Left on their own, puppies have the tendency to show the devious sides of their personalities – using the couch cushions as chew toys and soiling the carpet. Let’s be honest, puppies are kids. Good inside-the-home behavior is a learning process, and your new friend needs some coaching.
Training your puppy is an important part of being a dog owner. And part of that process involves crate training. Crating your puppy while you’re away from home or even while you’re home, busy with a project that keeps your attention away from your dog, is beneficial for each of you. For you and your family, it helps with house training and provides peace of mind that you won’t return to a destroyed home after a day at the office. For your puppy, the crate provides a safe space—a bedroom of sorts—which alleviates anxiety when you’re away, and establishes routine and expectations.
Follow these dos and don’ts for successful crate training.
5 Things You Must Do
Follow a schedule: Establishing a schedule for feeding time, taking your puppy outside (more than once) and crating him is especially important in the mornings before you leave the house. In the evenings, try not to feed your puppy past 6:30 p.m., so that it leaves plenty of time to take him outside a few times before bedtime.
Remember key times: Puppies generally need to go outside right when you wake up in the morning, 20-30 minutes after eating, after napping and after playtime.
Pay attention to the signs: If you’re home, be sure to observe your puppy’s behavior. When he begins to circle around an area, that’s a sure sign it’s time to take a trip outside.
Take your puppy to the same spot: Returning to the same area outside helps your puppy to understand why he’s there. Once your puppy relieves himself, be sure to give him a little praise to reinforce this action. The routine, once learned, becomes habit.
Remove your puppy’s collar or harness when inside the crate: Removing your puppy’s collar or harness when inside his crate is for his own safety.
5 Things You Should Never Do
Never use the crate as a punishment: In order to establish the crate as a safe and positive place, never put your puppy inside of it as a punishment. This action will give the crate a negative association.
If he begins to bark when you put him in the crate, don’t give in: In the beginning, your puppy may bark or cry when placed in the crate. This is normal. Comforting him or letting him back out will only prolong the process for your puppy to get used to his crate.
Don’t put the crate in an isolated space: This is especially important when you’re home. Puppies feel more comfortable when their owners are nearby. Try to place the crate in an area of your home where your puppy can see you.
Don’t leave him out of the crate if you’re not there to supervise: Until your puppy is grown and good behavior inside the home is learned, refrain from allowing your puppy to roam your house without supervision. This allows more opportunities for mishaps.
Don’t leave him in the crate all day: Puppies just can’t hold it. Though puppies don’t like to urinate where they sleep, if they’re neglected and left inside the crate for too long, it’s not their fault.
Crate training is a process, and one that requires routine and dedication. Accidents will happen, and it’s important not to overreact. As your puppy gets older, time outside the crate can increase. And with positive association with the crate, your dog will have a safe haven to retreat to when needed.
For more tips on crate training your puppy and information about obedience training classes, dog boarding and more, contact K9 Country Club.
(Photo: ©fotojagodka/123RF Stock Photo)
Puppies will be puppies and dogs with be dogs. This is true in many scenarios, like when your dog chases its tail, sneaks a slice of pizza left unsupervised, and shakes the pool water off itself and onto everyone within 15 feet. “Dogs will be dogs” is not an excuse for disobedience, however. Just like children learn manners and what is right and wrong, our furry family friends need the same training.
Dog obedience training has many benefits for both puppies and older dogs joining new homes. It’s a way to establish rules between you and your dog, with the help of expert dog trainers who understand canine behaviors and training techniques better than the rest of us.
Participating in a dog obedience course has five worthwhile benefits for you and your dog.
Bonding Time with Your Dog
The dedicated time for training with you and your dog provides an excellent opportunity to bond with your new best friend. Attend these training sessions and focus on you and your dog’s time together, without distractions on the mind. Your dog will enjoy the quality time with you. Chances are, it’s not every day your pup gets a solid time frame of your undivided attention.
Opportunity to Learn More About Your Dog
Especially for those who have adopted an older dog, obedience dog training is a chance to gain more insights about your dog’s behavior, temperament and personality. What you learn about your dog during these training sessions can help you understand your new friend and strengthen your relationship with him or her for years to come. Maybe your pup reacts poorly when people raise their arm, or whimpers when a man stomps the ground. Adopted dogs often have backgrounds that remain a mystery to us, but learning how certain movements and tones effect your dog can help you create a comfortable new environment.
Chance to Correct Problem Behavior
Dog owners often seek the help of expert dog trainers when there are problem behaviors that the owners are unable to fix on their own. Obedience dog training addresses these problem behaviors. Correcting problem behavior is often a process that requires patience and understanding, and the dedication to adhere to strict rules—it’s not a one-time fix during training sessions. Some dog training companies, like K9 Country Club, offer boarding and training options so that expert trainers have more one-on-one time in-house to help correct major problem behaviors.
Time for Socializing with Others
Puppies and older dogs alike can benefit from time socializing with other canines. This opportunity during dog obedience training helps instill your dog’s friendly behavior when interacting with other dogs, and allows an opportunity to address any problems you and your trainer notice. For pups who tend to be shy and keep to themselves, growing comfortable around other dogs is an important social skill—just as it is for humans. For those with serious social problems, the boarding and training option slowly immerses your dog into controlled social situations.
Ability to Create a Safer Environment
Well-trained dogs pose less of a threat to you, your family members, friends and others who come into contact with your dog. Uncontrollable dogs are often unpredictable and difficult to calm, leading to potential mishaps and injuries. Obedience training helps lessen the possibility of an incident, and if a situation does arise, your dog’s knowledge of commands is likely to help regain control.
Training doesn’t end after the obedience dog training course has finished. These courses help to establish the boundaries, teach basic commands, address problem behaviors and begin friendly social interaction. It’s up to you to continue using and reinforcing the commands and behaviors your dog has learned. The more you know and understand about your dog, the stronger your relationship can become.
Contact K9 Country Club for more information about obedience dog training and its other training options.