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Dog Training Survey- Interesting Results

Dog Training Survey- Importance Of Training

I was recently asked by www.pet365.co.uk to review some of their info graphics.  When you head to the site you’ll see that they’ve got all sorts of graphics from dog training to dog health to pet products and more.

I gave a quick visit and the graphic that stuck out to me was a dog training graphic that showed the results of a survey of dog owners.  The survey was taken from over 1000 dog owners from all over the world.  The survey asked about various dog training questions and some of the results surprised me.  The results of the survey are shown on the graphic below:

Dog Training-The Results Of The Survey

Dog Training Information
Dog Training graphic created by Matt Beswick for Pet365. Click here to view the full post.
What do you think of the data collected?  I’d love to see your comments down below this post.  There were several things that surprised me quite a bit:

Dog Training- My Thoughts On The Results

  • About half of the respondents admitted to have never taken their dog to a dog training class.  My first thought about this was actually a selfishly positive take on this.  I thought, “Wow, look at how many people DON’T invest in training their dogs.  That means there are TONS of people who I can go after to buy various dog training services and dog training products we offer.  I got to thinking, though, that this was also a sad statistic.  I’m not saying that everyone needs to invest in a dog trainer but the reality is that most dogs who go to qualified training end up being happier, better balanced, and have a better quality of life.  It made me sad to think that about half of dogs are missing out on that.
  • Along with this first stat that caught my eye I found it interesting that close to 100% of the respondents claimed to be doing some training with their dogs in their home.  Simple math tells me that half of those are training without the aid of a trainer.  What that means is that they are going it alone.  Again, I’m not saying that everyone NEEDS to have a dog trainer handy.  In this day and age, though, there is no reason to go ANYTHING alone.  If you want to figure out which plants grow best in your area you don’t have to do trial and error, somebody already figured that out.  If you want to craft a table in your garage there are already people who have figured out how to do that.  And when it comes to training your dog there are already thousands of professionals who have figured out some of the best ways to get the job done.  Why would you ‘go it alone’ when there are so many resources out there?  Every day I read and accept the comments onto this website and people talk about the problems with their dogs and they talk about what they are doing to try to fix those problems.  In most cases they are doing things so unbelievably wrong that I wonder how it occurred to them to try those training methods in the first place?  So while I know that the average dog owner is attempting training in their home I’m also dismayed to learn that most of them are doing so without a strong foundation in understanding the dog mind.
  • I found it interesting that 90% of the respondents claimed that their dogs know ‘sit’.  I always facetiously comment to my clients ‘why bother teaching the dog sit?’  In reality I do think that a dog should understand the command ‘sit’ but in the grand scheme of things it is probably the least valuable dog obedience command out there.  What good does it do you if your dog sits?  Now, if your dog lies down and stays for 5-30 minutes that solves some problems.  If your dog comes when called or doesn’t pull on the leash that helps you out.  But a dog that sits really doesn’t do a whole lot to improve your life or your dog’s life.

Overall, I found the data interesting.  I see that the trend is that people understand the need for solid training and they are attempting to do it.  Unfortunately, I still think that many go about this task the wrong way but it’s good to see the ‘dog culture’ changing for the better.

How To Teach A Puppy To Focus On A Walk

How To Teach A Puppy To Focus On A Walk

The following is a question from one of our readers:

Hi Ty! 

I have a 4 mnths Rottie (Rottweiler) female. She is a quick learner and we practice on the generals like, sit, come, down etc.

One problem is to keep the dog’s attention when we are out walking.  It is probably because she is so young and everything is new to her but her attention is on whatever is in sight or in her nose.  To make her go by my side without pulling the leash is sometimes a little difficult.  Do you have any advice on how to get the puppy’s attention and obedience in those situations?


How To Teach A Puppy To Focus On A Walk- Resources

How To Teach A Puppy To Focus On A Walk On Youtube
If you want to know how to teach a puppy to focus on a walk there are a few resources below that you can use:

This is my crazy man method for loose leash walking.

