Crate Training your puppy

A crate is an invaluable management tool. A crate is an artificial “den” for your dog and a good, safe place. There are many advantages to crate training. The crate makes house training far easier. Your puppy’s crate will keep him out of trouble since you will crate him during times you can’t supervise him. When traveling, crates are the safest way to confine your dog in the car. They also give your puppy a portable bedroom, which can make him feel more secure in strange places. Most dogs love their crates and not only will enter them willingly when asked but will sleep in them even when the door is open.
A crate needs only to be large enough for your puppy to stand up, turn around and lie down in. This means you will need to buy several crates as your pup grows or you will need to buy one large enough for your puppy once he’s full grown. If you opt to buy a large crate you will need to block off the back of it so it is the appropriate size during housetraining (if you give your puppy too much room he may start to use part of his crate as a potty).
Encourage your puppy to go into the crate by tossing treats inside. Once your puppy is comfortable going in and out, give him a meal in the crate with the door closed while he is eating. You can also put your puppy in his crate with a raw beef bone or a stuffed Kong toy for short periods of time with the door closed. Gradually increase the time in the crate until your puppy can spend an hour or more relaxed in his crate.
During the night, put the crate beside your bed, so that you will hear if your puppy wakes up and needs to go out during the night. Be sure you let him out right before you go to bed and as soon as you get up in the morning. While you sleep, your puppy can spend the whole night in the crate, but should not be crated more then four hours during the day without being let out to potty.
Kong Toys: The Puppy Pacifier
A Kong is a hollow, beehive shaped rubber dog toy. This tough toy was designed to withstand heavy chewing. Used as a retrieving toy, the Kong entertains your dog by bouncing and rolling erratically. When stuffed with food, a Kong becomes a “puppy pacifier”. Your puppy can be kept busy for about an hour trying to get all the goodies out of a stuffed Kong. Be creative with Kong stuffing – use dry biscuits and kibble, a bit of extra yummy treats such as Salami for Dogs, cheese cubes or chicken all held together in the Kong with peanut butter, cream cheese or canned dog food. Start by using “easy stuffings” with the goodies loosely packed and lots of small easy to get treats. As your puppy gets good at unstuffing Kongs you can begin making it more difficult by packing the goodies in tighter and using some bigger pieces of treats that are more difficult to get to.
Giving your puppy a stuffed Kong when you put him in his crate will keep him busy and quiet, as well as give him a positive association with being crated. Kong toys also help satisfy your puppy’s need to chew and provide mental exercise.
For more information visit the Kong Toy website: www.kongcompany.com