So What is Crate Training?

Crate Training is defined as:

House breaking your puppy by confining him to a small kennel or crate when not actively supervised.

How does it work?

How to House Train a PuppyDogs don’t normally use their sleeping area as a toilet. By restricting your pup to a small area where she sleeps you can cash in on this instinct to ‘hold it in’ until she’s out of the crate.

The crate has to be the right size, if it’s too big and she can make a toilet area and a sleeping area. It does need to be big enough for her to stand, stretch and lie down when she is an adult. You may need to start with a temporary partition in the crate. If she is a very little pup a cardboard box inside the adult crate may suffice.

House Training with a Crate.

Consistency is the key here. You have to keep you pup in his crate unless he is asleep, eating, playing with someone or outside going to the toilet. Letting him roam around the house alone will only encourage him to form the habit of weeing inside. It’s far easier to form a good habit than to break a bad habit.

Schedule your puppy’s day:

Write the schedule up and stick it on the fridge, use the kitchen timer if necessary to remind yourself.

Below is a sample schedule:

0700 Outside toilet break – Supervised. Praise, Pat and Reward good results

0725 Breakfast

0745 Outside toilet break

0750 – 0830 Playtime with humans.

0830 Outside again

0830 – 1100 timeout in his crate

1105 Outside toilet break

1110 – 1230 Playtime with humans

1230 Lunch

1245 Outside toilet break

1300- 1530 Nap time in the crate

Repeat this for the rest of the day until a final out break before bed.

Learn How to Train your German Shepherd to stop barkingHouse breaking using this method may take a couple of months, you should be able to judge when you puppy is ready to be out of the crate for longer periods without having an accident.

Your pup may not be too impressed the first couple of times he is left alone in his crate. You will have to harden your heart and withstand the whimpering and whining. Ultimately your dog will come to love having a private place to go where he can have some down time and be alone. If you have kids they need to know to leave Rover alone if he has gone into his crate voluntarily.

If possible have the crate in the busy part of the house. Don’t banish your dog to another room where he will feel isolated and left out of the family.

Make sure the crate is a fun place to be. Put some toys there to play with and make sure it is well padded with a cushion or a coupe of thick blankets, leave the door open unless he is inside.

Useful Puppy Toilet Facts

Because puppies only have small, weak bladders and bowels, like kids, when they need to go they NEED to go. It’s vital therefore, that he goes outside the instant he wakes and within 10 minutes of eating or playing. He’ll soon learn let you know he’s ready by pawing the door and whining.

Sniffing the ground and circling are other signs he needs to go outside. Be quick – as soon as you see this behaviour get him outside, you won’t have long to avert an accident.

To calculate the maximum hours you can leave your pup alone in his crate, by adding 1 to his age in months. Thus, a 4 month old pup can be left for 5 hours. This should be the maximum and not the norm, ideally he should be released every 2 hours for psychological and physical well being. This, of course, does not mean you wake him if he’s snoozing.

Further Reading

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