How a Dog Crate Helps with Housebreaking
By: Tippy & Turbo
House Training a puppy can be a trying, frustrating, and
dirty job. Using a Dog Crate can make the training process a lot easier.
So before you start housebreaking your puppy you may want
to consider buying a dog crate.
A dog crate has multiple uses but it is very useful in
helping your dog to learn to go outside instead of on your
carpet. When used properly a dog crate can become a valuable
tool and a retreat for your dog where it will feel safe.
Confining a puppy to a crate is mistakenly thought of as
being cruel when the exact opposite is true.
But in order to employ this method of puppy potty training
effectively with a dog crate there are some basic tips that
you should know. This guide will also help you avoid certain
common mistakes that people make while using the dog crate
for housebreaking purposes.
First you should understand that in the wild a wolf or wild
dog will often hole up in a den. This is their safe place
where they can fall asleep without being harassed. A female
who is about to whelp pups will deliver them in a dark den
and the pups will stay there until removed by their mother.
The same principle will work with your puppy in a crate if
the crate is used properly. Also, this is of great benefit
because when in a den a puppy is encouraged to stay quiet
and if you crate your dog while you are away it most often
will stay quiet because of this natural instinct.
The most important point in training your pup with a crate
is that from the beginning you want to make the crate a safe
comfortable place for your dog. Start out by erecting the
dog crate where you and the rest of your family spend your
time. No, you cannot put the puppy crate in a back room.
This is cruel to the puppy because dogs are pack animals and
by separating the pup from its human pack mates it sends a
signal to the pup that it is not part of the pack. That
makes it more insecure and less likely to follow your lead.
Get an old towel that you don't mind parting with and line
the bottom of the crate with it. Put some dog treats and
toys in there. Later on you can line the bottom with a
cushion but for puppy housebreaking training it is best to
just line the bottom with things that you can throw away if
So what makes a crate such an effective tool for
housebreaking your puppy? Den animals like your puppy do not
like to go poop or pee where they sleep or eat. When you
confine your puppy in the crate for short periods over the
day you are helping it to gain better bladder control and to
learn where it is okay to eliminate and where it is not,
just as a wild mother dog would do.
You must understand however that crate training for
housebreaking is a method of training your puppy to hold its
bladder and bowels until it is outside. Puppies have very
small bladders and they should not be expected to hold their
urine all day long while you are at work. Left for long
periods, more often than not the pup will go in its crate
while you are away and this will make it much harder for you
to housebreak your puppy.
You should not expect your puppy to have the control of an
adult dog. If you must leave the puppy for the day, try to
have someone come by and walk the pup in the middle of the
day. If that is impossible, consider taking the pup to a dog
sitter at least until it is older and well trained.
After keeping your puppy in the crate for a short time under
your supervision you should take it out of the crate and
immediately take it outside to its designated elimination
area so it can go to the bathroom. The smaller the breed the
more often it may need to go out.
Puppies tend to eliminate after they eat and when they wake
up from a nap. Understanding this will help you to be able
to time your puppy and take it out when it needs to go.
During the first two weeks from when you bring your puppy
home it is very important that you establish a routine of
the puppy eliminating outside and not in your home. Some
people prefer to paper train but that can be
counterproductive for your dog's future cleanliness and it
is much better to just start it out right going outside if
at all possible.
It is also important that during the time that your puppy is
outside with you to go to the bathroom that you don't play
or talk to it. It should be "time to do your duty," not
"play time," and the pup will understand this better if you
don't play with it when it should be eliminating. Otherwise
you may have a problem later in life with the dog wanting to
play when it goes outside instead of going to the bathroom.
This is especially miserable when it is raining outside.
It will be easier for you in the long run if you designate a
spot for the puppy to go and reinforce that as the area to
go to the bathroom. You will create a habit so that when the
dog gets to that spot it will know it is time to eliminate.
If your puppy doesn't go during the outside time, then just
bring the puppy back inside and put it back in its crate for
a little while. Always praise your puppy after it goes
outside, and give it a treat. This is telling the dog "when
you do this it is a good thing." You can then let your puppy
out to play around inside the house for a little while.
Never ever punish your puppy for accidents in the house.
It's a baby and it doesn't know any better until you teach
it. Yelling at the dog may cause behavior and trust problems
later on down the road.
If your puppy has an accident in the house, just take the
puppy outside in case it needs to go some more. Take it to
the designated spot and wait a few minutes. Then bring it
back inside. You should clean up the mess inside with a good
deodorizing cleaner so that the puppy doesn't smell urine or
feces in that spot and go there again. You can buy special
rug shampoo made for that purpose.
Don't get frustrated or despair about housebreaking. Unless
something is physically wrong with your dog or you are too
inconsistent with its training, it will get the message
My Dog's Better than your Dog!
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