18 Oct How to Crate (Kennel or Blanket) Train Your Puppy
Start crate training your puppy on its first night.
- Place the crate (kennel) in your bedroom / lounge where the puppy can still see and hear what is going on.
- Put blanket or towels in the crate for bedding. A pup will rarely soil the crate, however, if he does, try removing the bedding.
- A crate should not be too big, but large enough for the puppy to stand, stretch and turn around.
- Encourage the puppy into the crate with treats. If they show fear – then put treats just in front of the crate (one at a time) till they settle, then put treats further into the crate till he will go all the way to the back. At this point leave the door open. Once puppy goes in willingly, use word “kennel” or “kennel up”.
- Next step is to get puppy to sit or down count to 10 (or less if they still nervous) and all them out to you – lots of praise.
- As your count get longer to about 10 – close the door – for short periods – then open call them out – make a big fuss of them. Continue till puppy will lie down and relax (sit on the floor next to them initially) then slowly move away from the crate as they remain calm. If they start stressing – go back to the step where they were comfortable. (start again if necessary – it is VITAL that puppy does not get stressed or this becomes a bad experience.
- If he should happen to fall asleep somewhere else, pick him up and place him inside and quietly shut the door.
Do not hesitate to periodically use the crate, even while you are home. You may feed the puppy in his crate (put their food bowl inside- leave door open while they eat) and give him some favourite toys, to keep the experience positive. DO NOT close the door until puppy is completely comfortable with the crate.
The crate will become their place of safety and if anything scares them they should be able to “escape” into their little haven. NEVER USE THE CRATE (or BED)AS PUNISHMENT AND NEVER FORCE THEM TO STAY INSIDE. If puppy needs to be confined to keep them out of harm’s way – IT MUST BE A POSITIVE EXPERIENCE.
Don’t Just Crate When You’re Leaving Them Alone It’s extremely important that you crate your Puppy for short periods at regular intervals throughout the day when you’re home, not only when you’re about to leave the house. This prevents your puppy from learning that going to the crate always means they will be left alone which can result in them becoming reluctant to enter and use it.
The Crate is Your Dogs Den, Not Your Children’s The crate is your Puppy’s special place of their own and it must remain just that…their own. So if you have children, be very stern about the fact they must NEVER bother the dog and especially never tease them when they’re in the crate. And never let them go inside, or play on or around it. It’s your dogs own special place and they must learn that they can go there for peace and quiet and will not be disturbed. But having said that, you should make sure your Lab allows human contact and entry to the crate and doesn’t learn to resource guard it because you’ll need to place items in there, remove items from there and sometimes touch your dog when they’re inside.