Dogs are born with the instinct to keep their sleeping areas clean and relieve themselves in another area. When a puppy is too small to move to a different area, the mother stimulates the puppy to relieve itself and she cleans up after him. Now that your puppy is getting bigger, though, his “mommy” isn’t there to clean up his messes anymore and you, as his adoptive parent, don’t want to have to clean up after him forever. It might be time to start training your puppy.
If you use a crate to train the puppy, it uses the puppies natural instinct to keep its bed clean and by doing this the dog develops stronger bowel and bladder control because the puppy will make a harder effort to hold it when he is relaxed in his cozy bed.
There are several types of dog crates available. The soft-sided fabric carriers are strictly for traveling. The plastic of wire crates can be used for housetraining and traveling. Plastic cages or crates are often made with two parts, a top and a bottom that fastens together with bolts and of course a wire door. Wire crates are more like cages and they are open all around.
The kind of crate you think would be right for your dog is a personal preference. The plastic crates provide more security for the puppy; although open wire crates allow more air flow. The wire crates will often fold up for storage reasons, although they are heavy they are compact and bundle. The plastic crates are bulky but light weight. After you compare the crates, choose the crate that you think will fit your life style and make your puppy happiest.
When choosing a crate make sure it is big enough for your puppy but not big enough for an adult sized dog. Your puppy should have enough room to lie down, get comfortable and move around but no more room than that. If you get a crate that is too big your puppy will be able to relieve themselves in a corner and still be bale to get away from it.
You have to remember that the reason you get a crate to potty train your dog is to use your dog’s instinct to keep its bed clean. If you already have a crate but it is for an adult dog, put a piece of cardboard or a plank of wood to section off the crate so your puppy only has access to a certain part of the crate.
Making your dog familiar with its crate is not hard. Prop open the door so that it does not swing closed on accident, and toss a toy or treat in the crate. Coax your dog to get the toy or treat by using a personal command, which you will want to continue using while you are training your puppy.
You may want to say “Go to bed baby!” After the dog enters the crate praise him. Do this many times throughout the day. When it is time for your puppy to eat place the food bowl in the crate so that it has to enter to crate to eat. After a few days of your puppy eating in its crate, begin to close the door behind it as it enters the crate to eat and after open the doors for it to come out.
After your dog is comfortable with being in its crate begin placing the puppy in the crate at night. You will want to place the crate in your room so that your puppy can see you, hear you, smell you, and be close to you. When your puppy is close to you, you will be able to hear it should it become antsy and restless needing to go outside.