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Race Foster, DVM
Marty Smith, DVM
Drs. Foster & Smith, Inc.
Q. What are the best methods for house training a puppy?
A. If your dog is going to live inside the home, and in America over 90% of our pets do, you are going to have to go through the housebreaking process unless you have grossly different hygienic standards than most. It is not hard, it need not be messy, and it need not be a struggle. It does not have to take a long time. Remember that it is a training issue and you will need to have more than casual input. It will take some of your time but the more involved you get, the shorter that span will be.
House Training Rule Number One: This is The Most Important Rule – If you don't catch your puppy doing it - then don't punish him for it!
House Training Rule Number Two: Praise your puppy when things go right. Don't let this be a situation where your only action is saying "No" when they are caught in the midst of using the wrong area. If they do it right – let them know!
Methods of house training
Starting Inside: There are several ways to housebreak a puppy. With the first, you can put down papers or pretreated pads, encouraging them to use these areas for going to the bathroom. The pads are scented with a chemical that attracts the puppy to use them. Whenever you see them starting into their "pre-potty pattern," such as walking around and sniffing the floor, you gently pick them up without talking and carry them over to the papers/pad and then praise them when they go to the bathroom (Rule 2).
When all goes well and they are using the papers consistently, the papers are either moved closer to the door and/or another set is placed outside. The transition is made from concentrating the toilet habits to one spot inside the home to one spot outside the home. Finally, the papers inside are eliminated. The only problem with this method is that for a period of time it encourages the animal to eliminate inside the home. In our experience, house training may take longer when this method is used.
Crate Training: The second popular method of house training involves the use of a crate or cage. The often-stated reasoning is that the animal is placed in a cage that is just large enough to be a bed. Dogs do not like to soil their beds because they would be forced to lay in the mess. It works, and while in these confines, most pups will control their bladder and bowels for a longer time than we would expect. Young puppies, at 8 or 9 weeks of age can often last for 7 or 8 hours, however, we would never recommend leaving them unattended in a crate for that long in most circumstances.
During housebreaking, whenever the puppy is inside the home but cannot be watched, he is placed in the crate. This might be while you are cooking, reading to the children, or even away from the home. The last thing you do before you put the puppy in the crate is take him outside to his favorite spot. The first thing you do when you take the animal out of the crate is another trip outside. No food or water goes in the crate, just a blanket and maybe a chew toy to occupy his time. Overnight is definitely crate time. As your faith in the puppy grows, leave him out for longer and longer periods of time.
Most people do not recognize an important advantage of crate training. It does more than just stop the animal from messing in the house. It also teaches the puppy something very important. The puppy learns that when the urge to urinate or defecate occurs, he can hold it. Just because the pup feels like he needs to relieve himself, the pup learns that he does not have to. This is thought to be the main reason why puppies that have gone through crate training have fewer mistakes later on.
Make sure you buy the right size cage. You want one that has the floor space that provides just enough for the puppy to lie down. But cages are useful throughout a dog's life and it would be nice if you did not have to keep buying more as he grows. That is not necessary. Simply purchase a cage that will be big enough for him as an adult, but choose a model that comes with or has a divider panel as an accessory. With these, you can adjust the position of the panel so that the space inside the cage available to the pet can grow as he does.
Using too large of a crate can often cause long term problems. The puppy will go to one corner of the cage and urinate or defecate. After a while, he will then run through it tracking it all over the cage. If this is allowed to continue, the instincts about not soiling his bed or lying in the mess will be forgotten and the puppy will soon be doing it every day when placed in the crate. Now a house training method has turned into a behavioral problem as the puppy’s newly-formed hygienic habits becomes his way of life.
