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Crate training(9 Posts)
We are planning on getting a puppy currently narrowed it down to a beagle (ive had beagles before so know what to expect) or a cocker spaniel (which i have no experience with). I grew up with collies and DP had a german shepherd so we are an experience dog family however i have never crate trained a dog before so am wondering if anyone can offer me some advice.
We have 3 children under 5 so my thinking with the crate is that it gives puppy and children a safe space away from each other when needed however we can very easily make a space in the house that is a puppy/childfree zone so is a crate actually needed?
We have been planning, discussing and preparing the children for getting a puppy for about a year so this is a well thought through decision, im a sahm and all 3 children are usually at school or preschool for chunks of the week now so i have plenty of time to give a puppy (which is why we have waited until the youngest started preschool to get a dog) we arent able to rehome due to having such young children which is why we are going down the puppy route.
Please can you give me the dummies lesson in crate training
I haven't actually crate trained but I'm currently fostering a dog who is and I'd say absolutely get it crate trained! It's a space away from everything if they want it and makes them feel secure. We've put a blanket over ours so it feels more cosy and den like. She absolutely loves it in there and will happily go in at night or when we go out. I also love knowing that while we're not there she can't cause havoc! I wasn't convinced about crates as they felt cruel to me but I'm a total convert now I've seen them in action!
Crate training seems to be a controversial topic
I do crate train for several reasons
I have working breeds and for them the crate is a signal to relax, stop working and chill. Whereever we are strange places, in the van or car if they are in the crate they are chilled immediatley
The do not get locked in the crate unless in a vehicle but just being in the crate is a clear indication it is time to stop.
On a simple level to crate train ,make it comfy put it in a nice cosy space, always feed the puppy in the crate, drop random treats in the crate during the day. Have the crate close to you to start with the door open sit next to it when the puppy sleeps.
Some people do not use crates but I feel it is a general life skill for dogs. All of them at some point in their lives will need to be crated or restrained (at the vets for example) and by doing this at an early age crating will never be a stressful situation
My plan would be to have the crate in the corner of the room next to the sofa so its near us, i wasnt planning on shutting the door so the dog can come and go from it as it pleases but that its a clear signal to the children that if the dog is in the crate it is to be left alone, i just feel this can be achieved by putting the dogs bed in the same space and strictly implementing the rule that it is a childfree zone.
I was wondering how it works with regards to house training? Obviously it helps curb destructive behaviours if the dog is shut in it at night or when we are out but what about toilet training whilst using a crate?
I crate trained my Spaniel. He was shut in at night when he was a puppy but he often chose to go in during the day for a rest.
A crate top is also a really useful dumping ground for random shit.
#JayAlfredPrufrock always need an extra surface for dumping random shit
So how do you start getting the puppy to go into the crate? Also do you have an additional bed somewhere or is the crate the sole comfy space for the dog?
If you join dog training and advice on Facebook they give a really thorough step by step guide to crate training. I got a crate for puppy's sake to escape from the dc but she's obsessed with them and isn't interested in the crate at all
With really young children, their impulse control is so bad that a basket with the puppy in is really hard to resist. A crate (I drape mine with fleece blankets) allows the puppy to be put somewhere to chill out (they are like toddlers and get overtired and need to be put somewhere to nap), but with a very clear 'you never touch the crate, crate door, or put any part of you or anything in there'. There are also times when it really is useful to be able to shut the puppy away because of chaos/ irresistible trouble/ small visitors. The vast majority of my foster puppies really like their crate, and in fact one of my own adult dogs has chosen to go back to sleeping in one at night as he is a bit of an anxious dog and likes the security. If you don't shut the door he comes and stares at you till you go and do it
We have a 4 month old puppy now who loves his crate as we introduced it the first day we got him.
My biggest tip would be to not use the crate as punishment, if you put your dog in his crate after telling them off that is what they'll associate it with and might not settle as well.
Also I would make sure the crate is a big enough size for them that it fits their bed but also has enough room for them to be able to stretch and turn around. It's worth considering how fast they'll grow and depending what dog you get think of their adult size and if you have the space get a bigger one as it will save you having to spend the money on a bigger crate further down the line when they grow out their first one.
Also, as a PP said, feed them in their crate. Also make sure when you put them in at night you put some toys in, this will give them something to play with if they wake.
For the toilet training, dogs can't generally hold their toilet for the full night until around 16 weeks, even then it's usually older than this. Be prepared for the first wee while to be getting up during the night to let them out to the toilet. I would also always recommend putting a puppy pad in the crate just in case they do have an accident, although dogs are generally quite reluctant to toilet where they sleep so you'll find your puppy will try holding it in the crate but this may result in them crying/barking during the night to alert you that they need out.
The more you persevere with toilet training during the day, the sooner they'll get the hang of it at night too. Ours is 4 months now and he's for the most part toilet trained, we get the odd accident but it's very rare now x