You are about to bring home this adorable bundle of joy with that brand new puppy smell, thinking this is going to be your new BFF and forget to bring the most important thing with you. Instead the puppy is sitting on your lap for the entire ride home.
This is a common mistake and most of us don’t realize how important it is to have a training crate. This should be one of the very first bonding experience taught to a brand new puppy.
Most good breeders will use a crate during the birthing. As the puppies mature they will be living in the crate with the bitch. They continue to live in the crate as they develop.
The bitch will often leave to take care of her needs. Instincts kick in usually within 4-5 weeks and she will decide not to sleep with the litter. She will make infrequent visits for feeding and play time as she weans off the litter.
Good breeders understand puppies wellness needs change rapidly as they grow. So keep in mind if your pup was raised in a crate even more reason to continue.
- Dogs are natural-born cave dwellers, a crate is the most natural representation.
- Puppies like and need to have boundaries that teach them how to be safe, being left out in the open is scary and not familiar. The crate represents protection.
- Traveling crates are important for transporting your pup, as you will be making frequent visits. This teaches the puppy early on how to travel in a car without being freaked out.
- Crates help puppies feel a sense of place for relaxation and a safe place to retreat.
- A crate is a healthy way to teach a puppy how to be alone, when it’s time to come out and play, where to eat and sleep.
Wellness Crate Introductions
When selecting a crate make sure the size is correct and you will need to buy or make more than one crate as your puppy grows. The size should be big enough for the pup to stand up and turn around freely. If it’s too big or too small, it can lead to problems.
There are a variety of crates to choose from. A crate should be easy to clean and have plenty of ventilation. For traveling soft crates are great.
So let’s back up for a minute and start the right way.
When you pick up your pup make sure to bring a crate.
- Line the crate with newspaper or a towel, anything washable or disposable, as more than likely there will be some pee or poop on the way home.
- Load your pup in headfirst so they can see what is happening and praise in a soothing voice to let the pup know this is good. Set the crate in the back seat of the car.
- When you are home decide where you are going to set up a placefor the crate. It’s best to select a place where you want your pup to learn how to pee and poop. If you have a yard, place the crate near the closet door to the yard. If you live in a condo designate an area where the crate will be placed.
- The crate should have boundaries, meaning your pup should not be able to roam throughout the house. Make sure that this is stable, not something your pup can jump over of push down.
- Set up a drinking bowl a dish for food and few chew toys in the area where you have placed the crate. To help reduce peeing at night do not leave a water bowl down after 5:00 pm.
Wellness Crate Training Begins
Now the fun begins, take your pup out of the crate and leave the door open. This is time for your pup to experience the new surroundings. If the crate is soiled do a quick cleaning. Take a few pieces of the soiled newspaper along with a few new pieces of newspaper and place outside the crate in a designated area inside the boundary. This teaches the puppy not to soil the crate and where they can go.
If you have a yard you can take it a step further and take your pup into the yard just to get a sense of being outside bring alone a piece of the soiled newspaper with you and set the pup near to seek out the familiar smell. Yes you guessed it, this is the beginning step to teaching your pup how to pee and poop outside.
The most important detail is be consistent, as this will need to be repeated several times. Some breeds are faster learners than others. Puppies look for instructions, routines and praise. One more thing, dogs do things that bring them great pleasure. So when you are training it is vital that you train with affection.