Crates or Kennels

You love your puppy and dog, but you can't spend every moment of every day with them, so here is some information on teaching your puppy about a crate. After your puppy is potty trained and no longer chews things that do not belong to he or she, then the crate is generally used for traveling only.

The crate can help you teach your puppy to enjoy spending time alone in their own private space and we can be an invaluable tool in the housebreaking process. Even if you choose not to have a crate for your puppy, you will inevitably find he or she out of the traffic area and lying under a table, a desk, or a chair. These areas offer the solitude your puppy or dog seeks to feel more secure when he or she needs to get away and have a little rest and relaxation. Crates make a great place for your puppy to hang out.

You will want to put a couple of blankets or a puppy bed of some type in the crate so it will become a warm, comfortable retreat for your baby. Let your puppy naturally find their crate in your kitchen, living room, bedroom or wherever you decide the crate will reside. Some people will have more than one crate for convenience. Make sure you place the crate in an area well circulated, free of drafts, and out of direct sunlight. You will occasionally ind your friend has curled up in the open crate for a nap, or just to get away from the noise and activity of the house. The value of crate training is really handy on various occasions. You just put your puppy in his crate for a few hours with his favorite bone and you both are happy. A young puppy is going to sleep a lot of the time anyway, so why not enjoy sleeping in a warm and familiar place like their own crate.

If small children and puppies could have their way, they'd choose to run free all the time without any restrictions. Obviously puppies and children don't have the maturity to handle that freedom and keep themselves safe and out of trouble. They have to learn to accept periods of confinement. The key word is "accept". Accept doesn't mean they are going to like it right off the bat. Most puppies bark and complain during the first few days and nights. Sometimes beginning with sessions measured in very short intervals, rather than minutes and hours is the best approach.

Some people feed their puppy in their crate and then lead them immediately to the area where they want them to go potty, knowing that this going potty action will need to happen soon. Placing the food in the back of the crate will encourage your puppy to explore and enter this new area. This seems to quickly help the little youngster establish a positive association towards the crate. Once they accept this new restriction on their freedom, they quiet down, learn to enjoy it and consider the crate their safe, comfortable sanctuary.

It's best to put your puppy in their crate when they are already tired and ready to settle down. They'll get used to the secure feeling they have in their new "bedroom" faster. Growing puppies alternate periods of activity, playing, discovering and rest throughout the day. There's no reason why they can't do their resting in a crate, like a baby taking a nap in a playpen or crib. By keeping your puppy on a regular schedule of feedings and exercise time, you can control your puppy's natural resting periods.

In the beginning, your puppy should only be expected to stay in the crate for 2- 4 hours at a time and overnight. During periods out of the crate, your puppy needs plenty of playtime and attention. Give our puppy at least an hour in between crating periods where they're played with, loved, trained, allowed to explore, lay on the big dogs bed, and romp. This burns off their boundless puppy energy and helps them understand that crating is only a temporary thing in a nice, comfortable spot. Special bones, toys and treats help make your puppy's crate a pleasant place to hang out.

The crate, kennel, or specific confined area (like a bathroom with a child gate instead of a door or a pen set up in a spare room) will limit access to the house until all the house rules are learned– like what can and can’t be chewed on and where to go and not to go potty.

After a few nights of dealing with some possible whining and carrying on, your puppy should begin to make it through the night with minimal fussing. Crate training takes your time and sometimes even requires a deaf ear on your part. What you are doing is using the crate as a training tool to confine your little tyke so that your puppy doesn’t wake up from naptime and potty on your carpet, while you are sleeping, on the phone, in the shower, cooking dinner, or otherwise distracted. Use common sense and consistency in your approach.

As soon as you or someone in the house are not able to give your puppy undivided attention, put them back in their crate, yard, pen, or safe area. Let your puppy stay out in the room with you as long as you are able to supervise your puppy. Play with them, hold them, train them, and keep a close eye on them. If they have been playing, they will probably curl up for another nap. When they wake up, repeat the whole process over again.

A crate is a safe way of transporting your puppy in the car, as well as a way of going places where puppies may not be welcome to run freely. The crate provides a portable den and offers owners and their puppies a stress-free way to travel until your puppy is seat belt trained or has learnd where their safe spot in the vehicle is.

Your precious pooch will grow to expect you to say the word 'crate", "kennel" or whatever word you consistently use and they will run to it and get in. Puppies think of their crate as their safe place and will be happy to spend time there when needed and just hang out laying in there with the door open. Some people take the door off after they are a little older. Many people will start out giving a little piece of chicken, cheese, or turkey meat as a treat to them once they get into their crate and always having a Sterilized Beef Bone, Kong toy with cheese spread or peanut butter stuffed in it, or your puppy's favorite toy laying in there gives them something to chew on and do if they are not sleeping. Some people attach a small hamster-type water dispenser with ice water on the door of the crate when the puppy is real little and is to be confined for more than two hours.

There are a few different kinds of crates. An airline crate is made of hard plastic and has metal bar air vents or hard plastic strips on the sides and a metal bar door. It is called an airline crate because it approved by the airlines as safe to fly your puppy in. There are also the metal bar crates, bamboo crates, wooden crates, and even crates made of various fabics. They come in many different sizes and some of them have dividers allowing you to regulate the size. If you are flying your dog with you at times, then the airlines will require an airline approved crate for the flight. At home and for road trips, the fabric, plastic and wood are nice and some will fold up nicely.

You can expect to pay between $50.00 - $300.00 for a quality crate for a small to large dog. While it may sound like a lot, a good crate will last for the life of your dog and quickly pay for itself in peace of mind and undamaged carpets, furniture and belongings when they are young and in training. Your puppy needs to past the chewing stage before you want to purchase any of the fancy kennels, otherwise you may end up with an expensive kennel chewed up and ready for the junk hauler.

The idea is to make sure your puppy feels secure, happy and comfortable. If your crate is too big and the puppy is left in there too long than then your puppy may decide to use part of it to eliminate their bowels. It needs to always be clean. Ideally the crate should be large enough for your baby to stand up and turn around in.

To learn all the basic training that your dog will ever need:
"Take our Free Puppy Training Course"