Puppy crate training is one of the first things you will need to start once you bring your new puppy home with you when she is around 8 weeks old.
The first few nights she may cry, whimper or even bark to get out but you cannot let her out or she will learn that this behaviour works. Tell her to be “quiet” or make a “sh” noise each time she makes a noise and you can also give her crate a tap to gain her attention when you are quieting her. Eventually she will lie down and go to sleep.
* Puppies just want to be around people so putting her crate in a central area of your home during the day and in your bedroom during the night will comfort her.
* Later on if you wish to not have her in your bedroom then you can gradually move her out of your room or she can sleep in your room permanently as this is completely fine.
* Puppies are full of curiosity and mischief and therefore puppy crate training should begin while you are away from home and during the night while you are sleeping.
* Puppies need constant monitoring to make sure they are not chewing or eating something that could be harmful to them or destroying your things so need to be crated when you are unable to monitor them.
* They are also not “potty trained pups” yet so you do not want them to have full freedom to roam when you are not there to watch them.
* You also do not want your pup to “go potty” in her (his) crate and they will not do this where they sleep, however, puppies are quite small and may have plenty of room in their crate and may “go potty” at one end then sleep at the other end.
* I had this experience myself as our new pup was only 2lbs so quite small and had plenty of room in her crate as we bought one big enough for her to grow into.
* An easy solution to this problem is to fill the back half or more of the crate with towels or a box covered with towels so your pup has limited space and will sleep only and not relieve herself in her crate.
* Your pup will actually enjoy this cozy space as they like to sleep in a small cozy area.
* As your pup grows you can increase the size of her sleeping area and eventually when she is fully grown and trained you can take away all the towels.
* You should also train your puppy to go into her crate on her own when you ask her to with either praise (such as “good girl!”) or treats as her reward.
* You will need to teach her a phrase that means you want her in there such as “go in your crate” or “go in your house” or whatever you choose but you have to say the same thing every time as well as everyone in your household.
* Puppies will feel more content being in their crate when they go in on their own and are not simply placed in there and locked up for periods of time.
* Puppies actually enjoy the coziness of their crate where they feel secure and can have a peaceful sleep as puppies sleep lots!
* When you let your puppy out of her crate you should simply just walk up, open her door and walk away.
* Do not act excited and talkative to your puppy as you do not want your puppy to be super excited and barking each time she comes out.
* f you are excited and talking loudly to her then she is going to act that way also with barking and jumping around.
* As well as annoying, this excitement could also lead to a “potty” accident.
* You need to take your pup outside to go “potty” (or on the pee pad if that is what you are training her to do) before leaving your pup in the crate as puppies and even full grown dogs can only go for certain amounts of time without going “potty”.
* At the beginning your puppy will only be able to go for shorter amounts of time in the crate before going to the potty. The time will get longer as your puppy gets older.
* You also need to immediately take her to "go potty” once you let her out of her crate until she learns to let you know herself that she needs to go.
* In the beginning when your puppy is quite young, you may need to get up and take her outside in the middle of the night as she will not be able to go all night without going “potty”. If she starts to whine or cry in the night and will not go back to sleep or you hear her scratching around in the night then you should get up and take her to "go potty”.
* Again, do not act or talk to her in an excited manner and do not let her out and play with her, just take her to "go potty” then straight back in to her crate and you both go back to sleep.
* You don’t want to train her that this is a fun, exciting time. This time is strictly to go to the “potty” and then back to sleep until morning.
* As she gets older and can go longer before needing to relieve herself then you will not need to get up in the night to take her to "go potty”.
As you can see, there are a few important details that you need to follow when puppy crate training, however, in my experience with my puppy, it went very well and was easier and quicker than I had imagined it would be when I followed the above steps. If you are consistent and willing to put in the effort, it will pay off in the end as you will have a well trained dog for many years to come!!