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Crate training your puppy has many benefits. It can assist with toilet training, protect your pet and house when you are away and help them feel more calm during a veterinary hospital stay or travelling. Pet Circle stocks a huge range of dog crates to choose from to suit every dog's needs.
Frequently Asked Questions about Dog Crates and Training
How to crate train a puppy?
To start training your puppy to use a crate:
- Set up the crate. Ensure you select a crate that is of sturdy construction, which can help prevent injury. Choose a size that will easily fit your dog when they are fully grown. An appropriate sized crate will allow your dog to lie down, sit-up, stand-up, stretch out and turn around with ease. When you are crate training for a puppy, a crate with a divider is ideal to reduce excess space until they are larger. Place some comfy bedding into the crate, as well as some favourite toys, to make it more inviting.
- Teaching your puppy to use the crate. It can take some time to get your puppy comfortable with using their crate, so patience is key. Remember, never force your puppy into the crate. Training should be fun, with lots of positive reinforcement through treats. To start with, tempt your puppy into the entrance of the crate with treats. Gradually build on this by encouraging your puppy to go further into the crate with each training session. Once your puppy is comfortable going into the crate, you can start feeding meals in the crate with the door open. Start to build on this by closing the door for a few minutes while your puppy is eating, then open the door again. Continue on with this by increasing the length of time the crate door is closed during mealtimes. If your puppy is comfortable, start to leave the door shut while you exit the room for a few minutes, then return and open the door.
- Toilet breaks. Remember puppies are still learning toilet training and only have very small bladders. Regular toilet breaks are essential, ideally every 2 hours. Crate training will allow you to reward toileting in the correct location, as puppies and dogs are less likely to soil their crate.
Can you leave toys in a dog's crate?
Yes, you can. Toys can make your dog's crate a more inviting place and a great source of entertainment. There are a couple of considerations before leaving your dog with toys in the crate:
- No toy is indestructible: it is always best to supervise your dog with toys. With time, toys can wear or parts of toys can be chewed off and swallowed. This can be dangerous for your dog and result in choking or a gastrointestinal foreign body.
- Your dog's play style: is your dog gentle with toys? Or do they like to chew, pull apart or explode toys? For more boisterous dogs, it is not recommended to leave toys in the crate without constant supervision.
- Crate size: does your crate allow for extra toys and comfort to be added to the crate? Your dog should be able to comfortably stand-up, sit-up, stretch out and turn around with ease.
- Toy selection: choose appropriate toys to go into the crate with your dog which will suit their style. Occupier toys such as KONG's and tasty bones are great for dogs that are chewers. If your dog is more of a snuggler, choose a soft plush toy .