Each year, thousands of potentially good dogs are abandoned by their owners who were unable to deal with the behavior problems of their pets. Most of these owners had good intentions but did not have the right tools to effectively train their puppy. Used correctly, a dog crate is an excellent training tool that will give your dog an optimal opportunity to become house trained. Following this article will give you, the dog owner a successful sense of the crate training schedule.
Crate training – an act of responsibility and kindness, not cruelty
Some pet owners see the crate as a “jail” for pets. As humans who value freedom, a dog owner might see the crates as inhumane and do not want to subject their puppy to this “act of cruelty”. What these owners should ask themselves is what would you do with your child if he or she didn’t have a playpen or a baby crib to sleep in?
Professional dog trainers, exhibitors, breeder and anyone else that handles dogs on a regular basis, are using crates to effectively and humanely train their dogs. Even the dogs themselves see the crate as a place they can call their own. A crate is a place where the puppy can go when they just don’t want to be bothered and want to rest. Dogs naturally have a den instinct and the crate will satisfy this instinct for your puppy while also serving an awesome purpose when it comes to training. To you, it might seem like prison but to your dog, it’s her home.
The difference between using and abusing a crate
Now it’s important to understand that a crate should only be used in a proper situation. It is not to be used for a dog that is going to be left alone everyday for hours.
The crate should be in or as close as possible to his human companions. You can place the crate in the kitchen or family room and it should be in a corner to give the puppy a sense of security just like he would have in a den with his mother. If the corner is not possible, then place some towels on the sides and back (not front) of the crate. Make sure that the area is free from cold drafts or near a heat source that can get your puppy ill.
Crate Training Schedule for Your Puppy
A young puppy will usually adjust well to a crate and will see it as his own place where he can get some rest. Once you have the crate in its location, you need to provide bedding. Use a towel or a small blanket which you can wash should an accident occur. Also consider placing an old article of clothing that has your scent on it as this will help familiarize the puppy with your scent. Do not place food or water in the crate. Remember the crate is his bedroom and you do not eat in bed. Remember to remove his collar as it can get stuck on bars of the crate.
If you have children in the home, you have to make it clear to them that the crate is not a play area and when the puppy is in there, he or she should be left alone. What you will want to do however, is show your puppy that it is OK for people to reach in the crate at any time so the puppy does not become over protective of the crate.
Establish a crate routine or crate training schedule as soon as possible. You can place the puppy in the crate for 1 – 2 hour intervals. The best way to know when to place your dog in the crate is by letting her nap times guide you in establishing the routine. By crating your puppy when she is about to sleep, you will get her accustomed to her crate much faster than if you would if your puppy is hyper and wants to play.
Success with your Crate Training Schedule
Remember that your puppy might not be comfortable the first few days or weeks in the crate and you have to be consistent in order to see results. While not every dog will accept a crate, success rates are much better with puppies. If you stick with a crate training routine and despite all your consistent and firm effort still find that your puppy is not happy, then you should not force the dog into the crate.
For more great information on crate training visit the Humane Society website at http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/dogs/tips/crate_training.html