This DVD program gives big detail into loose leash walking, coming when called, staying when told, etc.

The reality is that if you are going to teach a puppy to focus there are really only two ways to do it:

  1. Through compulsion.  Compulsion means correction.  In this context it would mostly be referring to some sort of leash correction, tug on the leash, etc.
  2. Through motivational techniques.  Whether you are referring to verbal and physical praise, treats, or toys it is possible to train a dog to focus using just motivational techniques.

How To Teach A Puppy To Focus On A Walk- I Don’t

The reality is that I rarely train a dog that young to focus.  The reason is two-fold:

  1. Puppies have their heads in the clouds.  They aren’t mentally ready for a great deal of focus.  Yes, they are smart and they can pick things up quickly.   But they’ve got minds with next to no attention span.  Trying to train a puppy to focus with compulsion means that you have to use an awful lot of compulsion.  I don’t like that.  Once a dog gets to about 6-7 months of age they are usually able to focus better and now in the space of 10-15 minutes I can have a dog paying attention.
  2. Using motivational techniques works quickly.  It just doesn’t work very completely without a TON of work.  What I mean by that is that, yes, you get yourself some hot dogs and you’ve got a puppy looking at you like a champ.  But in order for you to actually go on a walk and NOT use hot dogs you are talking months and months of work.  I’ll take the easy route and just wait for the dog to get a bit older and then I’ll tackle the leash pulling problem with a balanced approach of proper correction and proper praise.

How To Stop Puppy Biting (Puppy Manners)

How To Stop Puppy BitingHow to Stop Puppy Biting- Reader Question

The following came in from a reader of our site:

Hi Ty,

I have a 3.5 month old Chow Chow puppy and she is extremely bossy.  She bites when she gets very excited and doesn’t stop.  I’ve tried holding her mouth shut and telling her no in a stern tone but it makes it worse and so I have to take her outside where she throws a fit and starts to tear up her toys.  I let her back in and then she starts all over again after a few minutes.  Her biting is the worst when she is tired.  She is also a bully.  She likes to jump on you or on the cabinets and my attempts to get her back on the ground makes her angry and she lashes out.  She also has to be the first one out the door, occasionally she will let me walk out the door first but usually its only when she is confused and doesn’t know what I’m doing.  I’ve put her on the leash and tried training with her to get her to learn that she can’t just run out, but when she doesn’t get her way, she gets disinterested and stops paying attention.  I’ve tried to slightly jerk her leash to get her to pay attention and refocus and correct her but it has no affect. This situation has gotten me extremely frustrated and I would like to teach her that she is not in charge and that I am the alpha.

I hope to hear back from you soon.  Thanks so much.



How to Stop Puppy Biting- Tips

Thanks for the question.  This is definitely an issue you need to watch out for.  It’s important not to have a young puppy grow up believing it’s okay to be in charge.  Here are a few tips for how to stop puppy biting:

  • Puppy biting is normal but it’s not okay.  Her puppy biting and temper tantrums are indicative of a pup that is very dominant for this age.  Working on obedience, like you’ve been doing, is a good idea.  I wouldn’t work on treat obedience, though.  I’d work on obedience with the leash using commands, correction, and physical praise as motivation.  Treat obedience will help her develop a relationship with cookies but we want her to develop a relationship with you.
  • Keep her on a leash at all time, not just for training.  When it comes to how to stop puppy biting, or any bad puppy behavior for that matter, it is important that we can communicate with the puppy at any given moment.  By keeping her on a leash you are in a position to train at all times.  This is important as she is liable to ‘act out’ at any moment and you need to be ready.
  • Corrections should be ‘firm but fair’.  You make note of using gentle corrections and this can be tantamount to ‘nagging’ the puppy.  I always tell my clients that corrections should be dog-specific.  What that means is that some dogs need more gentle corrections, other dogs need firmer corrections.  Your pup needs a firmer correction as the lighter corrections cause her to challenge you.  She’s a bit young but, in a month or two, you may want to get her a training collar so that your corrections are more meaningful.
  • Experiment with the correction type.  When it comes to how to stop puppy biting, jumping on the cabinets, temper tantrums, etc. you may have more success with a spray bottle than with a leash correction.  I’ve had many clients whose puppies were better served with a quick spray vs. a leash correction.

