Crate training: Set boundaries early with your new puppy
At Hidden Boundaries, we’ve seen so many families welcome new puppies into their homes over the past year! These wriggly bundles of joy have been a bright spot during a tough and uncertain year and we’re looking forward to watching these new friends adapt to their world.
But amid all the fun and excitement new puppies bring, it’s important to remember that it takes a lot of work to make sure they grow to become good dogs. It’s been our pleasure to help clients across West Michigan keep their new puppies safely confined within their underground fencing with our GentleSteps™ Training. When we finish a training session, we leave you with the tools you need to successfully train your puppy to have free reign of your outdoor space.
What about learning their indoor space? We do offer in-house pet containment systems, but there’s also an important component of puppy training that provides lifelong foundational skills: crate training. Your new companion has an instinctive tendency towards denning. That means that, if done correctly, crate training can provide a calm and safe environment for your new puppy that also helps with potty training, since dogs rarely soil where they sleep. Here are some basic but essential steps you can use to train your puppy that will help them become both happy and well-behaved:
- Start by purchasing a crate for your puppy that is just large enough to give them room to move around comfortably and small enough to prevent them from being able to soil one corner and sleep in another.
- Place the crate in a room that is frequently occupied to help your puppy feel like a part of the family.
- Start slow; leave the crate’s door open with treats waiting within to give your puppy the chance to “discover” their new crate.
- Once they’re comfortable with it, slowly start feeding them meals in the crate, experimenting with closing the door in small time increments.
- Gradually increase the amount of time your puppy spends in the crate while keeping an eye on them. Start giving them toys to play with while they are inside the crate.
Patience is key! Once your puppy is crate trained, you’ll both be rewarded; your puppy with a safe and comfortable environment, and you with a place you can trust your pet to be when you can’t be there.