Constant Supervision: The last method involves no papers, pads, or crates. Rather, you chose to spend all the time necessary with the puppy. This works very well for people who live and work in their homes, retired persons, or in situations where the owners are always with the animal. Whenever they see the puppy doing his "pre-potty pattern" they hustle him outside. It is important that the dog is watched at all times and that no mistakes are allowed to occur. This method has less room for error, as there is nothing like a cage to restrict the animal's urges, nor is there a place for him to relieve himself such as on the papers or pad. When he is taken outside, watch the puppy closely and as soon as all goes as planned, he should be praised and then brought back inside immediately. You want the dog to understand that the purpose for going outside was to go to the bathroom. Do not start playing, make it a trip for a reason. Verbal communications help this method and we will discuss them soon. For those with the time, this is a good method. We still recommend having a crate available as a backup when the owners have to be away from the animal.
Specific verbal communications will also help the two of you understand what is desired. It is an excellent idea to always use a word when it is time to head to the bathroom. We like "Outside?" Remember that whenever you use a verbal command or signal, it is important that everybody in the family always uses the same word in the same way. Think of the word "Outside" in this situation not only as a question you are asking the pup, but also as an indication that you want to go there. Some dogs may get into the habit of going to the door when they want to go outside. This is great when it happens but it is not as common as some believe. We have found that it is better to use verbal commands to initiate this sort of activity rather than waiting for the puppy to learn this behavior on his own. It seems like your consistent use of a word or phrase like "Outside" will cause the puppy to come to you rather than the door when he needs to go outside. The pup quickly sees you as part of the overall activity of getting to where he needs to go. We believe this is much better.
Once outside, we try to encourage the pup to get on with the act in question. We use the phrase "Do your numbers." This is probably a holdover from our own parenthood and hearing children use the "Number 1" or "Number 2" phrases. Others use 'Do It,' 'Potty,' or 'Hurry Up.' As soon as they eliminate, it is very important to praise them with a "Good Dog" and then come back inside immediately. Again, make this trip that started outside with a specific word "Outside" be for a purpose. If we are taking the pup out to play with a ball or go for a walk we will not use this word even if we know they will eliminate while we are outside.
When an 'accident' happens
One of the key issues in housebreaking is to follow Rule Number One: If you do not catch your puppy doing it, then do not punish him for it! We do not care what someone else may tell you or what you read, if you find a mess that was left when you were not there, clean it up and forget it.
Discipline will not help because unless you catch the puppy in the act, he will have no idea what the scolding is for. Your puppy has urinated and defecated hundreds of times before he met you. Mom or the breeder always cleaned it up. Nobody made a fuss before and the pup will not put the punishment, regardless of its form, together with something he has done without incident numerous times before. Especially if he did it more than 30 seconds ago! Puppies are just like our children. Unless something was really fun (and a repetitious act like going to the bathroom is not), they are not thinking about what they did in the past. They are thinking about what they can do in the future. At this point in his life a puppy's memory is very, very poor.
Anyway, let us face it. It was your fault, not the pup's. If you had been watching, you would have noticed the puppy suddenly walking or running around in circles with his nose down smelling for the perfect spot to go to the bathroom. It is just as consistent as the taxi cab driver behind you honking immediately when the light changes. The puppy will show the same behavior every time. It may vary a little from pup to pup but they always show their own "pre-potty pattern" before the act.
The same should be said as to your first reaction when you actually catch them in the act of urinating or defecating. It is your fault, you were not watching for or paying attention to the signals. Do not get mad. Quickly, but calmly pick them up and without raising your voice sternly say "No." Carry them outside or to their papers. It will help to push their tail down while you are carrying them as this will often help them to stop urinating or defecating any more.
They are going to be excited when you get them outside or to the papers, but stay there with them a while and if they finish the job, reward them with simple praise like "Good Dog."
House Training Rule Number One: If you don't catch your puppy doing it, then don't punish him for it!
In the disciplining of dogs, just like in physics, every action has a reaction and for training purposes these may not be beneficial! If you overreact and severely scold or scare the heck out of a puppy for making what is in your mind a mistake, your training is probably going backwards. With house training this is especially difficult for them to understand as they are carrying out a natural body function. Carried one step farther is the idea of rubbing a puppy's nose into a mistake he made, whether you caught him or not. In the limits of a puppy’s intelligence, please explain to us the difference of rubbing his nose in his mess he left in your kitchen an hour ago versus the one the neighbor's dog left in the park two weeks ago. If the dog were smart enough to figure all of this out, the only logical choice would be to permanently quit going to the bathroom. Punishment rarely speeds up house training. Often, it makes the dog nervous or afraid every time it needs to go to the bathroom.
