If you have recently brought a new puppy into your home, you’ve likely started to think of all the ways that they need to be trained over time. Maybe you’ve decided to enroll them in puppy classes, or maybe you’re taking the time out of your day to train them on your own. Whatever the case may be, one of the best techniques for teaching your dog to self-soothe or deal with anxiety is crate training. Crate training is something that should be started as soon as possible after you bring your new puppy home for the training to be the most effective. Keep reading to learn more about what crate training is and how it can benefit both you and your dog over time.
What is Crate Training?
A crate should be a safe haven for your dog. It is a place where they can rest, escape the busyness of the house, or confront new situations or people with ease. If you introduce your pup to a crate early on, they will be set up for a lifetime of successful behavior. It’s important for your dog to be comfortable in their crate — if they are scared or anxious, you will likely find that training them is much more difficult.
Why is Crate Training Important?
Crate training doesn’t just make life easier for your puppy, it makes your life easier as well. There are a number of obvious benefits to having your pup get used to being in the crate, including the fact that it will make it easier to travel with them, keep them sequestered if you have to leave for a short period of time, learn to wait for potty breaks to go to the bathroom, and more. Crate training your puppy at an early age teaches them that the freedom to roam around is a privilege that they can only earn through good behavior.
How to Crate Train Successfully
The most important part of crate training is to make it a positive experience for your dog. You can give them treats when they go to their crate or even feed them their meals in the crate so that it becomes a comfortable place where they can relax. Make sure that everyone in the family understands the importance of crate training so that you all can be on the same page when it comes to caring for your pup.
Crate Time Depends on Age and Level of Training
Your puppy should be spending a great deal of time in their crate when you first bring them home. As mentioned earlier, it’s important to get them to understand that the freedom to roam is a privilege that must be earned. You can take them out of their crate for specific training times, like when it’s time to eat, or when it’s time to go to the bathroom. If you don’t have the ability to give them special attention when they are out of their crate, it’s best to keep them inside until you can focus on teaching and training or playing with them while they are out.
The older your pup gets and the more they start to behave well while out of the crate, the less time you need to keep them in there. As with any kind of training, it’s important to reward good behavior with something exciting such as treats.
Crate Training is Beneficial for Dogs of All Ages
As your dog gets older, it may not seem to need its crate anymore. However, the crate has likely become your pup’s safe haven, and if they continue to go to their crate to sleep or to relax, you can keep the crate out. No matter how old your dog may be, if they have been successfully crate trained, they will likely enjoy using the crate throughout the span of their life.
Consistency is Key
As with any kind of training, puppy classes, or even dog daycare, the key to success and good behavior from your pup is consistency. The more consistently you train or build a routine for your pup, the more they come to expect rewards or punishments based on their behavior. If you are looking for more tips for successful crate training, puppy classes, dog daycare, or anything else concerning your new puppy, be sure to reach out to your vet or local pet store today!