Category Archives: crate

Crate Training Your New Puppy

By Ruthie Bently

You’ve just gotten a new puppy and you decide to purchase a crate because it was suggested by your breeder or a friend. You have never had a dog before, let alone a crate; what do you do now? There are several guidelines when getting a crate for your puppy. I suggest getting the crate for the adult size of the dog, this way you are only purchasing one crate. As rapidly as your puppy is going to grow in the first six months of its life, you could end up with half a dozen crate changes depending on the size of the breed you pick.

When you are purchasing a crate for any dog, they should be able to walk into it, and have the ability to turn around and lay down. They don’t have to be able to hold their heads up when standing, but they should be able to walk in without bending their legs to get in. You can use a cardboard box from the grocery store to block off the back end of the crate and you can cut it back to give the dog more room as they grow and become housebroken.

Because dogs are pack animals they look at their crate as their den, which makes them feel more secure. You should place the crate in a major traffic area of the household. I usually suggest the kitchen, but it doesn’t have to be in the middle of the kitchen’s traffic pattern. You can use any room you like, but since you are using the crate to housebreak your puppy at the same time, you want the floor of the room you choose to be easy to clean.

There are several kinds of crates available; check with your breeder to see whether you should get metal or plastic. I actually use a plastic airline kennel in the house and have a metal crate for traveling. A machine washable and dryable crate pad or towels placed in the crate will make it more comfortable. I actually buy cotton blankets at sales and cut them into four equal pieces. This way I always have a spare blanket in case of an accident.

You should not leave a young puppy in a crate for more than a few hours at a time and never more than six hours after they are an adult. Before crating a puppy for the night, you should take them out to go potty as late as you can. Some people suggest putting the dog to bed by early evening, but I have found that if you are up late, the puppy may be as well. So if you are still up at midnight, take out the puppy. Alternatively, the first thing you should do in the morning after getting up is get the puppy out of their crate and take them out to go potty. So if you are an early riser, it will not hurt the puppy to go out; remember their bladders are not completely developed yet and they may not be able to hold it.

I have used crates for all four of my dogs and am very glad I did. Nimber was a stinker when it came to the teething stage; and because Skye was raised in a kennel, she had access to outdoors 24/7, which she doesn’t have here. Crate training helped her to realize she should be going potty outdoors on grass, not inside on tile.

A crate is a wonderful place for a puppy time out as long as you don’t use it for punishment. It can be useful if you need to go out, and don’t want the puppy getting into anything while you are gone. It can also protect your puppy if you need a secure place to put them for a short time. Just think of it as your four-legged child’s playpen, except that it has a top.

Read more articles by Ruthie Bently

Find CANIDAE Retailers Near You!

The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.

EmailGoogle GmailBlogger PostTwitterFacebookGoogle+Share

Crate Training and Its Advantages

When I was growing up we had dogs but they were never crate trained. Crates were sold back then; my folks just chose to go without one. At night the dog would spend the night behind gates in the kitchen. Of course there was one Boxer named Jayne, who didn’t realize she wasn’t supposed to jump the gate and did just about every night until they got a taller one. The family knew she could jump it if she really tried, but for some reason she stayed put.
I got my first crate when I got my first AmStaff Nimber, when he was a puppy. While you can buy a crate for the puppy’s size, the puppy will grow and you could be buying several sizes before you reach the size you need for an adult dog. I bought a crate that was 36 inches long, 24 inches wide and 30 inches high; which was the size suggested by the breeder at the time. I put a cardboard box in the back of the crate on its side, with its bottom facing the door. In this way I was able to cut down the size of the crate for the puppy. Dogs do not like to urinate or defecate where they sleep, this is their “den” and they will keep it clean; if you are housebreaking a puppy this is another plus for getting a crate. As my puppy grew, I would cut a bit of the box away, so he gained more space in the crate.
Whatever size crate you buy, it should be at least tall enough for the dog to stand up in. They don’t have to be able to hold up their head, but they do need to have enough room to walk in, turn around and lay down easily. I also suggest using something washable on the bottom for the dog to lie down on. I like to use old quilts, or go the local recycling center to look for old blankets. You can even use old cotton towels; just make sure whatever you use is machine washable because sometimes accidents happen. I have more than one blanket, so in case one needs to be washed there is a clean one ready to use. You can even put a blanket over it to darken it at night to help your dog sleep.
A puppy should never be in a crate for more than three to four hours at a time if you can help it, and six to hours is the limit I use for Skye, as an adult. I try not to leave Skye in her crate for more than about six hours at a time, though she has been crated overnight when I am home. When Skye came to live with me, she was crated when I could not watch her even though she was an adult, as she was into everything. I also started crating her overnight when she began living here because she had been a kennel dog and wasn’t housebroken yet. The crate was also helpful for feeding her in because she had to get medication in her food and I didn’t want the cats getting into it. Now that she is settled into the household routine and the cats are used to her, I don’t crate her to feed her unless I am adding something to her food that the cats might find interesting.
A crate should never be used for punishment, no matter how frustrated you may get. It can be used for a time out when you need a break. It can be used if you need to have the dog out of the way, but in a safe place temporarily; an example of this would be if you are hosting a party, or mopping the floors that the dog just ran across with their muddy paws.
If you follow these easy tips, crate training can be a rewarding experience for the whole family. It worked well for me and I know Skye is happier; now she gets to sleep at the foot of my bed.

Find CANIDAE Retailers Near You!

The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.