How to Stop Puppy Biting- Conclusion

Above all, when it comes to how to stop puppy biting it’s important to be patient.  I always push for fast results so I don’t recommend that you ‘take it easy’ but you’ve got to allow for a bit of time for your dog to grow and understand.

Chow Chows can be very dominant dogs.  I think you are doing a lot of good things right now and you have the right mindset for solving this problem.  The key, though, will be tweaking just a few things and being consistent with that.  Good luck.

10 Year Old Kids Don’t Own Dogs

Dogs and KidsDogs and Kids- The Real Truth

In my years of training dogs I have run across few absolutes.  It seems like there are dozens or even hundreds of ‘rules’ that dictate dog behavior and dog training.  Having said that, it seems like I will find exceptions to most rules.

The topic I wanted to touch on today is one of those.  Is this topic a hard and fast rule?  No.  But if I had to put a percentage on it I’d say that what I’m about to present is correct 99% of the time.

I’m talking about dog ownership and children.

I love dogs.  I’ve got two of them in my home.  I love kids.  I’ve got four kids in my home.  But what I realize is that, for all the best intentions in the world, children just aren’t capable of owning dogs.

Dogs and Kids- The Promises And The Pleading

In my career I’ve been in the home of hundreds, if not thousands, of dog owners.  In many of these client situations I’ve found that the dog was purchased ‘for the kids’.  The dog was invited into the home ‘to teach the children responsibility’.  Or that the puppy came to live with the family because the ‘kids could take care of it’.

I can only think of one or two occasions that I’ve come across where this is actually the case.  Instead, in most scenarios that I’ve come across, I’ve encountered strife and fighting amongst parents and children.  Expectations that existed upon purchase of the puppy seem to go out the window within weeks and the family is left trying to figure out how to take care of this creature.

Dogs and Kids- The Reality

The reality is that most kids I meet under the age of 13, 14, or 15 can hardly remember to bathe themselves if they don’t have a parent telling them to do so.  Most of them can’t make much more than a sandwich if they were hungry.  They can’t drive themselves anywhere, they lose track of time when playing video games or playing with friends, and homework doesn’t get done unless the dutiful parent is on their case.

Now, I know there are plenty of exceptions as well as plenty of even worse cases.  My point here is not to insult children.  They are what they are.  They are grown ups in training.

My point is, though, that how is it possible to take that level of understanding and awareness and make sure that it is waking up on time in order to take the puppy out to the bathroom?  To supervise that young dog with enough precision that it can’t sneak away and chew on shoes?  To be on enough of a schedule to remember when it’s potty time, meal time, etc.?  To have the coordination, dexterity, and ‘stick-to-it-iveness’ to follow a training program?

The reality is that kids just can’t do this.  This leads to a never ending source of frustration for me as I try to help dog owners understand that their puppy or dog isn’t going to reach it’s potential with a child at the helm.  A few examples:

– We had a client where both mom and dad worked long hours and the 9 year old child was home alone with a German Shepherd.  The complaint was that the German Shepherd would drag the child around the neighborhood when going on walks.

I was horrified to learn that they had even sent the young child out alone in the neighborhood with a dog that was about the same size as the child.  It doesn’t matter how well trained the dog is, what if the dog has one bad day and drags the kid into traffic pulling after a cat?  It doesn’t matter how well trained the dog is, what happens if a loose dog comes up and starts a fight with the dog and now the child is in the middle of 150 lbs. of dog fight?  The potential for disaster is endless.

– We had a client where dad worked a lot and mom was home but wasn’t too interested in the dog.  They wanted the 13 year old son to take care of the dog.

