Crate Training

Your new family member is coming home and all you need to do now is prepare for the big day - how exciting!

Crates & pens are a great way to provide your puppy or dog with their very own 'den' like sleeping space overnight & during the day & can help if there are small children or other pets in a busy household. Crates also assist with toilet training whilst your puppy is learning the ropes.

Use a crate that is big enough for your dog to stand up, turn around & lie down comfortably as you want them to feel safe and snug. Place some nice comfy bedding & a soft toy or two inside. Drape a throw/duvet cover on top of the crate which also covers the back & sides.

House the crate in a safe space - kitchen, utility room then you can leave the crate door open overnight whilst they are getting used to it. If in the living area, use a pen for your puppy's safety. Young puppies need to toilet every few hours so put down some newspaper or a puppy pad on the floor or pen to encourage toileting in the correct place – puppies don’t like to toilet where they sleep so this shouldn’t be too difficult.

Have the crate set up for when your puppy arrives & from day one, create some positive experiences with your puppy going in & out of the crate by hand feeding & using high value treats like chicken. Once they are a bit more relaxed in the crate, you can practice closing & opening the door several times & feed treats through the crate when your puppy is inside. Take time with crate training to avoid any fears of the crate.

Your puppy may be a bit overwhelmed at first, so you could bring the crate up to your bedroom or sleep downstairs for a night or two while your puppy is getting used to their new environment.

Puppies need lots of sleep & can easily become over-stimulated through play or just general excitement, so it is a good idea for them to have a few short spells of 'just puppy' time in the crate area each day, ideally after a walk or training/play session. Making this part of your puppy's routine will promote relaxation which is very important & will help to prevent separation anxiety.

Teaching your puppy to be independent of you overnight & for short spells during the day is the best way to help them become a calm & confident canine companion who does not feel over anxious when not in their owner's company.

Good Luck with your new addition and have fun!

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Cambridge Institute
of Dog Behaviour & Training

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