We will give you a perfect example of how this kind of disciplining causes long-term problems between a dog and his owner. A client makes an appointment to discuss a housebreaking problem. They are hoping that on physical exam or through some testing we can find a medical reason for the animal's inability to successfully make it through housebreaking. They readily admit their frustration with the dog. The fecal and urine tests reveal no problem. We assumed that would be the case and have no intention of charging for those services. In the examination room, the pup is showing a lot more interest in the veterinarian than he is in his owners. The animal's eyes are almost saying, "Please kidnap me from them." When the owner reaches down to pet the dog on his head, the pup reflexively closes his eyes and turns his head to the side. The dog reacts as if he were going to be hit. What this tells us is that the dog has been punished for making messes in the owners' absence. During this punishment the puppy is not, and we repeat, the puppy is not thinking about what he might have done two hours ago. He is not thinking that he should not make messes in the house. The animal is not even thinking about the messes.
The classic line that usually goes with this scenario then comes up "When we get home we know he has made a mess because he always sulks or runs and hides!" The dog is not thinking about some mistake he may have made. Rather, the pup has learned that when the people first get home, for some reason he has yet to figure out, they are always in a bad mood and he gets punished. The puppy has decided that maybe he would be better to try to avoid them for awhile so he does try to hide. In this particular case, discipline, misunderstood by the puppy, has caused him to fear his owners and this will probably affect their relationship throughout the life of the dog.
If you want house training to go quickly, regardless of the method you use, spend as much time as possible with your puppy. In an exam room, one of us once listened to a client complain about how he had to take some time off from work for his own mental health and also, but unrelated, how the puppy was not doing too well in the house training department. For us this statement was just too good to be true. It was the perfect set-up for our pitch. This gentleman, a bachelor, truly loved his puppy. We saw them together everywhere. Still, the problem was that he worked in a downtown office and the pup was home. His work allowed him to get home frequently but not always on a consistent schedule. There would be accidents when he was gone and sometimes he was gone longer than the abilities or the attention span of the puppy.
The solution was easy. We simply suggested his health and the puppy's training would both do better if he stayed home for a week or so. It worked. Under the man's watchful eye, he was always there at the time when he was needed and in less than seven days the ten-week-old puppy was trained. We are not saying there was never another accident, but they were few and far between. In the end, the best of all worlds occurred. The man realized his dog could be trusted, and thereafter, they spent their days together at the man's office.
Feeding and house training
The feeding schedule you use can help or hinder housebreaking. You will soon notice that puppies will need to go outside soon after they wake and also within 30 to 40 minutes after eating. Be consistent when you feed the animal so you can predict when they need to relieve themselves. Plan your trips outside around these patterns.
All of this may seem simple, and it really is. The keys are that it will take time and you must be consistent. And, of course, you must never lose your temper or even get excited.
Spontaneous or submissive urination
Puppies may spontaneously urinate when excited. This may be when they first see you, at meeting a new dog, or when they are scared. It is often referred to as submissive or excitement urination. Do not discipline the puppy for this, as it is something they cannot control. Simply ignore it and clean up the mess. If you do not overreact, they will usually outgrow this between 4 and 7 months of age.
Your new puppy is home and you have started the house training process. This is just as much a part of training as the "Come" and "Stay" commands. However, mistakes that occur with house training can cause more problems between you and your pet than those encountered with any other form of training. Be patient and stay calm.
Top five housebreaking tips
Housebreaking your new dog may seem like a daunting task, but with a bit of insight into dog psychology and these proven tips, your new pet will learn quickly. If he’s an adult dog who was never fully housebroken (he has accidents daily, weekly or monthly), you’ll find it’s best to treat him like a brand-new unhousebroken puppy.
