THE ADVANTAGE OF USING A CRATE:
A crate does three very important things. First it will make the house breaking process go a little more smoothly by teaching the puppy where to relieve himself. By using it's own natural instincts the puppy will not urinate or defeciate where it sleeps, provided you do your part. Secondly it will relieve the stress of being alone while you are away at work. Third it will get you through the teething stage when your puppy will want to chew on everything.
WHY EVEN USE A CRATE:
A few reasons that pop into my mind are...my puppy's own safety, my home, all its contents and last but least my sanity. A puppy comes into this world not knowing what we as humans expect of it. Right or wrong we teach them everything they learn, lets make it positive!!
(You can use this as a guide to your own schedule)
There is no magic to house breaking, it's really only common sense and a understanding of your dog. House breaking consists of a few very important rules which are:
Putting your puppy on a daily schedule when you feed and water it. The following is my schedule that I would use for myself.
7:00 A.M.Get up and take the puppy outside to go to the bathroom. Bring the puppy in and put its food and water down for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes the food and water is taken away.
7:45 A.M. Take the puppy outside again. While I am getting ready for work and cannot watch my puppy, he is in his crate. I will take the puppy out at least three times before I leave for work so he can empty his system.
9:00 A.M. Put the puppy in its crate and levae for work. I leave no food or water in the crate while I am gone. Rembember what goes in must come out, so if you leave food and water in the crate, you are making it harder for your puppy to learn the rules of housebreaking.(You can leave something for the puppy to chew on like a raw beef bone or something that they cannot choke on)
If you come home at 3:00 P.M. use the same schedule that you used for your morning feeding. the same would apply if you came home at 5:30 P.M.
I never feed past 7:30 P.M. Between 7:30 and the time I go to bed I will take the puppy out a lot so when I crate the puppy it can sleep all night without having to go to the bathroom.
I never leave food and water down all the time.Remember Food + Water = GOT TO GO
1.Remember we take up food and water at 7:30 P.M. During the course of the evening after playing with you and your children, I would give the puppy a little water to wet his whistle. Do not sit there and let him drink tons of water. By putting him in his crate full he will have an accident during the night. Always take the puppy out just before you go to bed. The more that you can take him outside, the faster he learns where to go. Help him not make a mistake.
2.Know the key times your puppy needs to go outside. Which are 20 to 30 minutes after you feed it, every time it wakes up and any time you are playing.(NOTE:As puppies get older you can extend the time for taking outside)Remember activity stimulates going to the bathroom. If you are watching your puppy while it is outside the crate and it starts to sniff the floor while walking around in a small circle simply pick it up and take it outside. This is a sign that I would really pay attention to. If your puppy has an accident in the house it is YOUR FAULT not his because you were not doing your part.
3.Puppies urinate a lot so if you take him outside and he gets distracted or is involved in playing and does not go bring him back inside and put him in the crate for about 20 minutes and then take him back outside again. It's better to be safe then sorry.
4.When I take the puppy outside I will take it to the same spot everytime. I will also praise the puppy after it goes to the bathroom. by doing both of these it will help him understand what is expected of him.
RULES OF USING A CRATE:
(1.)VERY IMPORTANT:If you can't physically keep your eyes on your puppy he should be in the crate. I am sure if you have had children you used a play pen when you couldn't watch them.
(2.)Do not put his crate where he is ssolated from you. Dogs are pack animals and you are his pack. Even though he is in the crate if he can hear and see you it makes much easier on him.
(3.)Remove any type of collar or harness while your puppy is crated for safety reasons.
(4.)Never use a crate as punishment, this is your dog's room so it is always a positive place.
(5.)When you first crate your puppy, more than likely it wil cry, bark and howl on the hopes of you letting him out.WRONG!!This is typical puppy behavior. If you go to comfort him, all you are doing is making it harder for him to get use to the new situation. All of this behavior will go away in a few days, once he gets the hang of things. When I am home with the puppy I will crate him. By this, I mean one hour in and one hour out, so he sees the crate as a positive place and not just a place where he goes when your not home. As he gets older he can have more time out of the crate. Most people make the mistake of leaving a puppy out to soon. This causes problems, so be patient.
WHAT TO DO IF THE PUPPY CHEWS ON YOUR THINGS:
(1.)Chewing is a very natural instinct, all we have to is show then what they are allowed to chew on. This goes back to what we covered earlier, that if the puppy is out of the crate you must watch him at all times, so if he goes to chew on something besides his own toys you will be there to channel him into what is allowable to chew on, which is his own toys. Tf your puppy chews on the wrong thing, again it is YOUR FAULT for not paying attention. Sounds like raising a child doesn't it. So be fair in how you handle the situation.
(2.)I will give the puppy a selection of toys which are made up different textures, meaning a soft rubber toy and a toy that it can chew up such as a raw beef bone.
(3.)If the puppy tries to chew on the wrong thing and I cannot get him channeled into his toys, I simply put him in the crate for about 30 minutes, after which I bring him back out and reintroduce him to his toys. This usually works.
(4.)A crate is a cheap price to pay as opposed to the safety of your new puppy and the damange it can cause to your home or worse to your puppy.
We at Braun's K-9 Obedience Training Center are here to help you with your problems and questions on dog behavior because with the right start you will enjoy your pet a lot more.