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Confused on how to crate a new puppy, can anyone clarify how to do it properly?(28 Posts)
Hi all, we are due to get a puppy in 5 weeks and would like to know how to crate properly and I'm confused from reading conflicting things.
Can anyone help answer these questions:
Do I get a big crate and divide it when it's a pup, or a get a small crate at first?
Do I just put in towels and blanket stuff in there as there will be accidents at first and get the nice bed when it's housetrained?
Can I bring the crate upstairs and put it next to my bed so I am there to reassure it in the night? I couldn't bare it being downstairs and whining on its own the first few nights, or do I sleep downstairs with it?
Do I get up in the night when it whines and take it out to the toilet? Or do I get a bigger crate and put the bed at one end and a puppy pad at the other end, so it goes to the toilet on the pad in the night?
Honestly everyone does things differently and I think you need to do what works best for you.
My preference was to NOT use puppy pads for anything because I wanted to make sure I cracked toilet training and I was concerned about how it might confuse dogs. However, some people use them successfully whilst you get others still battling with toilet training which might be because they use them intermittently and thus the dog just doesn't understand why they can toilet sometimes but not other times.
Most people that use crate tend to buy them for their dogs size to help toilet training. However, I was happy to get up any time my dog needed to toilet so I went with the largest crate I could get as I wanted a secure area and not to use it as a toilet training technique. Again it's about what works for you.
Some people sleep downstairs, others have it in their bedroom and move it out gradually.
What I am trying to say is that there isn't a 'best' way, just one that works for your household and puppy.
There's a good book called Easy Peasey Puppy Squeezy that talks about how to crate and how to make the crate a positive thing.
It depends a bit on the breed/size of puppy you're getting as to how big the crate needs to be. We had a small/medium sized crate for our terrier puppy, we made it really cosy and covered over with a blanket to create a den feel.
We used it at night mostly and occasionally in the day if I had to pop out for a short time. It was reassuring for me to know he was contained and somewhere safe.
He loved the crate until he hit 7 months and then he completely rejected it 🙄
Also wondering if it would be easier to have two crates, one upstairs and one downstairs?
We carry the crate upstairs at night but we got a small 9ne that’s big enough for puppy to turn round and stretch and have space but not huge.
She hasn’t had an accident in crate, she whines in the night when she needed our, twice in night at first, them once, now at 11 weeks mostly sleeping from 11 to 6,30.
She’s still upstairs with us in the bedroom so I hear when she needs a wee. I’m starting to move her nearer the door as she’s sleeping through and she’ll go into kitchen.
In the day the crate isn’t successful. She’ll take herself in for a nap but whinges if the door is shut.
Oh and easy peashooter puppy squeeze and blue cross websites explain it all well.
Please buy a copy of Gwen Baileys “perfect puppy” book. It’s really excellent, I think you will find it very helpful.
We just had one crate which was downstairs but in easy ear shot of my bedroom. Yes it had a bed in it and soft blankets, toys etc. If he cried when he was in the crate I assumed he needed the toilet so would get up and put him outside.
I definitely feel this approach helped with toilet training. He tended to wake up twice a night on average but was up for the day early between 5-6am!
He slept through from around 4-5 months I think.
We've got a 12 week old Mini Schnauzer. We brought her home 3 weeks ago and the first night put her in her crate in the living room. Crate is right for her size when grown, but filled with a vetbed (which the breeder gave us from her home), so the whole area is her 'bed' with no area to pee. We put a hot water bottle under the vetbed and put in a soft toy from the breeder as well, and a coop cup with water in.
She slept all night without a peep (doors left open so could hear) until DS got up at 6.30 to take her out to pee. Every night since then has been fine, sleeps through all night with no accidents or crying.
I do think we're very lucky, but then the DC were awful sleepers until they were 2 so we were due some good luck!
@hungryhippo wow that is good! No whining and no weeing from 9 weeks old? What time was she going in the crate for the night?
Was she not at all cautious or nervous about the crate?
If you're on FB then join the group Dog Training Advice and Support. There's an excellent guide to stress free crate training in the 'Puppies' section of the group's Units.
I also agree with the recommendations for Steve Mann's 'Easy Peasy Puppy Squeezy' book.
@MrsTumbletap we put her in around 11 the first night, since then it's been between 10.30 and 11. We tempted her in with a few bits of kibble and then closed the door and left. At that point lights were down low, we were quiet, she was already sleepy and it had been a long day - we picked her up in the morning- so that probably helped.
