Common mistakes with puppy crate training

Puppies who find themselves in a new home can easily become overwhelmed and scared. This is normal, but if your puppy in not potty trained, it could lead to a messy experience that you can easily avoid. Puppy training crates provide a good and easy answer to these problems. The main advantage of using crates is that dogs are den animals in nature, which means that they feel safe and calm in a closed space. The den (or crate in our case) becomes their home and it is a cozy place to rest and hide. As a bonus, dogs tend to avoid soiling their dens. Puppy crate training is a pretty good and simple option, but there are some common mistakes you would like to avoid:

1. Punishing the pup when an accident happens

Puppy Crate Training - Crate Training a Puppy

In the early months, your puppy is much like a baby that needs to learn the rules. puppy crate training is a learning process that takes time, accidents and setbacks will happen. This in completely acceptable and you should not stick your puppy's nose in it or scold it. The pup doesn’t know why it is being punished and this will only hurt your relationship. What you would like to do is clean the accident up, move along and praise your pup the next time it does the right thing.

2. Misusing the crate

 The crate is a great way to utilize the puppy's den instinct, but it can not replace potty training and regular interaction with you, the owner. You would want to use the crate only when you are around, do not leave the puppy inside and walk away for long periods of time. This will force the puppy to ignore its instinct not to soil its den and your crate training will be ruined.

3. Forcing the puppy to go into the crate

Puppy training crates are meant to be a relaxing, pleasant place for the puppy to be in. If you make the experience of the crate stressful and scary for the pup, it will develop a fear from it and that is missing the point. When crate training a puppy, keep a calm, positive attitude. Let the pup explore the crate, sniff it and walk around it at first. As time goes by you will see that the crate becomes the pup's home. When your puppy goes into the crate on its own, reinforce it with praise and a treat.

4. Crate size

You need to be very careful with this one. The crate should be big enough for your puppy. You pup should be able to stand up in it and turn around easily.

Puppy Crate Training - Crate Training a Puppy

5. Using the crate as a form of punishment

We know that raising puppies is not always easy and that sometimes they can make a mess. This is all a part of growing up and with the proper training, your puppy will grow up to be calm and pleasant. No matter what, do not lock your pup in the crate, not even if it makes a mess or does something it is not supposed to. Be kind to your pet and treat it with love and care.   

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