Crate training is very effective in potty training puppies. However, housebreaking a puppy using the crate training method, like everything else, has its pros and cons. Your dog may protest to getting into the crate and staying in it at first. It’s also likely that she’ll whine and cry until she gets used to it. Giving in too soon will only teach her that with a little whining, she’ll get exactly what she wants.
How to Handle Crate Training When Your Dog Cries and Whines
Again, it’s common for your dog to cry or whine when the dog crate is introduced to her. It is imperative to let her settle down before she is let out. A good way to go about this is to keep her in the crate for less than 10 minutes until she has become accustomed to it, but ideally, placing her in the dog crate for less than 5 minutes and gradually increasing the time will probably be less stressful and easier for all involved.
If you feel or believe that your dog needs to relieve itself, let her out of the dog crate and take her outside. This is not the time to play. Give her a couple of minutes to eliminate, and then go back indoors. Your puppy may be the cutest, most intelligent and adorable little thing you’ve ever laid your eyes on, but letting her have her way will only cause you problems in the future.
Potty Training Puppies & Overnight Crate Training Tips
Crating the puppy overnight is good practice, but prepare to hear some crying for the first few nights. A good tip to help a puppy adjust to sleeping alone is to wrap hot water bottle in a towel and place it in the dog crate. The warmth emanating from the hot water bottle will make your puppy feel as though she’s not alone, as puppies in a new environment are simply adjusting to being away from their mommies and litter-mates. However, a puppy younger than 4 months will unlikely be able to sleep through the night without having a potty break, so you may have to take her outside at some point.
What to Do When Your Puppy Comes Out Of the Dog Crate
As soon as your puppy is let out of the dog crate, she needs to go for a walk in order to eliminate. Immediately, take her outdoors in the safety of your back yard only if she hasn’t been completely vaccinated and immunized.
Always keep in mind that the dog crate is there to serve a purpose and it is supposed to be her safe haven. If your dog is panicking inside the crate, it could lead to an injury, so it’s not exactly safe. Be there for her and help calm her. Also, make the crate safer and more comfortable with these tips.
The dog crate also helps the dog settle down. Eventually, she’ll use it to relax and even entertain itself when you’re not around. Ensure the crate is not being overused. She’ll need lots of breaks to get some fresh air, to interact with you, and to exercise.
The Pros and Cons of Crate Training
- Faster housebreaking
- Puppy is safer and more secure
- Your home won’t be damaged or destroyed
- Your puppy will feel comfortable in a “home of her own” as she would in her den
- Using the wrong size dog crate. It is cruel and inhumane if the dog crate size is wrong, namely too small!
- Behavioral issues will develop if your dog is left in a crate for long periods of time.
- Using the dog crate to punish your dog. It is cruel and inhumane if used as a form of punishment.
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