Training your puppy or small dog to be content in a crate is a grrrreat way to keep them safe and confined – especially during house training or at night.
Now when we say ‘crate’, we’re not talking a role-play of shipping your Scottish Terrier back to his homeland. We mean giving your dog his own comfy, cosy little space, complete with soft bedding to rest his little beard. You’ll want to choose a crate that comfortably holds your dog, even when he reaches adult size. So if he’s a large breed, this will be one big boudoir.
But no matter how big your faithful friend is, crates are meant to house him for a short period of time. How short is ‘short’? The number of hours should be your pet’s age in months, plus one. For example, you can leave an eight-week-old pup (two months of age) for up to three hours, and a 12-week-old pup (three months of age) up to four hours. There, clear as mutt?
If you have to be away for a longer period of time each day, your harry housemate will need a larger confinement area for his doggy downtime. Try placing him in an exercise pen or other small room, along with his dog bed and comfy bedding. Adding a safe chew toy will also give Rover some much-needed entertainment. And this way, the two of you will have something to yip about, when you get home.
Keep in mind that if your dog is the only one in his ‘room’ when you leave, the space becomes an isolated area he may eventually resist. So, when you introduce your puppy to his crate for the first time, make it fun, doggone it!
And here’s how:
- Put the crate where people are. He’ll woof that.
- Associate things he likes with the area. For example, play with your puppy while he’s in the crate. Or spend time reading or watching TV nearby as he’s relaxing with his favourite chew toy.
- Store your pup’s toys in the crate so he’ll enter on his own, to play.
- From time to time, hide a doggy treat in the crate as a little surprise for your Spaniel.
With the right crate training, your precious pooch will feel safe and content because nothing can get to him or harm him. And you, too, will feel comfort in knowing he’s sleeping, chewing and dreaming of your return. Just what every petlover loves to hear.