Select the site. Before your new dog enters your house, introduce him to the specific area of your yard you’ve already designated as his. He’ll soon
associate it with bathroom breaks.
Visit it often. It’s best to take your new dog outside about every two hours as well as upon waking, after playing and feeding and before going to bed. In addition, be alert to signals like sniffing and circling that may indicate he has to go.
Use his crate. When you can’t be there, crate your dog. Your dog respects his new “den” and will avoid soiling it. If you purchase a crate large enough to accommodate his adult size, you can partition off part of the crate so he won’t go in a corner of it.
Correct him kindly. Accidents will happen. Remember that shouting, scolding and punishment serve no purpose and will only confuse your dog. Even if you catch him in mid-act, simply say “No!” and immediately take him outside.
Praise him. Lavish praise on your dog each time he goes outside in his assigned spot. Speak in an upbeat voice, smile and reward him with treats after he does his business.
The Scoop on Accidents
Here’s how to make short work of accident cleanup:
Soak up urine with Bounty® paper towels and remove feces to a plastic bag.
Treat the soiled area with a mild detergent solution.
On carpeting, blot the stain—don’t scrub—and work from the outside toward the center.
To neutralize odors, use a spray product that’s veterinarian-approved as safe to use around pets.
A new puppy needs lots of positive reinforcement during housebreaking.
Whether you've just brought home a puppy
or an older dog from elsewhere, your first
task will be to teach her or him where to
go to the bathroom other than your rugs.
This is easier said than done in most cases,
as the breed is very stubborn and willful.
Generally, the trick is to get the dog to
think that this fantastic idea is theirs.
Of course, the dachshund is also a great lover of treats, so even very small, lean treats should always be part of your training regimine. Dogs born in the Spring can often be trained with the fresh fruits of summer if they're sufficiently sweet.
The first rule of thumb is to never let them get in the habit of urinating in the house. Every single spot they smell, and rest assured, they smell them all, is an invitation to pee. Once trained up your dog should be able to resist, but until then, consider her or him to be a dangerous and loaded weapon.
Many people train dachshunds in a crate to prevent accidents like this. Otherwise, you'll need to make sure you take the puppy out every few minutes and reward them lavishly when they do go to the bathroom outside.
Unless you catch a puppy in the act of committing the misdeed in the house, there's less than no point in scolding them, as they've already forgotten what they just did. If you are unable to take the puppy out, you should keep them either in a crate or in a
Some people use paper training and swear by it. In this method, the whole of a non-carpeted room is covered in newspapers and the puppy is allowed to use the newspapers, but with some of the paper being removed each day. Eventually the paper is moved outside in the hopes that the dog will just follow the papers that you've lavishly praised her or him for eliminating upon and eventually you won't need the paper outside.
This does require a room of your house to have decreasingly large sections doused in dog urine for anywhere from 10 days to as much as three weeks. This also assumes your dog is making the connection between the urge and the act.
Crate training has the dog kept in a crate, just large enough to turn around and stand up in whenever you're not there to the dog out. Finding the right crate for the task can be difficult, as the dachshund is a very flexible dog that tends to elongate as they grow.
By leaving the crate open while your dachshund is out, they can sometimes grow a certain fondness for sleeping or hiding out in the crate, though they much prefer the furniture if it's made available to them. Crating a dachshund puppy while you're gone, you may also avoid some of the potentially life threatening nosing around and chewing.
Either way, you should make a real plan of attack that calls for a lot of praise and a lot of you helping them not make mistakes.
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The Dachshund Network Article
Crate Training Your Puppy and Older Dog
by Lynne Burke and Jeannie Fazio
*Please note that these instructions are for a healthy puppy or dog. If using a crate with a sick or rehabilitating pet, take extra precaution in utilizing the crate strictly for rest by seeking out the advice of a veterinarian or board-certified neurologist. The following tips, however, may be helpful in using the crate in a positive manner.
Dogs are den animals by nature. In the wild they sleep in caves that are safe from intruders. Just like their ancestors, dogs need a place of their own to feel that sense of security, where they can relax and not be bothered by another animal or person. If used properly, the crate makes a great den and wonderful house-training tool. It is also a must in keeping your pup safe and house neat.
