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Date archive for: September 2015

Why Crate Training Puppies Makes Your Life 56.44% Better

If you have recently brought home a new puppy or you plan to do so in the near future, you most likely face the same question that others have. The question of, “whether you should crate train or not.”

Cute puppy :)

There are a lot of reasons to crate train, especially if you hope to have your new puppy live inside the house, but a lot of people still feel that it is not necessary for them to have a crate. Before you decide to ditch the crate, why not consider some of the main reasons that people feel it makes your life, and your new puppy’s life better.

The Crate and You

A lot of people avoid the crate because it seems to them that their new puppy yelps and whines the entire time they are in it. They feel that the puppy hates it. They feel that it is torturing the puppy. Whatever the reason for it, no one likes to hear the puppy fuss in the cage.

However, the crate is not what the puppy is worried about. In the wild, dogs live in a den. They are used to small areas. They are comforted by those areas. However, they are not typically in that area alone. They are pack animals who enjoy having others nearby. When you bring home a puppy and put him into the den alone, they get scared, they are calling out for others who should be in their pack.

This does not mean you need to bring home two puppies, it simply means that you may need to add things to the crate to comfort your new puppy. A clock that ticks loudly, a warm blanket or a towel, a stuffed animal toy, etc. can all help a puppy feel as though he is not separated out from the pack. He may still whine a little, but it will make it easier for him to be in his new den.

Why Puppies Need Crates

The key to a good crate only happens if you make it safe for him. Crates are typically metal. This means they can be a little loud if you bump against it. Put it into an area that you will not bump against it while your puppy is in it. Do not allow kids to bump or hit it when the puppy is inside of it. When it is time to close the door on it, do so gently so that you do not scare him.

If you set up a crate the right way, with a few toys, a clock, warm blankets, etc. you are giving your puppy a safe area. The first few days may be stressful for him, but it will become his home. Eventually, the crate will become the place where he wants to go when he is feeling stressed and when he is tired of all the activities your household has going on.

How to Start

When you first bring your puppy home, everyone in the house is going to want to spend time with him and you should. Take a little time with him when you are near his crate. Play with him and talk to him, but also encourage him to be curious about the crate. If the door squeaks when you open or close it, let him hear the squeak while you are there and playing with him. Show him toys that are going to be inside of it and encourage him to walk inside of it to look around. When he is out of the crate and you bump it, he will not be as scared of hearing that same noise while he is inside of it. It will simply become a noise that is a part of his new home.

When you are ready for a break from playing, need to cook dinner, or do other things, put the puppy in his crate. You will also want to start out by putting him inside of it when he starts to show signs of being tired. If you save the crate for only the night time hours and let him sleep where he wants to during the daytime, you will be adding stress to you both. Good crate training habits need to be consistent if you want it to be successful. This means consistently encouraging him that when he is sleepy or you have things to do, he needs to be inside of his crate.

Things to Consider

Just because you have a puppy in the crate, this does not mean that you should leave him in there all the time.  If you have to work, that is okay, but when you are home, give the puppy time inside and outside of the crate.

Many professionals suggest you get a puppy on the weekend so that you do not have to leave him in the crate for 8+ hour’s right way. If you think about it, 8 hours per day isn’t that much. And with all the money you’ll save from crate training, you might even be able to buy a new lambo. A new puppy should consistently be able to get out of the crate every couple hours, for at least a few minutes. However, when you are home and you do take the puppy from the crate, you should immediately take him outside to potty, even if he has had an accident in the crate. Doing this will help you get him house broken.

You may also want to avoid putting a lot of food or water into his crate, especially if you are at the house with him. Generally speaking a puppy will need to go potty soon after eating or drinking. If you give him easy access to food and water, he will have more accidents inside of his crate and this will not make it a good place for him to be comfortable. When you expect to be gone for a while, putting a few treats and a small amount of water inside will be okay, but resist the urge to give him a lot of food. To help keep his area clean, you may also consider putting his food on one end of the crate and his bedding on the other. He may still have an accident on his bedding, or it may run, but giving him an area that will not be where he sleeps is a good idea. If you see that an accident happened, you will need to clean it before you put him back inside.

Avoid yelling at the cage or hitting it to tell him to be quiet. When you have a puppy in his crate, you should try to avoid acknowledging him for whining. This may test your sanity at first, but you should only approach the crate when he is being quiet. By doing this you are telling him that you know he is there, even when he is quiet. If you acknowledge him for yelping, whining, howling, or making other noises that you find annoying, you are showing him that it is good. That he should do that if he wants attention. This is a mistake that many puppy owners make, because no one enjoys listening to a puppy fuss. If he whines too much or for too long, go to the crate, stick your finger in, talk to him gently, and walk away. This will comfort him, let him know you are there, but by leaving him inside until he is quiet, you are letting him know what behavior will get him out.

