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How To Crate Train Your Puppy (Even If They're Stubborn)

March 02, 2021 5 min read

How To Crate Train Your Puppy (Even If They're Stubborn)

Many people crate train their puppies simply to keep them from using the living room, the kitchen, or any nearby bedroom as a night-time toilet. That is only one of the benefits, however, even if it is the most popular. Today we are going to talk about the subject in detail, outlining the benefits of crate training, how it is done and what you can expect, and finally, why your puppy might cry during the process and what you can do about it. Don’t worry, though, as it’s not as hard as it sounds. It is going to take a lot of patience but you’ll get some quality bonding time with your new family member while you are teaching them this new skill. 

Without further ado, let’s talk about puppy crate training!

Why crate training

Crate training serves a number of useful purposes. Aside from just the ‘bathroom-centric’ focus, it helps to achieve the following:

  • Protects your dog from chewing on anything toxic while you are asleep
  • Prepares them for situations where they might need to be transported, say to the vet or to come with you on a trip
  • Preps your dog for spending time in a kennel in an emergency
  • Protects your home until your puppy can be trained

This is not a quick process, however, so you will need to be patient. We should also stress right now that you will want to develop a regular walking schedule during crate training. This is because your puppy can only hold their bladder for about one hour per month of age. So a 9 week old puppy, for instance, can wait for just about 2 hours before they HAVE to go. 

Also, if your puppy has just eaten, then you should take them for a walk after 30 minutes have passed because they are going to need a bathroom break pretty quickly. You’ll want to familiarize yourself with your puppy’s schedule or this will be very frustrating training for both of you. Don’t worry, they grow up fast, but until then try to give them a little slack. 

Your puppy will learn their crate training over time.

How to and what to expect

Crate training is actually not a very complicated process, despite what your puppy might have to say about it. We’ll break it down into a few steps for you and tell you a little about what you can expect. Here is the ‘Cliff’s notes’ version of crate training first: 

  • Picking out and equipping your puppy's crate
  • Selecting a comfortable location so puppy feels secure
  • Letting your puppy explore the crate
  • Giving your puppy some meals in the crate
  • Extending your puppy's time in the crate
  • Overnight crating time

Picking out and equipping your puppy's crate

Your puppies crate can be purchased or put together, with many pet stores offering collapsable metal or plastic boundaries which you may put up to use for your crating area. You will also want to obtain the following:

  • Food and water bowl
  • Toys for your dog
  • A faux grass pad for emergency toilet
  • A comfortable blanket for your puppy to lay down on
  • Hangry Woof Calming chews (more on these shortly!)

Selecting a comfortable location so puppy feels secure

You will want to select a location for the crate where your puppy will be able to see you. A spot in the living room, for instance, where your pup can see you on the couch is a good idea. This makes them more comfortable and the crate will seem less stressful.to them. 

Letting your puppy explore the crate

Leave the door to the crate open so that your puppy will be able to look inside of it if they like. You can draw their attention to it by pointing and saying ‘crate!’ to begin teaching your puppy this command. Do NOT close the door on them at this point.

Giving your puppy some meals in the crate

Once your puppy is used to seeing the crate, then you should try luring them inside for a meal. If your puppy is shy, you can start with a meal at the door and then put their meal a little further inside for the next one, and once your pup is inside then you can close the door for the duration of their meal. Open the door once your dog has finished to let them back outside.

Extending your puppy's time in the crate

Once your puppy is comfortable with meals then you will want to try putting them inside the crate at other times, preferably with a favorite toy or a chew bone to distract them. Go to another room for 5 to 10 minutes and then come back and let your puppy out. This will help to show them that when you leave, they don’t need to be nervous, because you will come back to let them out. Your dog may whine or cry but it is important that you do not come running back, as this will make them think that you will always come running when they cry and you don’t want to encourage this behavior.

Overnight crating time

After a few days and your puppy has gotten used to small times in the crate then your pup is ready for an overnight. Make sure that you give them a walk before and put a little water in their bowl, but not a lot as you don’t want them to need to quickly to the bathroom. Remember, you will still need to take your puppy for some late night walks, depending on their age. A 12 week old puppy, for instance, needs to go out every 3 hours. The faux grass will help with emergencies but its best if you can walk them on a schedule. 

Why do puppies whine, cry, and bark in crates?

Dogs are very social animals, so being along can be frightening for them, especially when they are puppies. They will whine and cry because they are scared and they will also do the same if they need to go to the bathroom. The latter can be dealt with by a walking schedule, but for the fear you are going to have to be patient and resist the urge to run to them. Thankfully, there is a great solution that can help.

What you can do to stop it

Treats given when you are crating your dog and again, 30 minutes afterwards right before bed, help to remind your dog that you are nearby and that you care.Hangry Woof Calming Chews also gives you a bit of an edge, as they will help to calm down your dog naturally about 30 minutes after they are eaten. Hangry Woof Calming Chews taste like peanut butter and pack the following ingredients:

  • Chamomile to soothe
  • Passion Flower for deeper, more refreshing sleep
  • Valerian for reducing stress
  • Hemp seeds for healthy fats your puppy needs and for a positive mood

Some final words

Now that you have the steps you’ll just need to stick to them and we recommend that you keep some Hangry Woof Chews handy. Your puppy might not take to crate training at first but once they realize that you will always come for them then they’ll learn to be comfy in the crate. The chews will help them to get relaxed until they can get used to it and the both of you will get a good night’s sleep. 

Just remember to use the ‘crate’ command so that they’ll learn it and be patient with your puppy… they’ll learn this in no time!





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