Just a Few of the Benefits of Having a Crate-Trained Dog
He will be more comfortable during those frequent times during the course of his life when he will undoubtedly have to be in a crate - while at the animal hospital, on board a plane, etc.
Many groomers, pet-boarding kennels, and dog-approved hotels will feel better assured in knowing that a dog is crate-trained because it can usually be an indicator that the dog is a better behaved one.
When transporting your dog, he is much safer in a crate. If he is not crated and you get into an accident, he could become a flying object, possibly hurting himself and others. In addition, if he is not in a crate, he could wander away from the accident scene.
Sometimes when company is over it may be too "busy" for your dog. What a joy it would be for him to have the safe, quiet confines of his crate to escape all of the hustle and bustle.
With a properly crate-training schedule in place, the chances of your home being damaged by accidental soiling or destructive behavior are greatly decreased.
A crate that is large enough for the puppy to sit, lay down, stand and turn around comfortably. The perfect solution in accommodating the growing puppy is to purchase a crate from a company that also sells partitions for that particular model, and then get one large enough to hold him comfortably at expected full growth. Do not try to hand-make your own partition. If it caves in and scares the pup, your chances of getting him to like his den will be greatly reduced.
A crate pad and blanket.
Odor Neutralizer ("See Spot Go," "Nature's Miracle," etc.).
Collar or Harness (for dogs genetically prone to Degenerative Disc Disease).
A six foot leash.
An empty soda can containing a few pennies with the opening taped shut.
Teaching Him Where to Go and When
Upon initially arriving home with your new puppy, take him on leash to a pre-designated soil area that you've chosen outside. Use this area whenever possible, especially during the training process.
Patiently wait while he gets familiar with the new smells, and just AS he is about to go to the bathroom (he will start to walk in circles or begin to get into a squatting position), in a low but firm (and audible) voice use a one or two word command ("hurry up" or "go" works well). Doing this just before he goes will initially teach him the meaning of this word.
Once he goes, praise him like crazy. He will soon make the connection between the command and the actual eliminating, not to mention the fact that he has made you happy, which is a dog's ultimate goal.
Once he has become familiar with the command, start to use it as soon as you get to his soil area. This is a great technique when you do not have time to wait for him to go, or when the weather is not conducive to taking a long walk. Remember, praising him each time he eliminates in his outdoor soil area will quickly teach him that this is what is expected of him, and he will be happy to comply, provided that he has to go.
Making the Crate a Fun and Safe Place
Take him inside and introduce him to the crate in a fun way by throwing toys in the crate for him, using a one-word command for going in. One of the more popular commands would be "kennel."
Once he has gone into the crate, praise him like crazy, leaving the door open. Initially feeding your puppy in the opened crate will help to teach him that this is a positive place to be.
Find a safe chew toy or snack that he really likes and save that for his time in the crate. With perseverant consistency and patience, most dogs can adapt quickly to their crates.
Keeping a Close Eye During Training Period
When not in crate, on lap, sleeping, etc., puppy should ALWAYS be where you can see him - on a six-foot leash with you at the other end of it. This is very important during the training period so as to ensure that he does not soil in an undesirable area or cause destructive damage to a favorite piece of furniture.
Consider a rug that has been peed on (or a sofa leg that has been destroyed) to be your fault for not watching puppy during this critical time of teaching him right from wrong.
When he does something that is unwanted, clap your hands very loudly (this will startle him into immediately stopping) and then calmly use the leash to either bring him out to his soil area, or to find him something more constructive to do. Again, do not forget to praise him once he is doing something that you consider desirable.
Very Important: When you cannot watch your puppy, he should always be in his crate but no longer than two-three hours during the puppy training stage.
The First Night
During the first night, your puppy may cry, whine or even howl. This is not only because of being in the crate; he is alone for the first time in his life - away from mom and littermates.
Some Suggestions to Help During the First Night
A hot water bottle to substitute the warmth from the bodies of the littermates that are no longer with him.
