Crate training is going to be one of the first things that a lot of people train their puppies. Crates are a great tool for potty training and provide a safe space for a puppy new to your home. Crate training is good for puppies or older dogs who aren’t quite ready to be roaming dogs. It helps keep them safe and out of trouble while you’re not there to supervise them. Though it’s not an easy transition for you or pup here are a few tips to make that transition go a little smoother.
- Crate cover
- Snuggle buddy
- Enforced naptime
Buying a couple blankets will save you lots of time! Believe it or not, having a blanket is a lot safer for a puppy than having a dog bed. When my puppy was very small, he was famous for destroying things in the blink of an eye. To avoid any fears of him ingesting any bedding we quickly switched to blankets. Blankets are easier to store so you can have a couple in case of potty accidents. They are also much easier to clean up. You might have a few crate accidents and throwing a blanket in the wash is much easier than a bulky dog bed. Since they were so easy to store, you can switch them out without much hassle and not have to worry about puppy sleeping on an uncomfortable plastic tray. Blankets provide the best comfort a pup can ask for and best of all no more destroyed beds!
2. Crate cover
Having a crate cover can make the crate a more soothing area for your pup. Dogs are den animals and so keeping their space dark will definitely make them feel safer. It will also keep their minds off you while you’re moving freely around the house doing chores. For a lot of pups, it’s hard to sit still in the crate when they feel exposed to the world. You want puppy to feel like that is the safest place for them to be. Having the cover will allow them to calm down faster and not worry about you or the butterfly flying by.
3. Treats! Treats! Treats!
Treats are the answer to everything when you have a dog! No seriously it will work and make your pup more excited to get in the crate. I suggest you use your pup’s favorite treat but if you don’t know I’ll recommend a few below. Every time a puppy has to go down for a nap, I suggest you give a command like “Go to bed” followed by a treat! Soon he’ll be rushing right in. Lastly put a tiny bit of treats for your dog to savage for in the crate. So, he thinks treats magically spawn there and will hang in there even when he doesn’t need to.
- Chicken chips
- Wellness puppy bites
- True chews Premium Jerky cuts
4. Snuggle Puppy
Snuggle Bubbies are great companion especially for puppies that are adjusting to no longer having littermates. My puppy still loves his snuggle puppy even today! Bonus points if you can have the puppy’s littermates play with the snuggle buddy so their scent gets on it. Your puppy will feel less lonely with their snuggle buddies in the crate because they are not just any old stuff animal, they come with a heartbeat and a heating pad. Watching your puppy snuggle next to it makes it so much more endearing.
5. Enforced Naptime.
This is the best piece of advice that changed my life! Giving your puppy nap times throughout the day will not only excel crate training process, but it will also help with potty training, and decrease bittiness. Puppies need a lot of sleep 18- 20 hours to be exact! However, puppies don’t know how to self-regulate because they are just little babies so like little babies you have to put them down for a nap. If you are working from home, we recommend one hour of play to two hours of sleep time. This time will increase as they get older. But it’s important that you do the puppy check list before putting puppy down for a nap
- Has your Pup been feed and watered?
- Has your puppy been to the potty (This one is very important.)
- Has your puppy burned some energy?
If this list has been completely checked then it’s time for a nap! Now this doesn’t mean that after all these steps that your puppy will love going in on day 1 or even day 5. But these will definitely make the process go faster. Enforce naps also helps your puppy have more opportunities to get used to its crate than just having to go in during bedtime. It is important to know that you should not keep your puppy in its crate for long periods of time without potty breaks, so for a 2-month-old that means 2 hours. For each month they are that is how long they can go with a potty break in general.
These are just a few things you can do to make the crate training transition smoother for you and your new puppy in the family. These tips can also be helpful for shelter dogs who are not used to crate training. Please keep in mind that all dogs are different, and training will go a little differently for every pet parent. It is important to adjust to your dog’s needs accordingly so have patience, have routine and both you and your puppy will succeed!