That new puppy is cute and cuddly. But, cute only goes so far when he begins to chew and tear into your new furniture or your shoes. To make him stay in one place when you need him to, you should begin with a puppy crate training.
Before you begin, get it in your mind that crate training is not barbaric. Without training of any kind, your puppy will grow into a wildly undisciplined dog. It may be cute as a two-month old pup but it will get old really quick when you have to apologize for his behavior.
Dogs also require repetition in order to learn. They will get what you are trying to teach them eventually, but you have to be quite methodical in the beginning. Familiarity also makes them feel comfortable and safe in their new home.
Choosing the right crate to use is important. There are wire ones and plastic ones. Wire crates work well for dogs with long hair and in warm climates. It allows for adequate ventilation so puppy stays comfortable.
Plastic crates are good for travel and in cooler climates. It stays warm and keeps puppy secure in the car, train or plane.
One thing that all crate trainers need to remember is that size does matter. A crate need only be big enough for your puppy to turn around and stretch. Partitions made of wood or plastic can reduce the size of big crates if you want to take into account puppy’s eventual adult size. If you give puppy more room than that, he will use the bathroom in there instead of outdoors.
Dogs love to be around people. Begin by placing your crate in the family room or other area where your family spends most of their time together. Using a wire crate at this time allows puppy to see his surroundings.
Introduce your puppy to the crate. He may not go in there by himself so heíll need an incentive. Use chewy dog treats to lure him in for a closer look. Let the aroma waft just a few inches in front of him. When he is within spitting distance, place the treat in the crate. Praise him every time he goes in.
You can also feed puppy in the crate. This encourages him to stay inside and is easier cleanup for you. Close the door behind him. Open the door when he is almost done eating. If he comes out close the door again. Open it only if he wants to be let back in to finish eating.
When he is used to being inside give him more incentive for staying in the crate with the door closed. Use a chew toy to entice him in the crate. Close the door for no more than a couple of minutes each time. Call him to come to you when the door is open. Let him return and repeat the process again until he is comfortable with the door closed.
Crate training keeps puppy safe when you are not at home and still lets him interact with the family.