Many people have a misconception of crate training puppies. They see it as punitive and feel that they are locking the dog away. However, crate training is one of the safest places for your new puppy and will drastically speed up his training. Dogs have a natural instinct to place themselves in a den and a crate is the closest simulation of that for the modern home.
If you use a crate, leave the door open and your puppy will go to it when he is tired or if he is frightened or confused. While a crate is your puppy’s safe zone, don’t overuse it or leave him in it for hours on end. Do not let your puppy out if he starts barking. If you do, that will reward him for that behavior. Instead, wait until he is quieted and then let him out. Once he is comfortable with the crate, you can leave him in it for a few hours at a time if you are away.
Before you bring your puppy home, have the crate assembled and placed where you want it to be. It should be in a place where your puppy can participate in family life and will not feel isolate; however, it should not be in a high traffic area. The most common place to put a dog crate is near a door in the kitchen so the puppy has easy access to the outside for a potty break
After bringing the puppy home, let him roam inside the house and look for the crate. If the door to the crate is open, the puppy will probably start walking in and out. Put a toy or treat inside to encourage him to enter. When he goes in the crate, praise and reward him.
Praise your puppy if he stays in the craft on his own. After he gets into the habit of doing so, put a new treat or toy inside as a reward. Once he is comfortable, close the crate door and watch his reaction. If he begins to get upset, talk to him and comfort him but don’t take him out immediately. Wait for him to settle down instead.
Crate training puppies is well worth the effort to train him to do so. He will have a safe place to retreat to when company is over, on trips, or when he isn’t feeling well. A crate can be a valuable aid and resource when training your dog.