Why Is Crate Training Beneficial?
Crate training your new puppy or adult dog can help with other types of training and give your dog a safe place to call "home". Using pet crates can cut housebreaking time in half and is a perfect tool for overall pet training. A good pet crate will assemble and disassemble easily for ease of portability, provide proper ventilation and visibility. Also, your pet crate should have a safe and secure latching system and should be easy to clean.
Dogs in the wild live in a den which provides protection and a great deal of psychological satisfaction. All dogs, therefore, have a strong natural tendency to seek out this type of shelter.
In your home, if your dog has no place to call his own, he will make feeble attempts to curl up under a table, a chair or some other choice location. When you use a pet crate, you give your puppy a place to feel secure. He won't feel isolated because the pet home provides essential visibility and ventilation.
When using a pet crate, your dog's natural instinct to keep his home clean will usually prevent him from going to the bathroom inside the crate. When your dog needs to go, he will try to hold it until you can take him outside to the proper area. Try to take your dog to use the bathroom at the same time each day. This will teach him a schedule and help him eliminate accidents.
With a pet crate, your puppy will have fewer behavioral problems like excessive barking and chewing. But most of all, by providing him a safe and secure home, he'll be happier and more self confident.
How To Crate Train Your Dog
Step 1: Getting Your Dog Accustomed To The Crate
Once you have the pet crate assembled and placed in it's permanent location inside your house, encourage your dog to go into the crate on his own. If necessary, toss a little treat into the crate. Don't force your dog into the crate. Dog's may quickly back out or be shy, which is normal. Just take it slowly. Don't close the door behind your dog when first starting out. Let your dog go in and out on his own.
Once your dog is happy and unafraid of the crate, simply restrain him at the door with your hand. Make your dog stay in the crate for a few minutes, then gradually increase the amount of time and be sure to give lots of praise. Spend a few minutes each day for a few days giving short training sessions.
Once your dog is comfortable with this, simply restrain him at the door by closing the door, praising him lavishly. Soon your dog will be secure in his home with the door closed. Slowly, you can get further away from him, always praising his accepting behavior. Eventually, your dog should sit quietly and sleep in the crate with the door closed.
Step 2: Direct Your Dog's Elimination
Understand that little puppies need to “go” about every 2-4 hours. On a schedule, (such as after feeding, before bedtime, first thing in morning) let your puppy out, teach him the route to the door, praise him at the door and take him out to the part of the yard you want him to use. Very quickly, you are teaching him an elimination schedule that will stay with him for the rest of his life.
As your puppy gets older (4-6 months) you can gradually leave him in his home for longer periods of time because he can “hold it” longer. Soon he can be home in his home all day, if necessary, until someone arrives to let him out.
Crate Training DO's and DON'Ts
DO buy a pet crate large enough for your dog when he grows up. However, if the home is too big when your pup is small, he may eliminate in one corner, then go to another corner to sleep. Pet crate divider panels are available to solve this problem.
DO provide soft, washable bedding in the home so that it is comfortable and warm. Make the inside of the home as cozy as you can. Keep it clean and free of fleas. DON'T put "housebreaking pads" or newspapers in your pet's home. We are trying to take advantage of the pup's natural instinct NOT to go in his home.
DO supervise your pup anytime he is free in your home. Supervision is what allows you to direct behavior. Chewing, elimination, barking, and all other behaviors are dependent on your direction. If allowed to be unsupervised, he will begin to direct his own behavior and schedule. DON'T let your new pup roam through your house unsupervised. Keep an eye on him so that when he sniffs and circles (an indication he has to go) you can quickly and gently guide him to the door and outside.
DO get your pup used to his new home gradually. DON'T force your new pup into the home for the first time. Plan on taking plenty of quality time with him the first few days to get him accustomed to his new surrounding.
DON'T leave your very young pup in the crate all day. At 6 weeks a pup can hold his bladder about 4 hours; by 8 weeks, 5 hours; by 12 weeks, 6 hours and by 5 to 6 months an 8-hour work day. DON'T punish your puppy by forcing him into his home. Your pup's home should be his secure place, not associated with fear or anything negative.
This article courtesy of New World Pet.