When it comes to dog training, you don't need to reinvent the wheel. Stick to the popular, tried and true dog training methods. Crate training has two primary benefits: first, it allows you to help potty train your dog so they don’t go to the bathroom in the wrong spot, and, second, it makes your dog happier and more comfortable with being in their crate.
Crate training your dog isn’t just so that you won’t be annoyed by whining and barking. Crate training helps your dog adjust to different situations, like riding in a crate in the car, sleeping in their crate, or waiting in the crate while company is over. When you're thinking of the best ways on how to crate train your dog, be patient and use some of these simple tactics to make the process work for you.
Part of a Complete Training
While crate training, you should also be working on a number of other things, like potty training, walking, and other obedience behaviors. This holistic training makes it easier for your dog to expect certain things from you in crate training.
Dog training basics can take time to perfect, so don’t get frustrated with your canine buddy if they don’t pick it up right away. The small investment of time now will pay huge dividends for your relationship with your dog and your dog’s overall quality of life. Dog training improves a dog’s quality of life by contributing to their mental stimulation.
How Long Does it Take to Crate Train a Puppy?
At this point you may be wondering, how long does it take to crate train a puppy? Puppies have a lot going on in their little lives, so crate training is just an extra thing to add to it. You may decide to crate train a puppy for anywhere from a few weeks to 6 months, depending on how consistently and good you are with the training. While training a puppy can take a great amount of time, quality training is one of the most important things that you can do for your dog while they are younger to give them a good quality of life when they’re older.
When to Stop Crate Training
Training your dog is important for a variety of reasons beyond simply making your life easier. Training your dog also improves their quality of life, because your pup becomes more confident in their behaviors. It makes your dog easier to interact with for both you and others, which improves the quality of interactions that your dog has.
When it comes to crate training, you'll know when to stop when a couple of different things happen. You’ll know that you've crate trained well when getting in (and staying in) the crate for an extended period of time is no longer an ordeal for your dog. Your dog should be able to remain content in their crate for extended periods of time without whining, barking, becoming nervous, or going to the bathroom. Proper training can help you achieve these things.
Steps for Crate Training
- Find a comfortable, appropriately sized crate. If your dog is in the wrong sized crate it may feel trapped or incredibly uncomfortable. Having the right size crate will go a long way.
- Create a comfortable space for your pup to lay. Repurposing a waterproof cargo liner to pad the bottom of the crate can keep your dog cozy (And leave you with an easy clean up if an accident does happen).
- Start small. Start by putting your dog in the crate for only 15 minutes or so. Leave the room for a minute. Give them a treat if they seem especially calm or quiet. Let your dog slowly get used to their crate space.
- If your dog seems especially uncomfortable, you can try to use soothing music or white noise to calm them down. Make sure they are at a comfortable temperature as well.
- Don't force it. If your dog hasn't seen you in a while, let them play with you and wear themselves out before they head into the crate.
- Gradually build up to longer times in the crate. You don't need your dog to remain quiet and patient in their crate for an entire night the first time you put them in. Don't be heartless. Negative reinforcement, like leaving your dog in the crate longer when they act unhappy, won't be effective in the long run.
- Eventually, try leaving the house for some amount of time, like an hour or so. Give them a treat and let them out when you return. By creating ownership for your dog over their space, you'll help them not use the bathroom while they're in their crate.
How to Crate Train a Dog for Potty Training
When you’re trying to potty train a dog and crate training them at the same time, there is a good amount of crossover between these two types of training. Crate training usually involves training your dog not to go to the bathroom, which involves training them not to go to the bathroom in a variety of circumstances.
When you’re potty training your dog, make sure to feed and give them water at regular times so that your pup gets used to their own kinds of cycles. The only kind of reinforcement that you should use for your dog at any age is positive reinforcement. Potty training a puppy and crate training them at the same time are helpful because puppies will show a strong desire to keep their own home(their crate) separate from their bathroom. Creating this ownership in your dog over their own crate is critical to maintaining healthy puppy behaviors.
Learn to pick up on the signals that your puppy needs to use the restroom. They may begin to pace or sniff the ground. Also if they seem uninterested in play or cuddling, they might have to go. When these signals happen, it’s time to grab your pup and head outside to let them relieve themselves. When you do go outside, you need to remain with your dog to make sure that they actually go. Once they do go, reward them with a treat very shortly after they finish so that they associate relieving themselves with a treat.
Remember that training with dogs is far easier when your furry friends are healthy and at ease. It is important that your dog stays comfortable during the whole crate training process. Anxiety and stress in your dog’s life can lead to undesirable bathroom behaviors, and make it extremely difficult to properly train your dog.
While it may be hard to hear your pup cry during the process, crate training your dog can bring you some peace of mind and reinforce positive behaviors in your pup.