A ticking clock may assist in making the puppy comfortable as it has been reported that it sounds much like the heartbeat of the mother (or a littermate).
You may want to put the crate next to your bed for the first few nights or, if puppy is very noisy, in a room far away so you won't hear him.
Teach him not to cry in crate by helping him to associate his noisiness in a negative but gentle way. Try shaking a cleaned out soda can (hiding it behind your back or under the blankets so that he does not know it is you making the noise) that contains a few pennies taped inside. As soon as puppy stops crying, stop the shaking. He will soon learn that when he is quiet, all is quiet.
Do Not Ever...
...let your puppy out if he is making noise. This only teaches him that making noise gets him out of the crate. You may have to buy earplugs for a few nights. If you think he may have to go out wait until he is quiet for a minute and be right there to open the door and let him out.
...leave puppy unattended. He should be in crate with door closed whenever he cannot be watched. This will ensure that he and your home are safe.
...leave collar or harness on dog while in crate.
...scold when finding accidents in the house. If you do not catch puppy in the act, then scolding will only do more harm than good. Consider it a lesson learned - on your part.
...use a heating pad, which is a danger if chewed or when wet.
...praise unwanted, negative behavior! This is a no-no as they will forever associate their crying with being praised. Instead, ignore or use a learned command to correct the bad stuff and then once the pup has corrected it himself, praise him. Dog's way of thinking: "If mom is praising me for being a brat, then I will be a brat more often!" (negative reinforcement). "If mom is praising me for doing good, I will try to do good, provided that I know what is expected of me" (positive reinforcement). Remember that dogs always want to please in a way that seems most pleasing to their owners. Praising only the good things will teach them right from wrong quickly and efficiently.
General Training Tips
The crate should be big enough for your dog to comfortably sit, stand and turn around in, but not big enough that he would be able to mess at one end and sleep at the other.
A crate is never used as a punishment tool. This does not mean that you are not able to use the crate for time - out periods. It just has to be done in a positive manner. Always make the crate fun. Never scold him before putting him in. Even if upset with puppy, keep your voice low but firm, using a cheerful tone when giving your puppy his learned command to go into the crate.
Initially practice during the day so as to have puppy quietly used to it in time for bed. This should help to ensure a restful night's sleep. Caution: The first few nights (or even weeks) might be anything but!
If pup goes to the bathroom in his soil area, he should be free of any accidents, provided you do not give him water or food. This is a good time to allow him to be with you at a watchful range. If he has not gone while outside, he should not be allowed to be with you but instead should return to his crate. Repeat: do not let on that you are impatient or unhappy; the crate should always be a positive place for him to learn and grow. Leave the room, and then try again in approximately thirty minutes. Repeat this method until he has gone to the bathroom in his soil area. Puppy should quickly learn that when he goes, he gets to be with you.
Pup also needs to learn to be part of the family. Crating him on a daily basis, with door closed, should only continue until he is fully free of soiling or destructive chewing. Until such time, keeping him close to you via a collar and leash will allow him to feel like a valued member of the family, and will help you in the bonding process.
Being consistent in your training times will really get your dog on a solid schedule. If you crate, exercise, and take your puppy outdoors at roughly the same time every day, he will quickly know what is expected of him. The same especially applies to feeding and watering at the same time each day.
Make it a habit to always take puppy out to his soil area directly after exiting the crate.
The best method is to take pup out first thing upon arising from bed, then feed, water, let him rest in crate for 30 minutes (while you get ready for work) before taking him out to his soil area, and playing with him for 10 minutes before bringing him to crate. Repeat these steps every two to four hours. Evenings can be spent with you provided that both you and pup are at both ends of the six - foot leash while preparing dinner, watching television, studying, etc. During times when pup cannot be watched closely (while in shower, on telephone, etc) or where he may be underfoot or in harm's way (frying foods, friends bring their adult dog or rowdy children, etc), pup should ALWAYS be in crate.
During training, water should be eliminated three hours before bedtime. If he is thirsty, give him ice cubes instead.
