Introduction to the Crate

Reasons to Use the Crate:

  • it is a safe place for when the puppy is unsupervised.
  • they feel secure in a “den” as they would in their natural environment.
  • it keeps them safe from household hazards.
  • it helps them learn successful toileting habits quickly.
  • it massively reduces the amount of soiling accidents in the house.
  • they are unable to destroy your house, chew furniture or get up to mischief when you are not watching them.
  • dogs LOVE the crate when it is used correctly!!

This video shows you step by step how to introduce the crate positively from day one. It is really important to stress to your clients not to just use the crate for long periods such as over night but also for lots of short periods in the day too.

Some suggestions of when the crate should be used are when the puppy owner:

  • pops out of the room.
  • is busy cooking tea.
  • goes to answer the door.
  • is are going out.
  • is in bed.
  • may need to leave young children alone or unsupervised with the puppy.

When used correctly, it is a truly life changing tool to help your clients settle their puppy into family life. There are also certain things that should never be done when introducing the crate.

The owner must NEVER:

  • force the puppy into the crate – always encourage them to go in of their own accord using food rewards.
  • talk to the puppy or open the crate door when the puppy is whining as this rewards the negative behaviour.
  • let children fuss the puppy whilst they are in the crate, it is their quiet space.
  • expect them to be happy to be shut in the crate before completing the positive reward training outlined in the video in which they are showered with treats.
  • expect them to go from closing the crate door for a couple of minutes to going out and leaving them for a few hours, you must build the time up gradually over numerous sessions.
  • leave the puppy in the crate for more than about 4 hours without toilet breaks, except on a night when they will soon be sleeping through.
  • NEVER use the crate as a way of punishment or isolation, it should always be used positively with reward.

How long will it take for my puppy to be happy to be left alone in the crate?

If the introduction process is followed correctly and regular repetitions of training sessions are carried out, their puppy should be very happy in there within the first 24-48 hours. Encourage them to start small and gradually increase the length of time the puppy is in there but also intersperse these with shorter periods too.

 Is it cruel to use a puppy in a crate?

Not as long as the correct positive training is used with the crate. It should never be used as a punishment and should be always be accompanied by treats and food toys to make it a positive experience and the puppies favourite places to be. A puppy should not be left alone in the crate for extended (more than 4 hours) periods of time with night time being the exception. your puppy will soon LOVE the crate and see it as a safe haven where amazing things happen.

The combination of the crate and the kong is such an invaluable part of the puppy’s training and will help with many aspects of their training.

Encouraging owners to really put the time in the first few days to crate train their puppy well will pay off in the long run. The puppy will be happy and relaxed and so will the owner too!! It is well worth while all the effort in the early days!