Crate Train a Dog


Why is Pet Crate Training Important?

Why should you crate train a dog? Pet crate training is important for a variety of different reasons.

What is a Dog Training Crate?

Extremely helpful for puppy crate training, a dog crate is an enclosure with a top, floor and four sides.

One of the sides contains the door. It can be made of metal, molded plastic, wire, wood, or a combination. They can also be collapsible. You can find them at most pet supply stores.

A crate provides a short term area for confinement.

What is Crate Training and Why Is It Important to Crate Train a Dog?

Especially helpful in housebreaking, crate training a dog is extremely useful for:

  • general control
  • housebreaking
  • illness
  • protection of your belongings
  • safety
  • travel

Experts Agree on Crate Training Dogs

Dog crates are accepted, trusted and routinely used by:

  • Breeders
  • Dog show exhibitors
  • Field trial competitors
  • Groomers
  • Obedience competitors
  • Trainers
  • Veterinarians

Most people who regularly handle dogs agree that the crate is an important and useful tool. Some would say it is as important as a leash.

It is normally the individual dog owner that is against the idea of crate training.

Isn't it Cruel?

Some people view a crate as unfair confinement. Or perhaps harmful to the dog.

But ask any parent how they would have fared without a playpen or crib for their child.

When you properly crate train a dog, she will view the crate as her own space. This is where she will go to feel safe and secure. Where nobody will bother her.

Crate Train a Dog - The Benefits

A crate will limit your dog's access to the house until she learns the rules of the household. This will keep her from chewingyour prized possessions.

It also helps with housebreaking. Dogs are den animals and do not like to soil where they sleep. And a crate will prevent her from eliminating on your floors until fully housebroken.

Crate Train a Dog

A crate will serve as an area to confine your dog when she may become underfoot. Such as during mealtime or when you have guests. Or keep her confined when you bring her somewhere that she cannot roam freely.

The crate can be used to safely transport your dog. You can keep your full attention on the road, knowing that she won't be thrown around the car should you have to brake suddenly.

With proper introduction to a crate, your German Shepherd will view it as her den - a safe place. She will be happy to spend time there.

Crate Training Puppy - Crate Use vs Abuse

The crate should be kept in the center of activity in your house. Your dog is a pack animal and needs to be with her family. Don't use it as solitary confinement.

When crate training puppies, make sure the crate is large enough for your dog

  • to stand up
  • turn around in
  • fully stretch out

For large breed dogs, such as German Shepherds, get a crate that will accommodate her as an adult. When you crate train a dog, until she needs the full crate block off unused space so she cannot use one end for a potty.

If you're not sure what size crate to get, always opt for the larger one. It's much better to have a crate that is too large than one that is too small. You can always section it off.

Your dog must be well exercise before and after crating. Remember to include play time, training time, and a time to enjoy relaxing with the family.

How to Crate Train a Puppy

Normally, a young puppy (under 16 weeks) will welcome a crate as being her space. If she seems upset, it is normally because she is adjusting to the new restrictions in an unfamiliar environment. Crate training a puppy dog will keep her from being overwhelmed. She will adjust to her new world one small step at a time.

Place a towel or some washable bedding in the crate. You may also find it useful to put something in there with your scent on it, such as an old T-shirt. This way, your dog will more quickly become familiar with you and your scent.

Do not place food or water in the crate. Your puppy will spill the dishes and she should not become accustomed to eating in her room.

While the crate is indeed, her room, make sure that she does not become overprotective of her den. Get her used to you reaching into the crate.

Establish a routine immediately by closing her in the crate at regular intervals for an hour or two at a time. Use her nap time to help you decide when these times should be.

Remove her collar when she is crated. This may keep her from getting hung up on the crate, depending on which type you have.

Remember that she normally slept all cuddled up with her siblings. To help get her through the night, it may be helpful to place a ticking clock in the crate, wrapped with a towel. The ticking noise will help comfort an anxious puppy that misses her brothers and sisters.

She will probably not sleep through the night, just yet. If you are not used to getting up for midnight potty breaks, you may want to keep her crate in an enclosed room, such as a bathroom or laundry room. This way, you can leave the door open with newspapers nearby so she can relieve herself without soiling her crate. Once your puppy has developed bladder control, she can be crated all night.

At around 5 to 6 months of age, she should be past the teething stage. At this point when you crate train a dog, you can consider leaving the crate open at night.

Crate training older dogs is also helpful. Use the same process for puppy crate training.

Crate Train a Dog - Consistency is Key

Crate training a dog is a helpul first step in overall dog obedience training. Be consistent with your puppy and she will soon adjust to her new routine.


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