Think about the average day of a 13 year old.  He leaves in the 7 o’clock hour for school and gets home during the 3 o’clock hour.  He’s got homework, he’s got sports and activities, and hopefully time to play with friends.  Where is it possible in that scenario that this 13 year old boy is going to have much time at all to dedicate to the training and care of a dog?

– We’ve had several clients with multiple children and a young puppy in the home.  In these cases the children are often tasked with ‘supervising’ the puppy.

Folks, how many of you have kids that can go long periods without some degree of supervision?  Let alone asking those same children to supervise and train an 8 week old dog?  It just isn’t going to happen.

Dogs and Kids- The Ideal

After writing all this I don’t want to come across that dogs and kids should have nothing to do with each other.  In fact, I think kids should be taught to feed and clean after the dog, train the dog, and care for the dog.

What I’m getting at is that it should never be the primary responsibility of children to care and maintain a dog.  Any work the child does in that respect should be under the supervision of a parent to make sure it is being done correctly and with the proper techniques.

Stop Puppy Biting

This dog training question comes in from a reader of our site:

I have recently became an owner of a new little boxer puppy Nova (11 weeks old)  I have had her since 8 weeks.  I have had a boxer in the past but this new little girl is totally different.  She is doing really good with the commands: sit, down, and no.  My biggest issue that I need to know how to correct is biting people.  She will listen to the ouch and no command and stop most of the time.  The other time is when she get really wild and seems to have a burst of energy and she will bite anything and everything.  We have tried to do the ouch/no and replace with toy or ouch/no walk away and ouch/no water spray.  It seems nothing phases her when shes in this mind set.  What can we do to help teach her to be gently.

My response:

The first thing you need to differentiate is the difference between a command and something you are saying.  I find that most people with young pups are simply saying ‘no’ or ‘ouch’ and that is it.  The problem is that dogs aren’t verbal learners.  They don’t learn by being told, they learn by being shown.

I’ve known plenty of pups that will respond when someone says ‘ouch’ when they are new.  They aren’t responding to a command, though, they are simply responding to the tone of voice.  The problem when you go down this path is that as the puppies realize that there is no reinforcement behind this command, there is simply a stern tone, they stop caring.  An owner who started out with a stern ‘ouch’ is now shouting at the dog in vain attempts to get the dog to listen.

It sounds like you’ve tried the spray bottle.  Have you been consistent with the spray bottle or just tried it a few times?

What I recommend to my clients is that puppies of this age are on a leash at all times.  When the puppy nips you correct with the leash and then redirect towards a toy.  Simple redirection typically doesn’t work.  Simple correction by itself doesn’t typically work.  You need a correction that is meaningful followed by a redirection that is meaningful.

If the puppy is continuing with his or her behavior then you need to adjust your correction or stay committed to it until you see the desired results.

Best of luck.

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Puppy Training: Getting Things Started Right

The following is a question from one of our valued customers:

We just got our puppy yesterday an 8 1/2 weeks old Golden Retriever.  We watched the DVDs prior to the puppies arrival.  We are applying your method of keeping the dog on the leash with us in the house and having the dog on a feeding schedule.  So far we’ve had her a little over 36 hours and she has had no accidents in the house :) and goes pee around 10 minutes after drinking and poops around 30-40 minutes after eating.  Last night I had to take her outside at around 3:00am, she went outside before at 10:30, and after she did her business she went back in the crate until 6:00 when I got up.  She is a little mouthy and likes to jump up on us at times but your methods have helped a little bit in that regard so far.  As we have just started I am thinking that every week should get a little better if we are consistent.  We are just using a regular collar and a 6 ft.  leash.  How old does the dog need to be before we can use a training collar? My wife is going to start on the place command tomorrow.  Well that’s about it.  The DVDs were very informative and a great purchase!

Getting A Golden Retriever Puppy Started Off Right
 You can start using a training collar when it’s needed.  If you find yourself using too much strength with a regular collar that is usually when you’ll start using a training collar.  Try to avoid this with too young of a puppy.  The purpose of a training collar is to have leverage so that less of a correction can get the job done.

