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a Crate for Potty Training
Many professionals use crates to housebreak a dog
who think crates are bad for dogs don't understand the canine mind. Dogs
like dens. Putting a puppy in a crate is no more cruel than putting a
baby in a playpen, and it's for the same reason. You want to keep them
from accidentally hurting themselves when you can't watch them.
not mean a puppy or dog should be crated hour after hour. Crates are a
den and safe haven for a dog, not a place of punishment. They're also
the fastest and best way to housebreak a puppy.
work because dogs instinctively do not want to soil their dens. That's
why you don't pick one too large. You don't want your dog to have a
back area he can pee in and still have a nice clean area to lie down
a crate large enough for your dog when he's fully grown to turn around
360-degrees and to lie down comfortably. Many crate brands come with
a metal inside door that can adjusted and eventually removed so the
crate can grow along with your puppy.
- A crate
with two doors will be easier to get your dog in and out and to clean
up inside when needed.
kind are nice for trips but some people may prefer wood type that look
like pieces of furniture.
- Use anything
soft for the inside pad - old towels, old blanket, an old pillow with
a waterproof cover - as long it can be machine washed. If you want to
buy something a little nicer, click here.
and fleece look great but don't wash well especially if your puppy has
an accident either pooping or throwing up.
- I also
use a crate
cover so only the front door is visible inside or out.
That reinforces it as a den and gives my dog privacy and safety. Buy
one ready made or use a throw or blanket that's large enough to cover
three of the four sides.
- Get your
puppy or dog used to the crate by feeing him a treat or his regular
meal in it. Leave the crate door open and unlocked.
- Once he's
familiar with the crate, start locking the door for a minute or so at
a time. After 4-5 days, he should be ready to be crated for real.
- When it's
potty time, take your puppy outside (or wherever you want him to potty)
and let him do his business. When he does, praise him lavishly.
Don't leave your dog's collar on, especially if it has tags on it, when
you put him in the crate. It's rare but it does happen that a dog will
catch his collar in the wire bars and choke. Better safe ...
- No puppy
can stay in a crate all day without a potty break. The rule of thumb
that many veterinarians use is one hour per month of age up to a 8-months.
So a 3-month old puppy could stay in a crate up to 3-hours; a 5-month
old could stay in a crate up to 5-hours.
- This is
just a rule of thumb. Many small puppies can't go longer than one hour
until they're 4-months old. See how your puppy reacts.
dog should be crated longer than 8-hours.
That means 8-hours, not your work day plus commute time. Sometimes people
tell me they leave their dog in a crate while they're at work and forget
that the real time is about 10-hours.
- If you
work, you or someone else should let your dog out for a walk/potty break
at lunch time. I personally consider 5-hours the maximum time a dog
should be crated without a break. Doggy day care would be better choice
if you can't or won't have a mid-day dog walker.
a dog in a crate longer than 8-hours, according to my veterinarian,
makes the dog at risk for a secondary urinary infection if the dog is
'holding' his urine.
I leave the crate door open all the time. My dog goes in when she wants
to get away from the rest of the family and sleep or just have some alone
or dog can be housetrained with a humane schedule and a crate.
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