Crate Training: VERY Important!
The purpose of a crate is:
N OT to confine a puppy in a small area for hours upon hours at a time. Before you crate train, please, please understand that a dog that is left in a crate all day long, gets let out in the evening after work for a few hours and put back in the crate for the night will become neurotic, destructive, unhappy and noisy. This is NOT how to crate train a puppy and is very cruel! This will only create a very unsociable and poorly adjusted animal. A puppy needs to be part of your family, and needs to be out and interact with you. If you work all day, it is recommended that you find someone who can take your dog out for a long walk in the afternoon. If this is not possible only use the crate at night. If you must leave your dog all day long every day and you have nobody to let the dog out during the day, you should find a room without a rug like a laundry room, bathroom or a section of your kitchen, put down Pee pads or newspaper, food, water and toys. You should set up the room so that the bed and food are at one end and the pee pads at the other. Spread the toys in the center of the room. They need to find something to occupy their mind, so give your dog plenty of toys. It is said that dogs are den animals and like the security of a crate, but even a den animal would go crazy if it was locked up all day long.
Y ou must be willing to invest time and energy for just a few short weeks in house training. The effort you put in now will last for the rest of your pet's life.
The crate training method is as follows:
B uy a crate and for the first 3 to 4 weeks keep your puppy in it when you are not with him. Please do not leave him in it for more than 3-4 hrs at a time, he will not be able to hold it any longer than that. Make sure the crate is not too big or too small. It should be large enough for the puppy's bed, but not too much larger. Dogs do not want to soil their bed and the use of a crate teaches them to control their urge to eliminate. You must maintain an eagle eye at all times. As soon as you see him pacing, sniffing around, and turning in circles, immediately take him outside. He is telling you "I am going to go pee pee somewhere, and this carpet looks like as good a place as any." And, NO, you do not have time to put on your shoes, just go! Be patient and do not rush puppy. He may have to go several times in one "pit stop." Try to give him 10 - 30 minutes before taking him back inside. Do not play with him while you are on this mission. Let him know this is a business trip. Make sure you take him out after every meal and play session BEFORE you put him back in his crate. Be consistent and establish a schedule. Pay attention to your puppy's behavior so you can develop a schedule that works for you and the pup. When does your puppy naturally defecate? In the morning? 10 minutes after eating? Around bedtime? You may have to make some compromises. Be fair to your puppy. He cannot be expected to stay alone in his crate for more than a few hours and not relieve himself. Make sure everyone who is involved in the housebreaking process is using the same spot in the yard and the same word. Everyone should agree on the place they will take the puppy. The odor from the previous visits will cause the puppy to want to go in that spot. Use a simple word like "outside" when taking your puppy to the chosen spot. Use this word consistently and later this word will help build communication between the family and the dog. When you notice him going toward the door and you say "outside" he can say "Yup, thatís where I need to go," or, "Forget it. I am getting back up on the couch for a nap."
R emain firm and consistent, and before you know it, you are going to be able to trust and communicate with your new pet. And he will learn that when he pleases you by going out to do his business, he gets more freedom in the house.
Here is a link to a short video on crate training. Click on the little picture below.