I spent some time that first week just sitting next to the crate during the day with both doors open, so she would come and lie in it to be next to me, and I could stroke her. We also put her bowl of food in there at mealtimes. Her lounging preference during the day is actually an old bean bag which she has taken possesion of, but she does have to go in the crate for a couple of hours a day while we're working. Again she is fine.. cries for 30 seconds and then goes to sleep (we have a doggie cam).
Our crate was huge
We had it next to our bed and got up with him for the toilet when he stirred. Twice a night for the 1st few days then down to once a night for around 2 weeks then he slept right through. Never used puppy pads. We were quite lucky as he as always been pretty good overnight. After about 3 weeks we moved the crate little by little out of our room.
Depends on the pup and also you. We had puppy pads which were used for only a week, after that he cried if he wanted to go,, after lots of praise for telling us. We bought a crate but never need it as he isn’t a chewer
Obviously depends on the size of your puppy, but mine was so tiny when I first got her she slept in a cat carrier actually on the bed up against the head board. She is the only puppy I've had who never cried once, probably because I was in sight all night. I would take her out once, usually after 4 hours of sleeping, but stopped that around 5 months. When she outgrew the carrier I got a crate and she slept in there for a few months, but soon graduated to my bed, where she stays now she is adult. She never peed or poo'd in a crate, but I didn't leave her long enough for this to happen, or else I was lucky. I always made sure her crate was very comfy with the whole thing being bedding - there was nowhere to pee! The crate was put away for good when she was about 18 months. I am not a lover of crates and I think they are often used wrongly. Even as a small puppy she was shut in a secure room if we went out for a short time, never in a crate.
@longearedbat when your pup was in the crate when she was still young, where did you put the crate, was that in your bedroom too?
There you go:
Do not get a crate that is too large for the puppy, he will only turn one end into a toilet. Do not put puppy pads in there, it's not supposed to be a toilet. Yes, use something you can wash easily, there may be accidents and you need to clean everything thoroughly after them. Yes move the crate around or sleep next to the crate to reassure the puppy.
Please also read linked advice especially on not shutting the crate door too soon.
@MrsTumbletap Yes, the crate was beside the bed. As she got older and more sensible I dispensed with the crate and she moved onto the bed.
I know some people don't like having dogs on the bed, but each to their own.
Have you talked the the breeder? Ours quizzed us on how we would do things as she always crates them so she was used to a crate, we just adopted the breeders routine
@Booboostwo thank you, i knew there would be a crate thread sonewhere.
I am probably still being dim, but this is the bit im still not getting.
Get a smallish crate just big enough for it to stand up and turn around that is essentially a bed with a roof -yes? I will put this next to my bed and will sleep with it for the first few weeks, to train it to not wee/poo at night. Get up if she whines etc
Then what about in the day if I need to pop out for an hour or two after a few weeks? Do I get a second bigger crate with pads so it can have a wee/poo? Do I leave the crate door open and put pads around the pen area which will be about 2metres square in the kitchen so it can wee/poo?
Does the 2nd downstairs crate just become a bed in the day, that they have free reign to go in and out of in and they have the pen area?
For some reason it seems cruel putting it in the bed crate in the day. But fine at night because it's bed time?! I know that sounds strange.
@Funf we are meeting the breeder next weekend, she will be 4.5 weeks old, I can't contain my excitement
@longearedbat there is no judgement from me, we will do the same, if not on the bed, she will be in a little bed on the floor next to me and have the choice.
We also crate her in the car as she is usually covered in mud, quite happy and safe in it.
I am excited for you it can be hard initially but so rewarding
The crate recreates the idea of the den which is where wolves raise their young in the wild. It’s a safe, small, enclosed space and most puppies are unlikely to pee and poo in there. If you put puppy pads in the crate or get one that is large enough to become a toilet you are defeating one of the purposes of the crate.
The crate should, ideally, be moved around ad be in the room the dog is in so that the dog has free access to it at any time. You only need the one crate. You should not close the door, not even at night, until the puppy is crate trained. You may find that the puppy does not have the same ideas as you regarding night time, a bit like a baby!
If you need to go out and the puppy is not yet crate trained leave the puppy in a puppy proof room with the crate in it. Try to time leaving the puppy for a moment when he is likely to be sleepy.