A puppy should never be in his crate for too long. Undeveloped eight to ten week old puppy bladder muscles can usually hold urine NO longer than three to four hours at a time.
In the beginning, you may be taking the puppy outside every 2 hours. As the puppy gets older, the time between outside visits can be increased.
Never let pup soil in his crate for this will only lead to severe housebreaking problems as an adult. For those unable to exercise pup every three to four hours, consider hiring someone to come in at midday, or confine him to an area with newspapers that are located OUTSIDE of an opened crate.
Never put newspaper inside of crate. Because breeders often use newspaper in their kennels, pups will probably associate them with being allowed to eliminate.
Because every dog is different, crate bedding does not always work. With most dogs, bedding works just fine. However, some will eliminate on the blankets as they will associate the nice warm blanket or pad as a place to soil. If this is the case, take the bedding out for a few weeks, and then try putting it back in. If the problem re-occurs, bedding must be totally eliminated during the crate-training process. Also, chewing blankets can be a danger in the crate. One such incident involved a dog that chewed a hole in his blanket and then got it tightly wrapped around his leg. When the owners arrived home the circulation had been cut off to the foot and the leg was swollen. This dog was fortunate as no injuries were sustained.
If possible, initially practice crating while at home so that puppy does not associate having to be in there only while you are gone.
When pup is being a real pain or has made a huge mess in the house (and it needs to be cleaned up), be near the crate with some treats in your hand. Call the dog, give him his command in a positive tone (despite how you may be feeling at the moment) to go into the crate. Once he is in, give him the treat and shut the door of the crate. Do not scold pup for the mess, for he has forgotten what he has done, and thinks he is getting the treat for going into the crate.
There may be days when you are painting or doing some other chores that could be dangerous to the dog if he is out and about. Just grab some kibble, a favorite toy and let the crate be a safe place to stay until it is safe to let him out.
Keep the location of crates in a central part of the house, where the dog can be with you and family. Multiple crates are often used in more than one section of the house (bedroom, living, family room, kitchen, etc.) so that the dog feels like part of the family while confined to his den."
Some dogs are more comfortable (and quiet) with their crates covered.
Follow the same crate-training procedures for any setbacks in urination or destructive behavior.
Older dogs can be more difficult to crate train, but again, consistency, perseverance and patience are the keys to success. Follow the same instructions and tips as above using the additional advice included below. Because every dog is different, you must act and react according to their needs as well as their learned (and unlearned) behavior.
Leave the door of the crate open and feed the dog in the crate for a few days or weeks depending on how much fear he may show of the crate.
Leave the door open and throw toys in the crate to get him interested in it. Find him a favorite toy, maybe a Kong that has been stuffed with peanut butter or yogurt Hint: Try freezing the stuffed Kong for extra long-lasting pleasure, and put him in the crate with that. Once he is interested in the Kong, close the door just for a few minutes.
For the dog that really seems to dislike the crate, you must go very slowly in your steps to help him adapt. Gradually increase how long you leave him in the crate. If your dog starts to get upset, you've increased the time you are leaving him in the crate too quickly. If your older dog isn't destructive, you can work at this at an even slower pace. Wait until he has calmed down before opening the door.
At night when it is time to put your dog in his crate, give him a piece of biscuit and close the door.
If your dog starts to carry on, get behind the crate where the dog can't see you and give the crate a firm slap and say "quiet". As soon as the dog is quiet for about 5 seconds, give him some kibble. Hopefully you can gradually increase the times between slaps and increase the time the dog is quiet. You may have to buy earplugs to wear for a few days but don't give in even once, or it will make it all the more difficult to train him properly.
It often helps to leave music playing to keep your dog company.
Crate-training is an invaluable tool, provided that it has been introduced and taught in a positive way. With proper, humane methods of crate training, you will notice your dog voluntarily enjoying the peaceful confines of his crate, long after the training period has ended.
The opinions on this page are those of the authors and are designed to give novice pet owners general information to assist them in the general care of their dogs.
Reference: Good Owners, Great Dogs by Brian Kilcommons
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