How to crate train your new puppy

Poodle crate training Michelines pupsCrate training your new puppy will produce a content and secure canine companion.

Here are some tips on how to familiarize your pup with it’s new home away from home.

First, choose a crate that is big enough yet small enough that the pup won’t be wanting to soil his own living quarters. Some pups are just naturally cleaner than others, but it is important to set yourself up for success by choosing the right size.

It should be big enough that they can comfortably move around in and stand up and stretch.

Think of the pups crate as their own personal bedroom.

How would you like to go visiting someone you don’t know very well and are not given your own room to sleep in. Your clothes are everywhere and the sofa is where you will be sleeping while everyone moves around you. A bit unsettling, right?

This is how the pup will feel without a secure place he can call home.  For this reason it is important that the pup enjoy his new bedroom and that it doesn’t become a place of punishment.

For their own safety they need to be confined when you are away or otherwise preoccupied.

The biggest trick is to have them in and out of their crate several times a day. Not just when you leave or at night. Offer them a treat when they are asked to “get in the kennel” and make sure it is comfortable, clean and has a bone or toys to keep their mind occupied.

When you are eating, put the crate in the kitchen area and ask the pup to get in his kennel. He might fuss a bit at first, but soon will relax and sleep.

Pups need lots and lots of sleep to remain healthy.

Poodle sleeping michelines pupsNever remove the dog from its crate if it is pitching a fit. Wait a moment or two until there is some silence. You don’t want to reward bad behavior.

Depending on the situation, a light blanket over the kennel can make them feel more secure. I have also had this work very well if a dog is afraid of lightning. They like to feel secure and confined when there is a storm. That is why “Thunder Shirts” work so well.

If you are watching tv and cannot keep your eye on the pup put him in the crate.

The idea is to put them in their crate often, not necessarily for a long time.

This will allow you to get a better nights sleep.  There is nothing worse than putting the pup in the crate at night when they haven’t been in it during the day. This places unnecessary stress on the pup and requires you to have ear plugs to sleep.

Now let’s talk about where the crate should be placed.

Every situation and pup is different, but generally I would say to have the crate in the same room you are in with the exception of night time. Sometimes the dog will be more calm if the crate is in your room next to the bed.  But, if possible, at night I would leave them in a different room and here is why.

You will get a better nights sleep and the pup will learn to be content and secure in his own little bedroom away from you. This way when someone babysits him, the crate is a familiar and safe place. The pup will be able to rest easily and the care givers will be thrilled with a well behaved and QUIET dog.

Just remember, the key in all of this is for the pup to NOT see his crate as an area of punishment. Make it fun for both you and the pup.

You want him to be comfortable with his crate and to love his new little home.