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.
Number 1: I’d 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.
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 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: number one, 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. 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
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.