Dog Crate Training - Easy Puppy Potty Training
Be consistent in your dog training. When you use one method stick to it. Consistency will be rewarded.
The basic idea of crate training is to use a dog's natural instinct to Your advantage. Her natural instinct is to keep her den (crate) clean.
Keep your puppy in his crate and only let him out to:
- Use the potty
Tough love is sometimes necessary. Remember, you are the leader and your tough love will pay off in the long run. You can also use a crate to train an adult dog.
Use a Wire Crate for Training
Her crate should be made of wire. Why? So that she will be able to see all around her. Try not to buy one any larger than is necessary, as she will use one end for her potty. You only want her to have enough room to turn around and lie down. If you do buy a larger one, use a board or box to take up any extra space at the end.
Dog Feeding Tips
What you feed your dog will affect:
- How solid his stools are
- How often he needs to potty
- How much control he will have over his urge
- Try and stick to quality, dry food. It makes his digestive system and stools consistent.
- Quality, dry food is also good exercise for his jaws and helps to keep his teeth clean.
Eating table scraps can really mess up your dog's stools (as well as giving him health problems) and therefore wreak havoc on your housebreaking plans. Decent quality, dry dog food is you and your dog's biggest ally... table scraps are not.
Stick to a Schedule
You will need to maintain a strict schedule concerning:
- What you feed your dog
- When you feed her
- When you give her water
- When you take her out for a walk
- When a puppy, she will require 3 or 4 feedings and waterings a day.
When 6 months and older begin to cut her feedings down to a couple of times a day, but continue to give her water 3 or 4 times a day. The last watering should be no later than a couple of hours before bedtime. Also, in very hot weather, more frequent waterings may be required.
Try to feed your dog in a nice, quiet spot and don't interrupt her during her feeding and watering time. The feeding and watering time shouldn't last over 15 minutes. She'll soon learn not to linger lazily over her food.
The last feeding should be as early as possible (around 5 or 6) so that she will eliminate on the last walk and will not have to go overnight.
Do not leave food and water in the crate with her. And feed and water her on a strict schedule so that you will be in control.
Remember, 8 hrs is about the limit of a puppy's endurance as far as elimination is concerned. If you are going to be at work for 8 hours, then you need to get home and let him out of his crate for a walk... or arrange for someone else to do it.
Up until 3 months old, a dog needs about 5 walks a day.
From 4 - 6 months old, he needs about 4 walks a day.
6 months old, he needs about 3 walks a day.
At close to a year and older he only needs 2 walks a day.
Dogs Are Not Perfect
In the beginning there are going to be some messes, so be prepared. It takes a little while to figure out your dog's digestive rhythms. Patience is very important. Remember that if you stick with it, your dog will sooner or later be housebroken.
It's absolutely imperative that you clean up any mess in her crate ASAP so that she won't get used to being dirty. Use ammonia-free cleanser when cleaning up a mess, as a dog's urine contains ammonia.
He'll recognize the ammonia and want to go in the same place. Use vinegar as a neutralizer after you clean up. Just put some in a spray bottle for convenience. You can dilute it partially with water.
When you take your dog outside to potty, stay with her. Take her exactly where you want her to go with her leash. She should go within about 20 minutes, if not bring her in and keep and eye on her. Take her out when she looks like she needs to go.
Praise your dog when he potties on the housebreaking pads or area. Do not go overboard in your praise though. In the wild, his mother would not. Whenever he has the inevitable accidents, give him a stern look and say "Bad Dog."
Immediately take him to your preferred potty area. Don't ever shove his nose in the mess or hit him. This does no good at all. His mother wouldn't do it. She would correct him with her voice, or shove him with her muzzle or body.
After a walk and business done, she can get 15-20 minutes of play time and then back to her crate. You're probably thinking that this is cruel and unusual punishment... This is not cruel. Here's why... Dogs are den animals and remember that she is gradually earning more and more freedom.
You can gradually increase her time outside the crate. But always supervise this free time. You want to catch any accidents when they happen. If you find an accident after the fact, take her over to the scene of the crime and let her smell it. Do not shove her nose in it. Sternly tell her "Bad Girl" and then take her to the proper potty area.
Other Crate Training Tips:
Make sure that all other sources of water are eliminated during training so that you will have control over when and therefore where he urinates. Possible sources where he might sneak a drink of water: toilets, flowerpots, puddles, etc.
A dog's sense of smell is thousands of times keener than ours, so believing that an odor is gone by using your own sense of smell is useless. Always use ammonia-free cleanser.
Your dog always needs to be observed any time that he is out of his crate.
Even an adult dog can be crate trained. Confine him to his crate as you would a puppy with scheduled walks, feedings and waterings, and play times. Gradually allow more free time as he earns it.