1 White Rock Spring Rd
Holbrook, MA 02343
CRATE TRAINING & HOUSEBREAKING -1-
Probably THE MOST IMPORTANT piece of equipment you will ever buy is a dog crate. The dog crate has long been accepted, trusted, and taken for granted by dog show exhibitors, obedience & field competitors, trainers, breeders, groomers, veterinarians and anyone else who handles dogs regularly. Individual pet owners however, often reject the idea of a “cage” for their pet, because they feel that enforced confinement is “cruel” or a punishment. That is NOT the way that the dog feels when the crate is properly utilized.
The dog is a den animal ( like a wolf or a fox) and the safe enclosed shelter of the dog crate is a “security blanket” for the pup in the often bewildering world of humans. The dog is much happier and more secure having its life controlled by a human “pack leader”, and benefits by being prevented from causing trouble, rather than being punished.
The dog crate is a rectangular enclosure with a top, a bottom, and a door made in a variety of sized proportioned to fit any type of dog. Some are constructed of wire, aluminum or molded plastic. Its purpose is to provide guaranteed confinement for reasons of security, safety, and housebreaking, protection of household articles, travel, illness or just general control. A good quality crate will last almost indefinitely. It is escape-proof, non-chewable, easy to clean and well ventilated.
WHY USE A CRATE???
A dog crate, correctly and humanely used, can have many advantages for both you and your dog.
WITH THE HELP OF A CRATE:
You can enjoy complete peace of mind when leaving your dog in the house alone, knowing that nothing can be soiled or destroyed, and that your puppy or adult dog is comfortable, protected and not developing any bad habits.
You can housebreak your puppy or an adult dog more quickly by using the close confinement to encourage control, establish a regular routine for outdoor elimination, and to prevent “accidents” at night or when left alone. Most dogs will avoid soiling its den, if at all possible.
You can effectively confine your dog at times when it might be underfoot, at meal time, family activities, workmen repairing home, or when the puppy is not feeling well.
You can travel with your dog without risk of the driver being dangerously distracted. You can be sure that your dog will not get loose, and lost while in their crate. It is easier
to adapt to any strange surroundings as long as it has the security of his or her comfortable familiar crate.
Can easily learn to control its bladder and to associate elimination, only with the outdoors.
Can enjoy the privacy and security of a “den “ of its own to which it can retreat when tired, stressed or ill. Leave the door to the crate open, and your dog will go in at will.
Can be spared the loneliness and frustration of having to be isolated, in basement, garage, pen or another closed room, by having access to its crate.
Can be conveniently included in family outings, day trip visits, camping trips, instead of being left behind at home alone. The dog that is accustomed to a crate will adjust more readily to confinement at a veterinary hospital or a boarding kennel if necessary.
USE …BUT DON’T ABUSE
The use of a dog crate is not recommended for a dog which must be frequently and regularly left alone for extended periods of time. When owners are at work or school or off for the day, owners should make arrangement for someone to take the dog out for exercise at Midday. A crate should be used strictly for general confinement, housebreaking and a safe haven. DO NOT use the crate as punishment.
USING A CRATE TO ASSIST IN HOUSEBREAKING A PUPPY
A young puppy (7-16) weeks of age should normally have no problem accepting a crate as its own place. The puppy will often fuss when placed in a crate the first few times it is crated. Do not give in to this behavior. As with any other training, you must be patient and understanding. Your puppy is not protesting the crate, but the separation from you. Never break down and remove the puppy from the crate while it is carrying on, or you will be encouraging that behavior.. Sooner or later it will settle down, and then you praise your pup and take it out of the crate.
Do not put the pup in the crate for the first time, close the door, shut off the lights and leave the room. Help your pup adjust by feeding him in his crate, by staying close where he can see you and the family. Entice him to enter the crate and give him a treat when he enters. Do this periodically leaving the door of puppy’s crate open.
Make his area comfortable with some bedding, a rug, or a matt and a puppy safe toy to chew on or to play with.
Puppies have little control and will need to relieve themselves many times during the day. They need to be taken out of doors when they awake from a nap, right after
eating, or after active playtime. The numerous trips outside will become fewer as your puppy matures and gains control. Proper use of the crate method can have a healthy puppy housetrained quite well in three to six weeks.
1. Place the crate in a convenient location, out of the mainstream of activity, but where you can be aware if your puppy has awakened from his nap and signals to go out.
2. Establish a routine for yourself that takes the puppy’s needs into account. Meals should be fed on a regular schedule, so that the need to eliminate will be more regular & can be anticipated. Pick up the water dish an hour or two before bedtime, & the pup will not need to urinate as often during the night.
3. Establish a “crate routine” for the puppy, crating him at regular intervals during the day, and in the evening. A young pup will need to go outside every couple of hours and a couple of times at night. If you are using a large crate, you might want to put a plastic box, or a partition in the back half for a few weeks to fill up some of the space so that the pup doesn’t feel he has enough room to eliminate at one end of the crate, and make a den at the other end. Once a pup is over 12 weeks of age, you can start to increase the length of time he can stay crated.
4. Crate your puppy when you are not actively playing with or watching him. If you allow your puppy freedom of the house before he is fairly trustworthy, it is counterproductive and unfair. Not only will it make it impossible for you to be consistent in training, but your puppy may get into trouble. Puppies can get seriously burned chewing on an electrical cord, swallowing an object that could cause blockage of the intestines, chew on furniture or may get very sick if chewing on the leaves of a house plant. Many common house plants are POISONOUS.
5. When your puppy has to go out, Pick him up, Take him outside on a 6 foot leash, go to the spot you would like your dog to habitually eliminate and stand still. Do not speak to the puppy except to say “ hurry hurry” Let your pup sniff the ground, but you must not move, your puppy will sniff around and when there is nothing more to sniff he should eliminate. Praise him when he has finished. If when you re-enter the house & he eliminates in the house then, you probably didn’t wait until he was finished. During this housebreaking time, you may find yourself outside in the rain & the cold, but it will be worth it in the end when he is completely trustworthy.
6. NEVER discipline your puppy for an accident in the house, if it happens you were not paying close enough attention. If you catch your puppy in the act, gently scold(voice tone change) him, pick him up and take him outside to the puppy’s special spot. The Habits you are developing during the first few weeks, can make the lifetime more enjoyable for your puppy and the family.