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Crate Training

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Introducing The Crate

When you take your crate home, place it in a location that is convenient to the door, but is not totally isolated. Your puppy should feel included in your daily activities, even when he's confined to the crate. Once in place, put some toys and treats in the crate and allow your puppy to investigate the crate on his own. When he enters it, praise him and encourage him to eat the treats inside. DO NOT CLOSE THE DOOR. Allow him to enter and exit freely. When he is starting to go in and out of the crate comfortably, close the door behind him and praise him, then release him after a few minutes. Encourage your puppy to lay down in the crate and nap.

Feeding

At mealtime, feed your puppy in the crate so he associates his new home with good experiences. It is best not to leave food and water in the crate for more than 15-20 minutes at each feeding. It can make quite a mess if your puppy spills it! A specific feeding period also helps to regulate bowel movements. A puppy who eats at regular intervals will also relieve himself at regular intervals. Leave only small amounts of water in the crate. This means less mess when the puppy spills the dish. It is also a good idea to have a few towels in the cage to help prevent a wet cage.

Overnight

At 2-3 months, your puppy may wake during the night to go out. By 3-4 months, puppies can sleep through the night. If your puppy whines and barks, you may try putting a T-shirt with your scent in the crate. A ticking clock or radio may also help your puppy sleep through the night. Be cautious when using any type of bedding in with your new puppy; if he doesn't go to the bathroom on it, he may chew it up. Make sure the bedding is replaceable and does not have filling. If your puppy is quiet most of the night and then wakes and fusses, you may want to take the puppy outside. If the puppy fusses continuously for long periods of time, ignore the behavior. By returning to the crate, you are giving the puppy exactly what he wants and he will whine twice as long the next time.

How To Use The Crate

Every time your puppy comes out of his crate, he should go directly outside. It is important to accompany him and praise him if he goes to the bathroom. If he does, allow him supervised freedom in the house for about an hour. If he does not, put him directly back in the crate for 5-15 minutes. Take him back outside. Repeat this process until he relieves himself. You should also use the crate anytime you are unable to supervise your puppy whether you are at home or away.

Additional Tips

Be sure to take your puppy out after he wakes up, extreme excitement, drinking a lot of water, prolonged chewing and play period. Also look for sniffing, panting, pacing and restlessness. If your puppy does have an accident, clean it up with an enzyme-based product that will eliminate the odor rather than cover it up.

 

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