For most puppies, the crate is a really valuable
tool to use in the house training process. But you have to build up a positive association
with the crate, so the puppy feels good about being inside there. So, I’m going to show
you a couple of ways to do that. When you’re getting your puppy used to the create, it’s
a good idea to use really fabulous toys–and maybe some food, if that’s what your puppy’s
motivated with. And allow your puppy to experience the toy in the crate. The fact that he wants
to stay in his crate and chew is a really wonderful sign, because this crate is going
to be his home. And, at the moment, you can see, I’m not closing the door, because I want
him to feel completely comfortable about being in the crate, so that he knows that if he
wants to come out, he can come out. If he does come out, what I’ll do is I’ll just gently
take the toy away from him and put it back in the crate again, so that he knows the crate
is where he gets the toy. After your puppy’s got really comfortable being in the crate,
then you can start to shut the door, just for short periods of time. I’m still here–you’re
presence is still giving your puppy confidence, that even though he’s in the crate, you’re
still with him. And then I open the door again. So again, he has that freedom to go if he
wants. Good boy. So, he’s probably not gonna like the fact that I took it away from him
–good boy– so I’m just going to put it right back in the crate. Good boy. Alright,
good. The actual fact of me taking it away from him when he comes out –as well– is
gonna be maybe encouraging him–that in fact in the crate, it’s gonna be much better for
him to stay in the crate, because in the crate he gets to keep his toy. When he comes outside,
I take it away from him. Don’t you think it’s better to stay in your crate? I think so.
You got it. You got it. There you go. And the puppy works out really, really quickly:
You know what? Best to stay in the crate and chew the toy, because if I come out she takes
it away from me. That’s not cool. Now that he’s very comfortable, I’m gonna just close
the door. You can start this for a period of a minute and then gradually build up–2
minutes, 3 minutes, 4 minutes, 5 minutes. When your puppy is engaged and playing with
his toy in crate that’s the time when you can begin to increase distance and move away.
Leave your puppy by himself in the crate, just for a little period of time, so he gets
confident. You don’t want him toileting on any kind of bedding in there. It’s best just
to put a little bit of a towel in there. When you see that you’re puppy’s not chewing up
a towel, for example, that you’ve put in there, then you can use a bit of softer bedding.
Puppies love to chew things, so you have to put things in your puppy’s safe zone that
are safe to chew. I like to use toys like this that really help enrich your puppy, so
that puppy has to use his thinking brain to find out how he’s going to get food out of
this toy, for example. And these toys are really great for what I call mental enrichment.
Let’s see if he likes this: Are we gonna get it out? We gonna get it out? Go get it. Go
get it. Go on. I’m going to leave him and see if he plays with it himself. Another way
that you can make the crate a really fabulous place to be is to actually feed your puppy
in the crate. Everything about this crate has got to give the puppy positive feelings,
so that puppy wants to go in there whenever you ask him to. When your puppy’s really well
house trained, and you have transitioned him successfully to peeing on the pads to outside,
then you can remove the safe zone, remove the pen, but keep the crate. As your puppy
grows, your crate’s going to grow with your puppy. You can decided to get rid of the crate
all together and just use a bed, but a lot of people just like to use a crate, even if
they have to buy bigger ones as the pup grows, because this has become pup’s favorite place.
A crate is a great place for your puppy, just to hang out. This is his safe place. This
is a place that he can go to if you have lots of people coming in, and he needs a bit of
quiet time. Also, the crate can be taken in the car as well. So you can actually travel
your dog in his bed, so that he gets used to being in the car as well. What you should
not be doing with the crate is putting your puppy in there for hours and hours and hours,
and leaving him in there. Because if you do that you’re actually encouraging your puppy
to toilet in the crate. So that negates this crate’s advantages, right there and then.
Also, when you just leave a dog in a crate for hours and hours and hours, you can cause
all kinds of anxiety problems. You’re gonna encourage your puppy to chew, because your
puppy’s gonna get bored and then chew whatever is in the crate. But also, you’re gonna cause
the puppy anxiety. What’s the puppy got to do all day? Maybe it’s finished with a toy
you’ve given it, and then its got hours and hours and hours to wait, doing absolutely
nothing until you come home. That’s why this safe zone is so important. So if you do have
to go out and work–that puppy can be maybe in the crate for an hour–get somebody to
come in, let your puppy out, so puppy can be in the safe zone. And if you do have to
go out for longer than an hour or so, then you can have the crate open with the door
open, so puppy can go in his crate and come out and pee, using the pad, if he needs to.
But don’t leave a young puppy in a crate for hours and hours and hours on end. That’s just
not fair on the puppy and is really going to set your house training process way back.
And that’s how you house train your puppy, positively. I’m Victoria Stilwell for eHow