Crate Training

Crate Training

A 10-step guide to crate training your dog.

A crate does 3 important things.

This guide is intended as an introduction to how to properly crate train your puppy.

Proper crate training requires knowledge of the proper procedures, which should be followed as outlined below. Every dog reacts to crate training differently, so persistence and patience goes a long way when crate training your puppy.

First, it will smooth out the housebreaking process by teaching a puppy where to go to relieve himself. By using its own instincts, the puppy will not urinate or defecate where it sleeps, provided you do your own part in the crate training process.

Second, it will relieve the puppy’s stress about being alone while you are away at work.

Third, it will get you both through the teething stage, when your puppy wants to chew on everything in sight.

A puppy comes into this world not knowing what we as humans expect of it. Right or wrong, we teach them everything they learn, so let’s make it positive!


10 Steps to crate training your dog

There is no magic to house breaking; it’s really only common sense and an understanding of your dog. House breaking consists of a few very important rules, which are:

  1. Putting your puppy on a daily schedule when you feed and water it. The following is the schedule that we use at I-Guard International for crate training.

7:00 A.M.

While you are crate training your puppy, it needs to sleep in the crate. Get up and take the puppy outside to go to the bathroom. Bring the puppy in and put its food and water down for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes the food and water are taken away, finished or not.

7:45 A.M.

Take the puppy outside again. While I am getting ready, I cannot watch my puppy, so he is in his crate. I will take the puppy out at least three times before I leave the house for the day so he can empty his system.

9:00 A.M.

Put the puppy in its crate and leave. I leave no food or water in the crate while I am gone. Remember what goes in must come out, so if you leave food and water in the crate you are making it harder for your puppy to learn the rules of being house broken.

When you come home from work, immediately take your puppy outside to go to the bathroom and follow the same schedule as you did in the morning.

I never feed past 6:30 P.M. Between 6:30 and the time I go to bed I will take the puppy out several times so when I crate my puppy it can sleep all night without having to go to the bathroom.

Remember: Food + Water = Got to Go!

  1. Know the key times your puppy needs to go outside. Which are 20 to 30 minutes after you feed it, every time it wakes up and any time you are playing. Remember activity stimulates going to the bathroom.
  1. If you are watching your puppy while it is outside the crate and it starts to sniff the floor while walking around in a small circle simply pick it up and take it outside. This is a sign I would really pay attention to. If your puppy has an accident in the house it is your own fault as you were not doing your part in the training process.
  1. Puppies urinate a lot so if you take him outside and he gets distracted or is involved in playing and does not go, bring him back inside and put him in the crate for about 20 minutes and then take him back outside again. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
  1. When I take the puppy outside I will take it to the same spot every time. I will also praise the puppy after it goes to the bathroom. By doing both of these it will help him understand what is expected of him.
  1. Very Important: If you can’t physically keep your eyes on your puppy, he should be in the crate. I am sure if you have had children; you used a play pen or gated area when you could not watch them.
  1. Do not put his crate where he is isolated from you. Dogs are pack animals and you are his pack. Even though he is in the crate if he can see and hear you it makes it much easier on him.
  1. Remove any type of collar or harness while your puppy is crated for safety reasons.
  1. Never use a crate as punishment; this is your dog’s room so it is always a positive place.
  1. When you first crate your puppy more than likely it will cry, bark and howl on the hopes of you letting him out. Don’t do it! This is typical puppy behavior. If you go to comfort him, all you are doing is making it harder for him to get use to the new situation. All of this behavior will go away in a few days once he becomes more comfortable with his crate.

When I am home with the puppy I will still crate him. This means a schedule of one hour in and one hour out so he sees the crate as a positive place and not just a place where he goes when you are not at home.

As the dog gets older he can have more time outside of the crate. Most people make the mistake of leaving a puppy out of the crate too soon. This can cause problems, so be patient and before you know it your dog will be housebroken and properly crate trained.

For more information on crate training and private dog training, give us a call at 509-340-9733.