Many PetParents choose to crate train their new puppies. It’s an effective way of encouraging potty training quickly, and can keep puppies out of trouble (and safe) while their owners are away. Crate training also gives your puppy a space of his own, and any children in the house should be told to leave the puppy’s crate alone. A crate can also become a place for your puppy to retreat to when he is tired or overwhelmed.
Dogs are den-loving creatures, so to many of them, a kennel is a natural fit. If you choose to crate train your new puppy, we suggest you have a crate purchased and set up before bringing your puppy home. See our new puppy checklist here for a full guide. It’s important to establish the ‘house rules’ with your puppy from the start. By letting your pup know what is, and isn’t allowed around the house, he’ll know your expectations and be ready to learn.
Having a solid feeding and bathroom routine with your new puppy is one of the best things you can do to set them up for success in their potty breaking. Crate training can help with this, because it encourages the puppies to ‘hold it’ until they’ve been released from the crate- and taken outdoors. If your puppy is going to grow considerably before full grown, you should purchase a kennel that will fit your dog when full-sized. Then simply use a box, foam cooler etc. to block off a portion of the kennel and allow him more space as he grows. This ensures the puppy will not sleep in one corner of the large crate and go potty in the other.
Tips for getting your puppy used to the crate:
- Feed your puppy meals in the crate- initially this is a great way to make positive associations with food
- Designate a few ‘special’ toys that your puppy enjoys and give these toys only when puppy is in the crate
- Stuffed Kong toys (see our recipes here) are a great way to keep your puppy happy, busy, and distracted during a stay in the crate
- Keep the crate in a quiet area of the home- it’s intended to be a relaxing den for your puppy.