How to use a crate:
Step 1 - Introduce your puppy to the crate
Make the introduction a positive and rewarding experience. Place the crate in an area where the family spends a lot of time. Set up the crate so that it is cozy and inviting. Bed, blanket or towel.
• Leave the door open and begin to play with your puppy in close proximity to the crate, while giving them plenty of praise and
maybe even a treat or two.
• Over several minutes begin to toss treats and/or toys just inside the crate door and allow them to retrieve them.
• Continue tossing treats into the crate until your puppy will walk calmly all the way into the crate to get the food. (This may take minutes or several days).
Step 2 - Feed your puppy his meals in the crate
Begin feeding them their regular meals near the crate. This will create a pleasant association with the crate.
• If your puppy is readily entering the crate when you begin Step 2, place the food dish all the way at the back of the crate. If they remain reluctant to enter the crate, put the dish only as far inside as they will go without becoming fearful. Each time you feed them, place the dish a little further back in the crate.
• Once your puppy is standing comfortably in the crate to eat meals, you can close the door. The first time you do this, open the door as soon as they finish. With each successive feeding, leave the door closed a few minutes longer, until they’re staying in the
crate for approximately ten minutes after eating. After this length time they may need a toilet break.
• If they do whine or cry in the crate, don’t let them out until they stop. You can do this by sitting by the crate and talking to them in a soothing voice. Otherwise, they’ll learn that the way to get out of the crate is to whine, so they’ll keep doing it. While they’re not in the crate, always keep the door open and bed inside. When they go inside for a toy or a nap, reassure and praise
NEVER force your puppy to go inside the crate. ALWAYS praise him when he goes inside on his own. It is extremely important to remember to never scold, punish or be angry with your puppy while he inside his crate. This is his “safe haven” and he must understand that when he is inside his crate, no harm will ever come to him.
Step 3 - Lengthening the crating period
Over time, and depending on your puppy’s age, the time they spend confined in their crate can be lengthened. It is best to start for short time periods while you’re home.
• Call them over to the crate and give him a treat.
• Give a command to enter, such as “kennel.” Encourage them by pointing to the inside of the crate with a treat in your hand.
• After your puppy enters the crate, praise them, give them the treat, and close the door.
• Sit quietly near the crate for five to ten minutes, and then go into another room for a few minutes. Return, sit quietly again for a short time, and then let them out of the crate.
• Repeat this process several times a day, gradually increasing the length of time you leave them in the crate and the length of time you’re out of his sight.
• Once your puppy will stay quietly in the crate for about 30 minutes with you mostly out of sight, you can begin leaving them crated when you’re gone for short time periods and/or letting them sleep there at night. This may take several days or several weeks.
Puppies under six months of age shouldn’t stay in a crate for more than 2- 3 hours at a time. They can’t control their bladders and bowels for that long.
At this point, you have completed crate training and your puppy is secure in his new home. A crate should never be overused. Puppies need plenty of exercise to be healthy and need to socialize with their family. Whenever possible, leave the crate door open and allow your puppy to be part of your pack (family).
Step 4 - Crate your puppy at night
Put your puppy in the crate using your regular command and a tasty Yours Droolly treat. Puppies often need to go outside to urinate during the night, be sure you can hear your puppy when he whines to be let outside. It may be a good idea to put the crate in your bedroom or nearby hallway. Time spent with your puppy—even sleep time—is a chance to strengthen the bond between you and your pet.