The Do’s And Don’ts of Puppy Crate Training

dog in crate

Bringing a new puppy into your home is undoubtedly one of the most exciting things that can happen as a family or individual. The introduction of a new furry friend is the start of a series of amazing memories, mixed in with a number of challenges and decisions you will have to make. 

One of the key things you will have to consider is whether to go for a dog bed or a dog crate as your puppy’s sleeping quarters. Both options have their own merits, and while there are a couple of hurdles to overcome when puppy crate training, the process can be a hugely rewarding experience for you and your pet. 

There are plenty of useful tips and videos out there that you can use to feel confident as you kick off the crate training process, as well as this comprehensive RSPCA guide. We have also compiled this handy list of important do’s and don’ts to keep in mind to ensure a positive experience for both you and your pampered pooch. 

Do… Make Sure The Crate Is Comfortable

Comfort makes all of the difference when it comes to successfully crate training your puppy. For your puppy to want to sleep and spend time in its crate without fuss, you’ll need to create a space that they find comfortable and safe. Once you’ve chosen or designed a crate that is a suitable size for your pet, there are a number of things you can do to achieve this. Add your dog’s favourite blankets and cushions, and make the most of options to incorporate soft furnishings into a bespoke pet furniture design. Fitted curtains can make your four-legged friend feel safe and secure inside their crate, and you could even opt for bespoke fitted cushions so that your puppy is always sitting or sleeping on a soft surface.

Don’t… Panic

One of the most important things to bear in mind if you’re not sure how to crate train a puppy is that every pet is different. We all hope that our pet will take to the process straight away, but unfortunately, that is not always the case. Don’t panic if your puppy puts up a fight at first! One of the worst things you can do is display a negative body language or tone of voice that your dog will pick up on. If your puppy starts crying or whining during training, stay patient and stop what you are doing for a second to allow them to settle rather than immediately letting them out of the crate. Your calm demeanour will slowly extend to your pet and you’ll steadily build a sense of confidence that helps them progress. 

Do… Let Your Dog Get Used To Being Around The Crate

Before you go all-in with your puppy crate training, give your new family member a chance to get used to being around this new and mysterious object first! Keep the crate located somewhere that your puppy spends a lot of time with you like your living room. Leave the door open and place a toy inside to pique their curiosity. Slowly but surely, they will begin to investigate and explore inside the crate without any pressure. 

Don’t… Leave Your Dog Straight Away 

Once your puppy has become familiar with the crate on its own terms, you’ll start to introduce it to its new sleeping space more formally. Fight the urge to lock the door right away and instead start to encourage your pet to spend time inside the crate with the door shut but unlocked. Reward them with treats if they stay inside calmly, then gradually progress to locking the door for short periods of time. Stay consistent, staying in the same room when the door is locked at first and then eventually retreating to a different part of the house. Only once you are confident that your puppy can relax in its crate should you lock them inside when you leave the house. Regardless of how well-trained your puppy is, you should always avoid leaving them alone for more than 4 hours at a time

Do… Make Sure Your Puppy Has Been To The Toilet First!

Without stating the obvious, the last thing you want to happen when puppy crate training is a smelly accident! Clearing up dog mess in your shiny new dog crate is never a fun experience, and it will be both uncomfortable and unhygienic for your pet to be locked in next to their waste. Make sure that your puppy has the chance to go to the toilet before training begins and be prepared to wake up in the night at regular intervals to let them out if they need to go. 

Don’t… Use Crate Training As A Punishment

Last but certainly not least, never use your puppy’s crate as a form of punishment. No matter how tough the process of crate training a puppy might be, it should only ever be associated with positive experiences, safety and comfort. Using the crate as a place of isolation or discipline can lead to anxiety and reluctance to enter the crate, not only making the training process much more challenging but also damaging your pet’s confidence at a vital stage in its development.

Do… Consider Designing A Totally Bespoke Crate

Given that creating the right environment is a hugely important part of puppy crate training, why not boost your chances of providing your puppy with a crate tailored to its needs and design your own bespoke dog crate? Standard-sized and shaped dog crates offer a reasonable starting point for puppy crate training, but a completely bespoke crate helps you feel certain that you’ve set the right environment for your pet. 

Here at The Pet Carpenter, we’re experts when it comes to creating totally unique and functional pet bedrooms, including furniture with a built-in crate for your puppy. Start today by using our online design tool or get in touch with the friendly team to find out more. 

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