Tips to avoid common crate training mistakes.
Mistake No.1 – Puppy associates crate as a negative place:
You only put your puppy in the crate when you need to leave the house: As dogs learn by both positive and negative associations which contribute to your puppy’s perception of life. The crate is no different. For effective crate training for your puppy only associates the crate with something your puppy perceives as being negative it’s highly unlikely he is going to desire to be left alone in the crate at all. Crate training your puppy is an essential part of basic puppy training.
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 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. Often times the puppy may sleep on the owners lap, or close by them. Something to consider – if everything “good” and “fun” happens outside of the crate its less likely your puppy will want to want to be crated.
Tip 2. – When you recognize your puppy needs to take a nap, he 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 kong is it allows your puppy to lick at the tasty treat. During the licking process it releases pheromones which help the puppy relax and feel better, even helps them fall asleep. This will help create an overall positive association being in the crate.
Mistake No. 3 – Closing the crate door too soon:
As many puppies resist going into the crate and most owners realize that they are pushed for time, they often grab the puppy, and trick him or her to go into the crate 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 until your puppy gains confidence to be left in the crate with the door closed alone.
NOTE: For safety reasons, it is highly recommended you take off any collars, leashes or harness before crating your puppy.
Always place safe items in the crate. I highly recommend KONG toys. Never leave chew bones with your puppy unsupervised.
In no time your puppy will find his crate a safe comfortable, relaxing resting place.
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