If you crate train your puppy or dog, you’ll find it useful in a wide variety of situations. For example:
- You can confine the dog if guests come over who are afraid of dogs.
- The dog is comfortable being in a small enclosed space, so if he has to stay overnight at veterinarian’s it will be less stressful.
- Ditto any kind of emergency evacuation from your home.
- It’s very useful in potty training, as even young puppies will do their best not to soil their crate, unless they are left in it longer than they can manage.
Here are a couple of puppy potty training youtube videos that provide excellent information on the process. The first one is about five minutes and the second one runs three minutes. (The sound is less than ideal on the second video but of the dozen videos that I checked out for inclusion here, I still thought it was one of the best.)
These are both about puppies but the process is the same for adult dogs. If your dog has had bad experiences in the past with crates, go VERY slowly and see this bit on another page of mine about alternatives to crate training.
As they both emphasize, take as long as it takes to let the puppy get used to the crate. Don’t force the process! What you want is for the or dog to feel at home and happy in the crate. The best way to do this is food, bit by bit, gradually tossing it further into the crate.
I think that crate training is one of the best things you can do for your puppy or adult dog when you first get it. While some people have the opinion that crate training a puppy is cruel, it really isn’t if you don’t leave the pup or dog in the crate for long hours at a time. Dogs actually benefit from crate training — my list of examples at the top of this article could go on and on. It seems to me that typically dogs who are used to their crate find it comforting and homey.
When our Rottweiler, Lola was a puppy, she often needed to be confined in her crate for a while when we had guests over, so we could have a meal without her resting her chin on the table. We eventually solved that problem with training and whenever we need to crate her, she is very, very good about it. Specially when we give her a Kong with some peanut butter in it!
What’s a Kong? I have a whole page about this wonderful dog toy. It’s fun anytime but is a real aid in keeping your dog or puppy happy in its crate.