Crate Training

Key Points

  • – Placement of the Pen Den is VERY important
  • – There are Do’s & Don’ts as to what to put in it
  • – Pups should be allowed to get used to the Pen Den in their own time
  • – It is NOT a CAGE
  • – Dogs should never be left in pet dens for extended periods of time

Although the crate does have a door with which to shut the puppy in, it is wrong to think of it as a cage.  It is not intended as this and the pup should not come to regard it as such.  The crate should be thought of as the pup’s den – his security, his refuge and comfort.  The crate will satisfy his need for a den – a need inherited from his den-dwelling ancestors. The crate must always be a secure, safe area for your pup to enjoy: it should never be used as a punishment cell.

Placement of the Pet Den

They need to be near their family, be able to see what’s going on around them and feel like a part of things to live a fulfilling life.

Remember, being in a crate should be a positive experience and they should want to spend time there. It’s not a punishment, and locking them away in a crate in a quiet corner of an out of the way room will feel to them like they’re being punished, excluded and isolated.

So to keep your dog feeling part of things, place the crate in a busy area of the home, where they can see and hear what’s happening with their family. A corner of the family room, or in the kitchen are ideal places.

What do I put in the Crate

When many people consider what to put in a dog crate, they rightfully think to place in some toys.

There are many benefits to leaving two or three tough chew toys in the crate with your puppy:

  • – It provides something to occupy their minds, enriching what’s otherwise a basic, unexciting environment.
  • – It provides an alternative to chewing on bedding
  • – It teaches them that being in the crate is a time when they get some of their favourite things, increasing their enjoyment of the crate.
  • – It promotes good habbits and a chew toy obsession, lessening the likelihood of a preference to chew on your belongings when out of the crate.

How to Introduce Crates

The dog should be introduced to his crate carefully. It is essential that he regards it as his base in the house, little and often is best.

  • – Put his bedding on the floor of the crate, an easily washable type is best.
  • Enourage your dog to enter on his own accord, in his own time, putting his favourite toy my encourage him.
  • – Let him wander in and out for a while to accustom himself to the crate. Initially, every time he goes in he should be rewarded with praise.
  • – You can feed his meals in there and also provide a secured water bowl – especially overnight.

It is more settling for the dog if the crate is placed in a quiet corner of a room well used by the family, so they he does not feel isolated.

This MUST be a positive experience for the dog. He must never be forced in, nor the door shut to ‘trap’ him. The doors should only be used once the dog is comfortable going in and out of its own accord.

How long can they be crated?

The general advice we give is that you can crate your puppy for the hours equal to their age in months plus 1, for example:

A 3 month old puppy: 3 + 1 = 4hrs max.

The problem with the rules of thumb such as this, is that all dogs are different. Some puppies are avble to hold their bladder for 3 hours at 12 weeks, others are not.

So ensuring you don’t crate under 9 weeks, never exceeding 5 hours at any one time and taking into the account the fact puppies physical maturity varies, the best we suggest is the following:

9-10 Weeks old: Between 30-60 minutes

11-14 Weeks old: Between 1-3 hours

15-16 Weeks old: Between 3-4 hours

17+ Weeks old: 4 hours +, but never more than 5 hours without a good break!

And please, have your puppy out of the crate as uch as and long as possible. It’s a management tool and training aid, not a way of life.