Getting Your Pooch Starting with the Crate
Puppies are adorable, and at times, really quite a handful. They love to play, run around, or chew on as assortment of things they find interesting even it includes your valued belongs. In an instant when you take your eyes off them, they could knock something down and cause “small” accidents inside the house.
Or worse, if your pup is not properly trained, he may just pee or eliminate anywhere in the house, staining and leaving unpleasant odor on your carpets, furniture, or floors. Before this behavior becomes a habit it is very important that you train your pooch while he is still a puppy. One very common and effective method is by crate training.
Pick a nice crate for your puppy
First thing that you should do is to look for a particular crate that would totally suit your puppy and there is not shortage on the different kinds of crates you can buy. Depending on your preference, you can have one made of plastic, metal, or even wood. It’s a good idea to consider the qualities of each type of crate and remember that it should provide safety and comfort to your pet.
The most common dog crates are the wire crates, plastic crates, and soft-sided crates. Before you even try to put your pet inside one of these crates, you need to properly prepare the crate you have chosen. This means that you also need to buy nice bedding for the crate. The ideal bedding should be something that is comfortable and made of materials that would not be swallowed or easily chewed by your puppy. In addition, be sure to provide bowls where you could put water and food for your pet. You may also try to make your crate more appealing to your pet by putting some chew toys inside.
Introduce your puppy to his crate
It is very important to get your puppy to develop a positive connection with the crate. That is why aside from making the crate really appealing to your pet, you may have to set it up in a place where your puppy would not feel isolated and lonely. This means that you should put it in a place where the family usually gathers, or where people pass by such as the living room or the kitchen.
If you put the crate in a dark empty corner, the puppy would feel disconnected from the rest of the family and would probably think that the crate is just an object of isolation. If your puppy starts to feel negatively about the crate, it would be much difficult to make him comfortable inside it, which in turn, makes it impossible for you to house train him at all.
Make your puppy comfortable in his crate
Eventually, you want your puppy to become accustomed to being confined in his crate. You can do this by using positive reinforcement. The best way to do this is to drop some small “treats” around and inside the crate. Make it a point to praise your puppy every time you see him enter the crate on his own.
You can pat him, hug him, or openly reward him with treats on your hand. Always use a happy tone while you are doing all of these things. In case your pet misbehaves, or shows an unpleasant behavior, do not angrily confine him inside the crate as punishment. Using the crate this way would only make the puppy think that he is being punished whenever he is inside it.
It would take some time for your puppy to become accustomed to his crate, of course. You should try to increase the length of time that you put your pet inside the crate little by little. For example, if he willingly sits in the crate for 5 minutes after having his meal inside, you may try to do it a little longer next time around.
Don’t rush him into liking and accepting his crate right away. In the beginning, you should not leave your pet alone just yet. Make sure that your pet feels your physical presence by being near him at all times. When you feel that he is already well-accustomed to the crate, you should be able to leave him alone.
In a matter of days or weeks, repeating the above-mentioned steps should show some good results. Additionally, you may as well try housebreaking while crate training your puppy. Just remember to always use positive reinforcement when doing it.
Filed under: General Pet Matters
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