Mistake No.1 – Puppy associates crate as being a negative place
You only put your puppy in the crate when you need to leave the house: As dogs learn by both positive andnegative associations which contribute to your puppy’s perception of life. The crate is no different. If your puppy only associates the crate with something your puppy perceives as being negative its highly unlikely he is going to desire to be left alone in the crate at all.
Tip 1. – Always associate the crate with something positive, feeding all meals in the crate is a great way for your puppy to quickly learn the crate is associated with eating meals.
Mistake No. 2 – Puppy not spending enough time in crate
Most puppy owners often allow their puppies to spend the majority of his or her day loose in the house or in a large exercise pen or gate area of the house where the owners spend time playing and engaging with the puppy. The puppy often even sleeps on the owners lap, or close by them. The contributes to the puppy feeling secure outside of the crate with their owners close by and in fact is learning that he or she gets security from people being around. Additionally if everything “good” and “fun” happens outside of the crate its less likely your puppy will want to want to be in a crate.
Tip 2. – When you recognize your puppy needs to take a nap, your puppy should be placed in his crate, always remembering to place a stuffed kong or bully stick (always supervised) in the crate with your puppy. The reason I recommend a stuffa kong is it allows your puppy to lick at the tasty stuffed treats, during the licking it releases pheromones which help the puppy relax and fall asleep. Your puppy will now being to associate the crate with displaying calm, relaxed behavior.
Mistake No. 3 – Puppy owners close the crate door too soon
As many puppies resist going into the crate and most puppy owners realize that they are pushed for time by the time they are ready to crate their puppy, which results in grabbing the puppy, pushing into
the crate and quickly slamming the door behind. This “method” often ends up teaching the puppy not to trust you coming towards him, as its likely you are going to be physically putting him in the crate closing the door and leaving him alone.
Tip No. 3 If its necessary to physically pick up your puppy and place in the crate, always remember to drop yummy treats in so your puppy can follow the treats and volunteer himself to go into the crate. Then include adding his favorite tasty food filled enrichment toys to encourage him to want to be placed in the crate and stay there. However my recommendation is encouraging your puppy to enter the crate and resting there initially with the crate door open, once your puppy is relaxed in the crate you can being to close the crate door for short periods of time. Always staying close by unlit your puppy gains confidence to be left in the crate with the door closed alone.
NOTE: Its highly recommended you take off any collars and do not put your puppy in the crate with leashes attached for fear of the collar or leash betting tangled in the crate and harming your puppy.
Always place items in the crate that are crate safe, I highly recommend KONG toys. However if you are home and are placing your puppy in the crate you can provide your puppy with chew bones. Always ensuring you supervise your puppy and such items are removed if your puppy is going to be left alone.
In no time your puppy will find his crate a safe comfortable, relaxing resting place.