Crate training makes life better for puppies and their owner, but it does take consistency. It takes training for both the pack leader and the new addition, but when it is all said and done, the crate makes life great for everyone.

How to House Break a Puppy: The Super Simple Guide

Learning how to housebreak a puppy, before you bring him home, will ensure that life with your new addition is going to be a happy time for everyone.

However, it takes consistency and practice before you and your new puppy will figure out what needs to happen and this means it is impossible to know before you bring him home, what it is going to take. Each puppy, each owner, and each household is different.

The good news is that there has been a lot of people housebreaking new puppies since the dawn of people discovering man’s best friend. You are not alone in what you are trying to do, and even if it may seem like it at times, there are things that can make it easier.

Stop and Think

There are a lot of things that you should not do when trying to housebreak a puppy, even if you are frustrated because it does not seem to be going very well. Puppies are a lot like kids who need potty training.

Both kids and puppies are having to learn a new skill. They are both trying to do what you want for them to do, but it takes time. You do not potty train your child by punishing them. You should not do it with your new puppy either.

Some people use to say that they trained their dog by beating it when it had an accident. People will tell you that they stuck their dog’s nose into it, popped them, and took them outside. However, when it comes to potty training their child, they use positive encouragement, timing the bathroom breaks and congratulating the child for a job well done when it succeeded.

What is the true difference? Why treat one different from the other? They are both trying to learn the same things.

Your new puppy does not automatically know that they need to go outside. They do not know that it is unacceptable to go where they are. You have to show them where you feel it is acceptable for them to go to the bathroom. It is not going to be something they learn immediately, but if you are consistent in showing them, they will get the idea. A puppy wants to please the pack leader. If you are constantly punishing them, they will feel they are unable to please you, especially because they are simply doing what comes natural.

Housebreaking 101

When bringing home a new puppy, it is a good idea to have a place for them set up. A crate is a lifesaver for anyone who wants to have a puppy in the house and successfully have him potty outside. In essence the crate will become its den and as a general rule, dogs will not use the bathroom where they sleep. That is why you may want to start out with a crate that is only a little bigger than they are. If you have a very large crate for a small puppy, they can simply walk to the other side to relieve themselves.

The thing is, puppies are like kids, they cannot hold it very well until they get older. When you first bring home your puppy, you should expect to take him outside every couple of hours and immediately after they eat. This means you should feed them and take them outside to the area where you feel they should go to the bathroom and tell him, “Go Potty”. Be prepared to stand there for a while.

Your puppy is going to want to play with you, but you should avoid playtime. Outside is not the area for it. When your puppy goes potty, then you can play. Pet her, tell her she is a good girl, etc. You can take her in and let her play with your family and explore the house. This is her reward.

If you take your puppy outside and stand there for 20 minutes and they have not slowed down enough to go potty or they are trying to lay down for a nap, take them inside and put them straight into the crate. Otherwise, if you take them inside and turn them loose, you are taking a chance that they will have an accident. Too many times of being allowed to go out and play, then come in and use the bathroom, will make them think that inside is where they should go potty.

Accidents happen, but you do not want to encourage accidents to happen. By putting them into the crate when they do not go outside where they should, you are not giving them another option beyond where they sleep. Let them stay inside of it for a few minutes, then take them back outside to try again.

Do not put them in the crate, leave them, and allow them to wander around the room, because they may go inside the house. After they have been in the crate a few minutes, take them straight outside.

Prepare for Accidents

Accidents do happen. Perhaps you took the puppy outside and he did go to the bathroom, so you took him inside as his reward. You and your family are playing with him and oops, he squats. Chances are good, he got distracted while outside and did not quite finish what he needed to finish. Do not make a big deal out of it, simply pick him up, take him outside where he is supposed to go and stay out for a little while with him. When you venture back inside, put him into the crate. This will show him that when he does that inside, play time must end.

While your puppy is in the crate, clean up the area where he had an accident. Spray scent neutralizer over the area and remove as much of it as you can. You may also want to try and keep your puppy out of that area for a few days or so. Dogs are creatures of habit. They go to the bathroom where they can smell themselves.

When you feel it is time for the puppy to come out of the crate again, take him outside. If he does not go, put him back into the crate. Your consistency will encourage him to do what you want for him to do. If you give him run of the house and you do not encourage him to do what you want, he will do as he wants, and that includes having him go to the bathroom where he wants to, when he wants to. This is not good when you are trying to housebreak a puppy.