You may also want to invest in a ‘tab leash’.  A tab leash is a short leash of 12-18 inches.  It bridges the gap between using my leash method and using no leash.  If you attempt to go with no leash you’ll likely find regression on the dog’s part so it’s important in the beginning stages to always have a leash or some other means of correction/motivation/guidance.  As the dog progresses with the regular leash you’ll graduate to the tab leash.  As the dog progresses with the tab leash you’ll slowly cut it down until you get to the point where there is no leash at all.  Best of luck and happy training!

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My Soda Association (And How It Relates To Your Dog)

Do you like energy drinks?

I don’t.

I’ve never really had one, though.

Years ago I took one drink of a Vault soda.  The Vault soda wasn’t a true energy drink, it was marketed as a mix between an energy drink and a soda.

Regardless of what it was I found it to be so disgusting and so distasteful that I threw it away.  Apparently I wasn’t the only one.  They discontinued that drink last year.

From that moment on, though, the idea of drinking ANY energy drink was associated with that one experience I had in tasting that vile elixir.  The association with that one drink was so gross that it tainted my desire for anything that I associate as being similar and I’ve been unable to even think about trying an energy drink since then.

Have you ever had something like that in your life?  A taste, a smell, an experience, etc. that was powerful enough that it effects your choices to this day?  Many of us have.

The same is true for your dog.  In socializing your dog your canine buddy is going to have hundreds and thousands of experiences.  Many of them will be benign and will have little to no bearing on your dog’s mental health.

Many others will be positive and will shape your dog’s personality in a good way.

The associations you need to really watch out for when it comes to socializing your dog are the negative ones.  If your dog has negative things happen to him or her, especially during the ‘socialization window’ period between 8 weeks and 6 months of age, there is a high probability that those experience turn into ‘baggage’ that your dog may carry around for years to come.

When I work with my clients who own puppies I’m always very careful to help them understand ‘Vault Soda Association’.  Give your puppy a specific negative experience with another dog and that can turn into dog aggression when the dog gets older.  The same is true if your pup has a bad experience with kids.  Or men, or skateboards, or any other number of experiences in your puppy’s life.

When it comes to socializing your puppy it is your job to make sure that, as best you can, your puppy has positive association after positive association.  He or she needs to believe (at least during the first few months of life) that everyone and everything encountered is great and friendly.

I’ve got young children.  I know that in their lifetime they’ll be exposed to filthy language, violence, back-stabbing, and other horrors that plague our human society.  But I’ll be darned if I allow them to be exposed to that at the tender age of 4.  Think of your puppy in the same terms.  You won’t always be able to shelter him or her from life’s evils but you need to do your best when your pup is young.

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Puppy Biting: Stop Your Puppy From Biting

I always tell people that have puppies that YOU WILL experience puppy biting. The only question is HOW MUCH biting you’ll have to endure. If you approach this training the right way you can typically find that this annoyance can go away fairly quickly.

Debunking a Biting Myth

Let me first start out by debunking one of the most popular methods that I see being taught today by other dog trainers. The method is simple. The puppy starts biting you and you are to immediately say ‘Ow!’ in a loud and hurt voice and stop your play with the puppy.

If you want to get rid of puppy biting DO NOT do this method. It almost never works.

The psychology being taught behind this method is that when the puppy realizes that he’s hurt you that:

  • He’ll feel bad and realize he has to be more gently next time and
  • He’ll understand that when he bites you that his play time is over.

This concept could not be more wrong.

I love puppies. I think they are cute and great. What I don’t think they possess a lot of, though, is a moral compass. If your puppy realizes that he hurt you it’s likely that he doesn’t care. Not only that, it’s more likely that he realizes that he now has bigger power over you. He doesn’t like what you’re doing? No problem, he’s got a built in method for getting rid of you. All he has to do is bite you. He wants the toy instead of allowing you to have it? No worry, just give a bite and that owner is too weak to defend herself.

