Crate Training Basics


Getting Started is easy. First you need to understand why it works.

Habit makes life easy for them and you too! Puppies that are raised in a

Safe & Clean Environment, have a great sense of cleanliness . They want to keep their bed clean and eliminate away from where they sleep. The Crate Training is based on this principal, advancing from his crate to your home as the weeks and months pass and your puppy graduates to expanded spaces and additional rooms, as he learns to respect his entire home.

Keep it Simple for the puppy and your self. Every HOUR is divided :

1. NAP in the crate. 15 minutes or more. If the puppy is sleeping , leave him.

2. OUTSIDE TO POTTY immediately after nap 5-10 minutes

3. FREE TIME with family. Eat & Drink . Up to 30 minutes of play .

Routine above should be practiced each hour that you are at home. Evenings , weekends. Puppies need lots of rest and will sleep half of their lives at this age. Rest in the Crate is not cruel or punishment. Rest in the Crate is structured and safe and will teach him to handle your responsibility to Crate Train in a positive way , so the puppy quickly learns this is his very own bed and sanctuary.

Basic Crate Training is done in short sessions revolving around each hour, so the puppy does not get bored or have to endure long periods in the Crate. Free sessions after a trip outside are not long enough to encourage loose supervision . Generally a normal puppy will not make a mistake within 30 minutes. As the puppy matures he will be comfortable in his crate for

Up to 4 Hours , while you are shopping or running errands. The puppy should NOT be left in crate for over 4 hours. Any puppy or dog who has to endure a Crate for over 4 hours in miserable. People who leave pets in crate all day, are causing great distress to their pets. Imagine how you would feel . Please do not over use the crate.

Do you work? Most of us do. For those of us who have to be gone

More than 4 hours, an EXERCISE Pen is a great solution. The exercise pen is durable metal, non scratch finish, won’t tip over and will allow your puppy freedom of movement to bounce and play without allowing him to get into mischief, while unsupervised. Newspapers or Training pads should be placed at one end of the pen. The placement of bed , newspapers is important to create as much distance between them as possible. Rectangular is better than round. Extra panels can be purchased to make the area larger.

One end is for food, water , bed and toys. The opposite end is for papers to eliminate. Exercise Pens vary in height, based on different size puppies . 36 inches is ideal height for most small or medium breeds. Prices vary, most are 60-85. Ideally a crate and an exercise pen are appreciated.

Leaving for LESS than 4 hours? Leave the puppy in his Crate until you return. Immediately take him outside. Start Crate Training Routine.

Leaving for MORE than 4 hours? Use the exercise pen. Leave newspapers in one end. When you get home, fold exercise pen and put away. Use Crate Training Routine .

Night time should always be spent in Crate. Not in your bed . Initially the Crate and Puppy should be in hallway , near your bedroom so you can hear him early in the AM. Once he becomes acclimated to your get up time , he can be in a more convenient location. The family member up the latest should take the puppy outside one LAST time. Early family member, should get the puppy outside first thing in the AM.

Try to distinguish between protests when you first put him in the crate, and real communication that he needs to relieve himself. Some puppies will need to be taken out at 3-5 am, until they get used to the schedule and settle into a routine. Ignore Protest , Respond to Communication.

You will soon be an expert at telling the difference. Be TUNED IN to the puppy.

Protests initially upon going into the Crate should be ignored. This is a puppies way of pleading his case and you should pretend to NOT even be aware of his whimpers or yelping. If you respond in any way, he will consider this ATTENTION based on his Vocal behavior and if he gets a response from you, next time he will be MORE VOCAL and become more difficult to break from a bad habit. Drape a towel over the top and door so he cant see and be bothered by movements of the family. Dim light induces sleep.

Give a soft toy to snuggle with. NOT a squeaky toy or chew bone. After a few days a nap will be accepted without protest.

No naps OUTSIDE the Crate, such as in your Lap, or on the couch, or anywhere ! For several weeks . For the Crate Training Routine to work well, the puppy must NEED A NAP ! If he has slept on your lap during his Free Period , he will NOT be ready for Crate Nap. Play , go for a walk , get some exercise during free time.

RECAP Crate should be used for hourly NAP and Crate Training Routine followed each HOUR you are home. Each Hour divided into :

NAP/ OUTSIDE/ FREE TIME. All day , over and over again. Food & Water should be available at all Free Times.

Use Exercise pen when you are gone more than 4 hours. This allows freedom of movement and a location for elimination. Young Puppies need Food & Water Available during this time.

OUTSIDE or a similar word should be used by ALL in the household.

Its best NOT to involve the kids in the outside / potty process until its clearly understood by the puppy. The puppy should be totally FOCUSED on the requirement outside and the kids will distract the puppy.

After a nap the puppy needs to eliminate. You carry him the first few days, repeating OUTSIDE?? Over and over. In a few days allow him to walk beside you , wasting no time in getting outside. Go to the area you want him to use, don’t change locations. NO LEASH on the puppy, it makes him feel controlled.

NO CONVERSATION. Be quiet, wander , pause and stop for a minute. When he accomplished his job, HAPPY TALK to him and TOUCH him, rewarding him with attention for his efforts. Some puppies will urinate several times, so don’t RUSH back in, until you are aware of your puppies style. Pooping is generally 3 times daily at this age. Each puppy is different. Pooping will follow in 5 minutes, more wandering will be needed. Isnt this FUN?? No treats are needed. Your attention is what he loves. You will learn what is normal for your puppy very fast. Loose stools should be reported to your veterinarian.

Initial Stress and changes in water and location sometimes require a medication to correct. Once the puppy LEARNS the procedure, the kids can become involved. One child at a time, never a group. Easy Rules are simple for kids & puppies to follow. A confused or distracted puppy will come back in the house and make a mistake… Your fault ! Mistakes create bad habits.


Good Behavior is easy when the routine is followed. A puppy can learn easily

ONLY if his trainer is constant in RULES and REWARDS. Puppies that follow the Routine will make very FEW mistakes, creating good HABITS. They learn CORRECT BEHAVIOR and receive POSSITIVE ATTENTION .

Long Range Goal is for the puppy to respond and understand his routine and SLOWLY over the next few months, to EXPAND his Free Time and take Fewer Naps. This is done gradually as success is demonstrated. If there are set backs, go back to more RIGID ROUTINE. Each Puppy is different. Never assume a puppy is housebroken until at least 6 months of age.

8wks Nap each Hour / Free time 30-40 minutes

12-16 wks Nap each Two Hours / Free time 1 hour

4-6 months Nap 3-4 times Daily / Free time 2 hours ??


Crate Types Hard Plastic or Wire Style are both fine.. In the beginning of Crate training the more snug fit the better. Don’t buy a huge crate for a small puppy. Drape a blanket over the cage or crate in the beginning to stop the puppy viewing kids and see you.

Exercise pens can be purchased at pet stores or ordered on line / shipped UPS at 36 inch tall is ideal for most small medium size.

Never leave toys that can be chewed into bits and cause choking .

Small objects are dangerous.

Leashes during housebreaking will cause the puppy to feel controlled and

Are best UN used.. However if you live with no fence and its dangerous, then use a very light expando style leash and let the puppy go as far away from you as possible, without any tension on the leash. This is the only time an expando leash is appreciated. Training is done with a short lead.

Im sure you will be a GOOD TRAINER ! Your puppy responds to your lead.

Good Luck and Enjoy the puppy hood and precious moments..

Joy Thomas



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