How to Crate Train your Puppy

By David

The following are general guidelines in crate training your puppy. Each pet is different and may require different techniques, but these guidelines should help to get you started with crate training your puppy.


Introduce your puppy from the start to his new "home". Almost without trying he will train himself to seek security and comfort inside his little "dog room". Encourage your puppy to go into his home on his own. If necessary, toss a little treat in the home. DON'T FORCE HIM! He may quickly back out or be shy, but that is normal. Just take it slowly. At first don't close the door on him, let him go in and out on his own. Once he is happy and unafraid of his new home, simply restrain him at the door with your hand. Make him stay in the home for a few minutes, then gradually increase the time and be sure to praise him! Once he is comfortable with this (probably a few hours or days of short training sessions), simply restrain him at the door with the door--again giving him a lot of praise. Soon he will be secure in his home with the door closed. Slowly you can get further and further away from him, always praising his accepting behavior. Eventually the puppy will sit quietly and sleep in his home with the door closed. Sometimes it is helpful to have his favorite toy or special pillow/blanket in with him.

NOTE: When selecting a crate, be sure to select a crate that will grow with your puppy. You can purchase divider panels if your puppy will grow to be a large adult. This way your puppy can feel safe and secure in one part of the crate and not eliminate in his area.


Understand that little puppies need to "go" about every 2-4 hours. On a schedule (such as after feeding, before bedtime, first thing in the morning) let your puppy out, teach him the way to the door, praise him at the door, and take him out to the part of the yard you want him to use. Very quickly, you are teaching him an elimination schedule that will stay with him for the rest of his life.

As your puppy gets older (4-6 months) you can gradually leave him in his home for longer periods of time because he can "hold it" longer. Sooner he can be home in his home all day, if necessary, until someone arrives to let him out.

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