So you're considering going to the local shelter and getting a new puppy. You're probably also wondering if a dog crate is a good tool to use when housebreaking a puppy.
The short answer to that question is yes, a dog crate can be an excellent way to help house train your new pet. One of the first things to consider is the size of the crate you'll need. While your dog may be very small now, if it will grow to be over 60 pounds, you may need to consider a large dog cage
. During the selection process, keep in mind that you want to make sure your dog's crate has just enough area for him to stretch out, sleep, and be comfortable, but no more. A dog will try very hard not to soil his/her crate, since they do not want to sleep in a mess. If they have too much room, they can soil one area and then lay down in another. This defeats the purpose of using the crate for housebreaking your puppy. Many large dog crates come with a divider so that you can restrict the amount of space your puppy has when he/she is small. Then as the puppy grows, you can remove the divider to give the dog more space without having to buy a new crate.
The age of your puppy is also important when crate training. Ideally your dog should be at least nine weeks old before you place them into a dog crate for any period of time. If they're younger than that, the puppy may not have enough self control to stay in the crate without having an accident. After your dog reaches nine weeks, crate training can become a positive experience.
One method that we used to get our dog to go into the crate in the beginning was to throw treats into the crate and let him go in and retrieve them. He really seemed to like this game and it gave him a chance to go inside the crate without feeling threatened. Once our puppy was comfortable with this, we started closing the door for short periods of time. Please keep in mind that initially we kept him in the crate for only a few minutes. This allowed him to get comfortable in his new environment. It's always important to remember that a dog crate should never be used as a form of punishment. This will ruin the positive experience that your dog should have.
It is also important to try and keep your puppy on a schedule. Within five minutes of eating, your puppy should be taken outside. They need to go out again before going to bed in the crate. Also, as soon as you hear the puppy begin to stir in the morning, take him/her out right away. Most puppies will start to sniff the floor and may 'prance' when they need to go out. Do not delay in getting your puppy outside! Remember to praise your puppy when they do their business outside, but never punish a puppy for having an accident. The consistency of using a crate, keeping a schedule, and an alert owner should make housebreaking your puppy much easier.
When it came time for us to get our new puppy, I knew from experience and having done the research that the first two weeks were going to be very long and require lots of my time. I decided to take two weeks off of work so that I could get started training our new puppy and help him learn his way around his new home. I also decided to move the crate temporarily into our bedroom so that it was roughly an arms length away from where I would be sleeping. This allowed the dog to be in our room overnight so he would not feel lonely. There are other benefits to keeping the dog crate in your room. For one, when you are close to your dogs you can hear them when they wake up and start to stir. This can be a great indicator that it's time for them to go out. Another benefit is that they hear their new pack leader breathing and don't feel so isolated.
In an age when custom pet cages is increasingly important, the researchers believe manufacturers should pay close attention to their results.
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