from one place to another and are commonly used for traveling with your dog.
Plastic crates are also great for use outdoors. They tend to hold up much better in an outdoor environment then most of the metal crates will due to rust.
When crate training your dog, ensure you are not using a crate that has soft material on its sides. Puppies like to chew a lot and may gnaw their way out, destroying the crate in the process. Below are a few examples of the more common plastic crates. We have personally reviewed the NOZTONOZ Sof-Krate and really liked it. The Petnation Port-A-Crate and the Petmate Sky Kennel come highly recommend by some of our readers so we decided to include them here as well.
The Crate Training Process
Your life will become joyful and easy with your dog if he loves the crate that he is introduced to. The process requires you to:
- Begin with a nice and clean crate and place it in the middle of the room where your dog is to be kept.
- Place a brand new attractive toy inside the crate and leave the door open.
- Once your dog notices the toy he will sniff around and bring the toy out to play.
- Let him play with the toy for a little while and then place a food treat inside
the crate. Make sure your dog sees you placing the treat inside.
- After your puppy goes inside for the treat shut the door and wait for a few
seconds. Open the door for a few seconds and then close the door again.
Repeat the last step until your dog has been in the crate for at least 5 minutes. Also, don’t stay in front of the crate as your dog should not be able to see you. Its important that you don’t open the door for him to get out if he cries. Wait for him to calm down for a few seconds and then let him out.
In order to get your dog accustomed to the idea that the crate is a safe place, play with him near the crate while leaving the door open. He will go in and out of the crate whenever he wants to. Never use the crate to discipline your dog or else he’ll never feel comfortable making the crate his safe home.
Crate Training Schedule
As soon as your dog starts feeling comfortable in the crate, for at least half hour, you can leave him alone and go out for short intervals. Gradually increase the time but never keep your dog inside the crate for more than 6 hours during a day.
If you want to use this method to housetrain your dog, you should initiate the process as soon as you bring your puppy home. This training method is only effective if you work according to a planned schedule and stick to it.
In the daytime, a small puppy should be left in his crate only for a few hours. If you leave him in for too long he might not be able to control himself and you’ll end up with an accident. Only confine the puppy to his crate when you are home. Take him out every hour or two and after every meal for a few minutes. Take him to the place where you want him to relieve himself, and when he does, immediately praise him and
reward him with a treat.