What is the purpose of using a crate??
A crate is great for containing a pup wether for traveling or sleeping or a place to eat.
In a nutshell, a puppy should NOT be shut in a crate UNTIL the puppy views the crate as a great, homey, happy place to be!!
Ways to make the crate a great place to be:
Feed pup in crate – we do this daily with pups from 5 weeks on, so puppy already has a great start! Simply keep the pattern up!!
GIve treats to pup anytime they willingly go in their crate
Give delicious meaty bones in crate
Make sure crate is as comfortable as possible. BUT only use soft dog beds IF puppy is not shredding/chewing them! (choking/impaction risk) If puppy is in a phase of shredding beds, we recommend trying a Kuranda chew proof dog bed (they really are chew proof!) Let me know if you want recommendations on which Kuranda bed would be best for your pup.
Some pups like the crate to have something over it so it feels like a den. a towel or blanket can work well.
I like having crate by my bed. Puppy usually will not like a crate if they feel isolated from the family. I also prefer when pup is under 12-16weeks having a crate and a small potty area at night. I love my sleep, so I would rather pup use a litter box through the night and me not have to bring pup outside at night. This is just my preference though! Usually by 16 weeks, pups do not potty in the litter area through the night, and I can simply remove it. (be sure to read more about potty training in our potty training handout)
Once your pup views crate as a positive place to be, you can begin closing the door. If pup gives any indication they want out, you should do so. You do not want to get pup upset and crying to be let out. So, the key in the beginning is to let pup out BEFORE they get upset and whining. Start with small amounts of time and build on it. Usually just a coulple minutes int he beginning is all a pup will want to stay in their crate for. That’s ok! They are learning to love their crate, and that is a powerful thing!
Giving pups meaty bones is great tool for keeping pups occupied and happy in crate with door closed. I use this a lot.
Also giving pups meals in the crate, with door closed when they are ready, is great.
Simply keep building on the amount of time the pup is happy and content in the crate, and you will be off to a great start! In no time your pup will love their crate!