For those that think, “Well, the puppy will realize that he doesn’t get to have any fun if he bites you. Then he’ll stop.” Let me ask you, have you ever got up and walked away from a puppy that was biting your hands? What do you have at that point? You no longer have a puppy that is biting your hands, you have a puppy that is biting the back of your pant leg, jumping up to bite your clothes, and doing whatever else possible to nip you.

The bottom line is that this method is wholly ineffective for nearly every puppy out there. What you need is a stabilized approach that uses proper correction and proper motivation.

Stop Puppy Biting

In order to teach a dog that nipping is wrong, you need a correction that is three things:

  1. Well timed.
    As your puppy is biting you the correction occurs.
  2. Meaningful.
    Turning your back on a puppy isn’t meaningful. Try a spray bottle when puppy is nipping. Use a leash correction. Experiment with what works best for your pup.
  3. Followed by praise.
    You need to communicate to your puppy that attention and affection occur when nipping and biting aren’t happening. After the correction gets your pup to stop then you need to immediately praise.

In following this program you’ll find that most people can shave months off their puppy nipping problems.

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Image Credit: Kyknoord

Teach a Dog to Walk on a Leash

There are many things in life that have a collateral effect.  What I mean is that you do one thing with one intent but you get other, unintended, consequences as a result.  When you teach your dog to properly walk on a leash this often has many collateral effects.  The following article will outline those and give you several reasons why you want your dog to have great leash manners and how it will effect so many other areas of your dog training efforts.

Leash Manners To Fix Destruction?

You may be asking yourself how teaching your dog to walk on a leash could possibly help your dog stop digging or chewing.  The answer is that when your dog is walking in a focused walk (right by your side, paying attention, no pulling, no cheating out of position, etc.) he or she is required to think.  Not only to think but to pay attention, to focus, to really make sure that he or she is watching you like a hawk.

This level of focus takes a lot out of a dog.  Think about it, when are you often the most tired?  Sure, you get tired when you go for a jog, a bike ride, or a hike.  But when are you the most tired where you don’t want to do a thing?  Where the thought of getting off the couch is painful and causes a panic attack?  For most people that level of exhaustion is only attained when they are MENTALLY tired.  It’s usually after a long day of work, a day of trying to figure out your taxes, a late-night cram session, or other mentally taxing activity.

The same is true for your dog.  Your pup needs exercise.  You need to be playing fetch, running around, and doing other physical activities.  The real exhaustion for your dog, though, is going to come when the brain gets worked.  Too many dogs rarely get a good mental workout.  It’s almost as if we’ve created a nation of canine ‘mush brains’ because we never challenge our dogs mentally.

Guess what happens when an intelligent dog with a lot of energy does not get to a level of mental exhaustion regularly?  You guessed it.  That dog is much more prone to digging up your yard, chewing up your stuff, and otherwise finding ways to destroy all your nice and expensive stuff.

A dog who is taught to walk on a leash properly is getting a mental workout often and is much less likely to be destructive.

Leash Walking To Gain Leadership?

Have you ever gone online and asked Mr. Google how to be ‘dominant’ over your dog or how to ‘be the alpha’?  The types of answers you’ll find are insane.

Other trainers will recommend you growl at your dog, flip your dog on his back, bite your dog, etc.

All of these ideas are pure craziness.  Your dog does not view you as a big, hairless canine.  When you try acting like a dog you end up looking like a fool.

What DOES help you achieve leadership and respect from a dog is obedience training.  Think about it, if your dog comes when called he’s putting your will first.  If your dog stays when told she’s putting your will first.  When he walks properly on leash he’s doing as you asked him.

Proper leash walking puts your dog in a position where he is a follower, where she is paying attention to you, where he is focusing on you and your commands.

In case there is any confusion, those are good things.  When your dog walks perfectly on leash you will find that your dog starts respecting you in lots of other areas as well.

On Leash Training To Fix Aggression?

