Let’s talk crate training!! Such an important topic…literally, this one source of help in raising puppies can mean the difference of a pup being re-homed in six months, and a pup staying in it’s forever home…..forever. For those who are opposed to crate training…Why??? Seriously, if you think about it, back in the day, where did people keep their puppies or young dogs if they (the people) left home for any period of time? The bathroom?? The garage?? The kitchen?? Aren’t these all forms of confinement, or control in some way? They totally are!! These more contained areas protected your home, your furniture, and your puppy from all sorts of maladies. Crate training takes this concept about five steps farther and provides not only a safe place, but a tool for training. Think of it this way….you are not putting your puppy or dog into a cage….you are providing them a den. They need that for so many different reasons.
Your Puppy: Their First Night in a Crate: Don’t expect to get much sleep. An eight week old pup, first night away from the pack, not yet exposed to being alone not to mention in a crate, is highly likely to have a pretty rough night. Hopefully, the events of the day will have the little rascal a bit tuckered out and the restlessness will quickly fade. At that point…DROP ALL THAT YOU ARE DOING AND TAKE A NAP…because short naps are possibly all you are going to get that first night. It is helpful to be prepared for a lack of sleep for a little while….but hang in there, because the first night that you sleep like a baby is a night you will never forget….seriously!!
Okay, I get it, the whining, the howling, the barking, the pawing on the metal, grid walls of the crate will get REALLY tiresome and annoying at 2:30 in the morning…especially since it has been going on…and off….for 4 hours at that point. Hang in there!! So here’s the thing…and it’s something you will probably have to adjust depending on your individual puppy…you’re going to need to decide when that crying goes from, “I want out of here” to “I’ve got to pee!!” After a bit of fussing, it is likely that the little guy legitimately has to pee. Take him to the potty spot, a quick hug…then right back into the crate. DON”T get suckered into a midnight came of tug….or a midnight snack….DON’T DO IT!!!! They don’t need it (unless you have a really, really tiny breed of dog that needs to keep it’s blood sugars up by more frequent feedings), but talking Great Danes here….they don’t need it!! It’s a ploy….a very well sophisticated, thought out, diversion!! Gently put them back in their crate…..and…..hopefully, you will get a quick nap. If you bring them into your bed with you at this point…you’ve lost the battle. Most times there is no going back, and your 15 pound puppy will soon be a 150 pound dog sleeping next to you, across you, on your pillow, masking your every move until you have maybe 6 inches of bed left to sleep on……but it is wonderful!!!
The Basics (You may already know) If your puppy has come to you with a fluffy or toy from their breeder’s home, it makes good sense to incorporate that into their new crate. If it is clean to fairly clean don’t wash it unless, (possibly it was soiled during their trip home to you) put that item with them for a few days. Make their den small…enough room to get up, turn around, and change position…but not enough to jump around, play, and potty. If the pup’s new den is cozy, he will be less apt to potty in it, especially if your pup’s breeder had been diligent with keeping up with potty clean up. A cozy den, is a happy den!!
More on crate training next time!!
But….did you notice….we have a new countdown on the ticker in the right hand margin. What’s this all about?? We have a date for the radiograph puppy count!! Take a peak…as always, if you can’t see anything in the right hand margin, go on up to the top menu bar and click on, Blog.
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