Crate training a puppy can help you keep your new furry family member safe and secure inside your home. It can also be a happy, safe retreat for your puppy. It is also useful for preventing those puppy accidents around the house and provides a safe way to travel with your pup in the future.

With all the excitement and warm cuddles that come with adopting a puppy, it can be hard to remember that your new pup needs certain guidance to start life off on the right paw. Use our guide to learn some tips on how to crate train a puppy.

Say Hello Slowly

Once you choose a crate for your puppy–you should find one that is large enough for your young pup to stand up and turn around in–it is important to give your dog time to adjust to it before locking him inside. Set the crate up in a populated part of your home and put a towel or a blanket inside. Be sure to leave the door open as you entice your dog inside with some positive reinforcement toys, pets, or some treats. Some dogs feel comfortable stepping inside the crate right away, while others will need a few days to find the confidence to enter. Continue to use treats and praise until your dog feels safe enough to spend time inside the crate. Do not use the crate as a punishment tool. It should be a safe and positive retreat for your pup.

Crate Training a Puppy with Food

Food is a great motivator for pups and can help you keep their crate feeling like a safe and happy space for them. Once your dog is comfortable entering the crate on her own, you can start to place her food bowl inside during meal times. After a few days of eating with the door open, close the crate while she eats and open it once she’s done. It is easy to associate the crate with happy memories when food is involved.

Walk Away Briefly

Before you can leave your dog alone in the crate, it is important to leave your pup inside and show him that you are going to return. Set your dog up in the crate with the door closed and stay close by for about ten minutes, then leave the room for a few more minutes. Do this a few times until you can build up to leaving your pup in the crate for about thirty minutes. Knowing you will return makes the crate feel a lot less scary for your dog.

Give It a Go

Once you can successfully leave your puppy in the crate for half an hour, you can try leaving her in there for short periods of time as you run errands or pick up your kids from school. Try not to get overly excited when you come home. Returning with a calm attitude can help you prevent your puppy from associating the crate with being alone and lonely.

If you need help with questions related to crate training a puppy or with training, boarding, or even doggie daycare, Union Lake Pet Services is here for you. Call (248) 363-6262 to learn more about our services.