To begin with, many puppy owners that we run across on Long Island, NYC have a huge problem when it comes to crate training their puppy. The problem is the preconceived notion that they carry or the physical appearance of a crate resembling a prison that is used for puppies. It’s not.
It should also be noted that these puppy owners are viewing a crate from a human’s point of view; this type of thinking also creates an enormous obstacle for having a well-trained dog too. Not to mention, that on more than occasion, it is this kind of mindset that actually can create or add to a puppy or dog’s aggression or dominant behavior – all this for another post on how to become the pack leader.
Is Crate Training My Puppy Necessary?
Here at Dedicated Dog Training, we advocate the use of crate training for potty training and housebreaking (the prevention of chewing, destroying and creating havoc in your home). Please do not misunderstand our stance on crate training, we believe in it, but, like anything else, there is a right and wrong way on how to crate train your puppy. Crate training helps to keep your bond with your puppy, we know, many of you are shaking your heads in disbelief right now – putting my puppy in the crate (prison) is going to enhance our relationship? How? Well, if we can get you to stop viewing the crate as a punishment or jail for a second we can attempt to make you feel better about using it. So here goes.
Crate Training Puppies and Room Training Humans
Firstly, we need to understand that a puppy needs to feel safe and secure, we may go into a room to do that, of course, the room is bigger, but so are we. So, relevancy here does apply. When we are upset, confused, or just feel like collecting our thoughts, we will most likely close the door to that room (the equivalent of closing the crate door).
What we do not want to do is to give the puppy a negative experience with sending him to the crate, without doubt, we will be sending our puppy to his or her crate when they upset us; however, it is our job to become actors and actresses in doing so. What does that mean?
That means we must send them “cheerfully!” A little different than our observations on how we send children to their room when they are misbehaving.
Another reason why the crate is advantageous to maintaining and augmented the bond between you and your furry friend is it will prevent or at least decrease the amount of time that you spend physically correcting or verbally yelling and screaming at your puppy or dog for eliminating on your carpet, chewing on the furniture or running over your children.
Often bad habits are created when a puppy is allowed to freely roam the home, there are things that they can do that are undetectable at the moment, which will be realized later by you; therefore, as we all know, or should know, a correction for a chewed cell phone hours or even minutes after the act occurs is fruitless.
How Large Should the Crate Be?
One of the biggest mistakes that our Long Island dog training school observes when we are conducting evaluations throughout Long Island and NYC is the crate size is too large. Now, crate size is not a problem, if your puppy does not have potty training issues.
If your puppy does have issues when it comes to relieving his or herself then the crate should be JUST large enough for him or her to stand up and turn around.
The reasoning behind this is to create a consequence for the puppy if he or she was to eliminate. A good example, if your puppy eliminates in a crate that is so big, there is no consequence, the puppy can easily move to the other side and relax there until you notice and clean up the elimination.
However, if the crate is fairly “too close for comfort” the consequence is built into to the size of the crate, that is, even a very small amount of time stuck next to feces or urine could act a great future deterrent.
What a Crate Should Not be used for?
A crate should definitely be used for discouraging bad behaviors so they do not become bad habits. A crate should NOT be used for or to replace professional dog training programs. Long Island has too many qualified dog trainers for you to use a crate to control bad behaviors.
If safety is an issue, by all means USE the crate. If having a hyper active dog leads you to using the crate, then we would suggest another route, hyperactivity in a puppy of course can be attributed to puppyhood, but also it is a symptom of a larger problem; it is not the problem.
The problems that can arise from an isolated a puppy every time you have company over can span from a hyperactive dog never getting used to many people in the household and him or her leading a very limited life to a very people aggressive dog (when you think about it, it actually makes sense, people to the dog begins to equal isolation)
Crate training your puppy is an awesome way to go to help combat bad habits from developing and to give you piece of mind when you cannot be there to supervise a puppy who is still learning what is acceptable and not acceptable behaviors in and around your home. Not to mention that crate training your puppy will help you to have an adult dog that is well-potty trained.
Additionally, crate training lends itself to many puppy owners weighing in on the validity and on how to crate train your puppy – it is your job to listen, learn, and then apply what you believe to be the best methods. Knowledge is power! Dedicated Dog Training is here to help you achieve not only your crate training goals, but your puppy and dog training goals as well.