What is crate training?
With the recent babies leaving as you can imagine I have received a number of questions from our new families + friends. I am so glad when you guys continue to reach out and ask me to help with any and all concerns, no matter big or small. Recently it occurred to me that a large percentage of our new families weren't quite sure what #cratetraining is and/or the many advantages it brings to every new puppy owner. So I have decided to share my own routines for crate training and the amazing benefits it gives every new puppy owner.
What is crate training?
Crate training is the process of teaching a pet to accept a dog crate or cage as a familiar and safe location. It is important for your new baby to have their own space. To have a place that they can choose to go to get away from the chaos of everyday life when company is over, or they want a nice quiet place to snooze.
Why do you crate train?
I crate train all of our babies because it makes our life more flexible. Crate training also gives me the security that when I crate my baby and walk out the door they are not going to get into things they shouldn't or harm themselves out of curiosity being free in the house. Of course leaving your baby has to be done in small chunks, until they are about 6 months old they can not hold their bladder for long periods of time (all day or all night) So leaving them for small increments at a time is how you start. Leaving the house for 2-3 hours max or asking a friend or neighbor you trust to let them out is important so that you are crate training and potty training at the same time.
What crate do you use?
We use the medium size crate for the babies and let them grow into it.
You can find it here:
Tractor Supply Co.
Do you leave the crate in one place?
No! For the first few weeks especially I treat the crate and my baby like a 5th extremity of my body. I make sure that whenever my baby is in the crate they can see me and I am very cautious to never seclude their crate. At night they sleep at eye level on my nightstand so they can always see me. They are pack animals by nature and you are now the pack. The also don't want to be left alone in a room by themselves most days and will cry when they can't see you or feel as if they're part of the family.
Night time crating:
Crating at night can be stressful if you're not careful to approach it correctly. It helps for the first few nights to have a stuffed animal that your baby can snuggle with in the crate. Most puppies are raised with lots of siblings and they love to pile on top of each other when they sleep. It also helps for them to be able to see you like I said before. Some puppies for the first few nights cry a lot, this is very normal as they are transitioning to an all new environment. I have found that though it is very uncomfortable for me, most of our dogs loved my hand in the crate with them until they fell asleep. They quickly outgrow wanting your hand all the time as they age but it does help them knowing that when the lights go out, you are there.
I will always crate train my dogs. It brings such security to my own life knowing they have a place that is save when I leave them alone is very important to me. Please reach out if you have any questions about crate training! I have a lot more information brewing in my mind but don't want to bore you too badly ;)
Lots of love,