For dogs that are aggressive one of the best things we can do is train them to walk on a leash perfectly.

This is part from the relationship aspect that I’ve already mentioned but also from a logistical standpoint.

Your dog can’t lunge at other people if she’s walking perfectly on leash.  Your dog can pass by people, dogs, cats, and kids with no problem if he is heeling like a champion.

In fact, in 90% of the cases when I’m working with an aggressive dog for the first time our first order of business is to start working on great leash walking.

In summary, there is a major difference between a dog who will walk on a leash and a dog who heels perfectly.  When you’ve got a dog who heels perfectly you are in a better position to fix destruction, aggression, and leadership problems.

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Image Credit: Monkey Mash Button

Crate Training Puppies

So, what I wanted to teach you today is how to train your dog to enjoy the crate, just a couple of training tips about crate training a puppy. Now, here’s Sparky, a little puppy. And we want to crate train him. There are a couple of key things that I want you to keep in mind when you’re crate training your dog.

Choosing a Crate

Number 1: I like a crate like this. They have those wire crates and I’m not a big fan of those. The reason is they don’t really replicate the den experience for the dog like these. These are enclosed, they’re snub, they’re comfortable, and so, I prefer this. You can get by with a wire crate. That’s just fine. But I prefer something like this.

Setting Up the Crate

The other thing you want to do, “Don’t put stuff in there.”  Don’t leave water in there, don’t leave food in there, especially if you’ve got a puppy and you’re going to leave them for a couple of hours and he drinks and he eats, he’s not going to be able to hold it.  He’s going to end up going to the bathroom in the crate.  So, that’s a big no, no.

The other thing, don’t put bedding in there.  I know you might be saying, “Oh, but my Puppy needs to be comfortable.”  You’re Puppy is going to be pretty comfortable on this floor.  It’s going to be just fine, don’t worry about that.  The reason you don’t want that, two reasons actually:

  1. The Puppy can chew it out and they can swallow it and they can get really sick, and they can get impacted in their intestines.
  2. The other thing is puppies like to pee on absorbent material.  And so, if you put down something absorbent like that, there’s a good chance they might want to pee on it.  And so you’ve got to be really careful to not do that.

So, the other thing that you might want to do to make sure that Puppy enjoys the crate – well I just said don’t leave food in there.  What I do like to do is feed the dog in there.  I don’t leave the food for more than ten minutes.  But I’ll feed the puppy in here to kind of start building these positive associations towards the crate so that Puppy starts to enjoy it.

Positive Reinforcement with the Crate

The other thing I like to do is a little bit of trickery.  It’s not that big of a trick.  Let me show you what it is.  What a lot of people do by accident when crate training their puppy is they’ve got to go to work or they’ve got to go to the store, they put the puppy in, close the door and then leave.  So, the puppy, from the very first experience is a negative experience.  “Oh, my gosh, what happened?  They’re gone.”  And so this happens a couple of times and soon Puppy doesn’t like the crate.

What I like to do is take advantage of the fact that puppies don’t know math.  And so, what I’m going do is I’m going to get Puppy in the crate, give him a little bit of a treat, let him come right out.  Put him in the crate, give a treat, let him come right out.  Increase the time a little bit, let him come right out.  If I put him in there five times or ten times and he’s really going to stay one time – like I said, he’s not good at math; he’s not going to realize, “Oh, every time I go in there I’ll be there for a while.”  And so lots of times when I put the puppy in he doesn’t to come right out.  So, very simple, I’ll use some of the puppy’s own food.

He wasn’t too interested to get in, but what I did is I helped him in, got him a treat and let him come right back out.  That time, he wanted to go right in.  And he won’t come out of there.  And so, initially, he had a little bit of an issue.  But with some repetition, now, I might close it for about ten seconds and then let him right back out and help him start realizing, “Sometimes you’re going to be in there for a little while but lots of times, it’s just an excuse to get a little bit of food or a little bit of treat and the crate is wonderful.

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