Housebreaking your new pup can be a daunting task. It takes time and patience, but luckily there are various tools and techniques to aid us and our pups on this new adventure. Crate training is one of the most effective training techniques that when used properly, and can help teach our new family members how they should act in their new home.

photoCrates are a great training tool, and can offer sanctuary for your pup. The security of their own place helps them cope with the new atmosphere, and gives them a place to sleep and eat. Crate training is best to introduce immediately when a pup arrives home. A crate should normally be only large enough for them to sleep and eat, as it will help prevent them from using extra space to potty. When pups are young, they have great difficulty controlling their potty, so make sure that you let them have access to a potty area regularly. If they have an accident, it is very likely they will continue to use the same area again. If they look like their getting ready to poop or pee (sniffing, circling, and squatting) catch them quick before they deliver, or the pup’s young mind will begin to think that it’s okay to potty in the house, or in their crate.

Positive reinforcement should be their motivation, so don’t use the crate as punishment. Rather make it a fun place for them to be in. Toys, feeding time, and treats should be offered to them while they’re in the crate. It is best to place the crate in a familiar room where they can see you and observe you regularly, even if they are not permitted to interact.

Whiny pups? Yes, those rascals are going to whine when they can’t play with you. The crate is there to teach them the basics of the home, so if you take them out of the crate when they whine, you’ll end up teaching them that whining gets them what they want. Don’t reward whining- especially with attention. Try using a regular schedule of interaction by allotting them time in the crate, such as eating, sleeping, and even an extra hour or so during the day so that they can enjoy a treat or play with a toy. Dogs are animals that enjoy a schedule. Time, though the word means nothing to them, is of the essence. They know when it’s feeding time, sleep time, potty time, and play time. And a crate can help reinforce their routine.

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