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Dog Crate Training

Posted: 2/28/2011 | Updated: 3/1/2011

Dog Crate Training

One of the best ways to potty train your dog is using the "crate training" method. People associate crate training with caging and confining the dog, but when done correctly, crate training gives the dog a feeling of security and teaches your puppy to go potty at scheduled times. Crate training is not a way to punish your dog. It is a method used to associate a safe place with the crate while teaching the dog to potty outside at scheduled times.

Choosing the Right Size Crate for your Dog

Most crates let you segment the dog’s space, so you can make the space larger as the puppy grows. You don’t want to choose a crate that is overly small, because it gives your puppy no room to get comfortable. However, a crate that is too big allows the dog to potty in one section of the crate and retreat to another. Each crate manufacturer has a dog size associated with the crate, so choose a crate size that matches your puppy’s breed and size.

Place the Crate in a Safe and Comfortable Setting

The crate isn’t used to punish your dog. The crate is a place where your dog feels comfortable and secure. Place a blanket in the crate, and feed your dog in the crate at night and during the day. This type of action associates the crate with positive reinforcement, which is the best way to train a dog. Don’t use the crate as a punishment tool when the dog urinates in the house. Instead, show the dog the right place to eliminate waste and leave the crate for positive reinforcement only.

Keep the Crate Clean

The purpose of crate training is to teach the dog to go to the bathroom when you are present to give praises for good behavior. Dogs do not want to urinate where they eat or sleep, so short times in the crate stop the dog from urinating in her “special place.” However, if an accident occurs, it’s important to clean the crate, so your dog is not sleeping or eating in its own waste.

Take Your Puppy Outside to Potty Often

Your puppy’s bladder is too tiny to hold in urine for long periods of time. Take her out often, reward her when she urinates outdoors, and show her plenty of praise. Walk your dog on a schedule, so she understands when it is time to urinate. Take her out using the same door. Using the same door associates it with “potty time,” so the dog goes to the door when she needs to urinate. This type of association is a great way for your dog to communicate when she needs to go outside. Do not ignore the dog when she goes to the door, and give her praises for communicating with you.

Puppy potty training is a long, persistent task that takes patience, love, and consistency. Your puppy will make mistakes, and it takes months to finally accomplish your goal. Potty training is a necessary step for a happy puppy and a satisfied home owner.

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