Puppies can be a bundle of fun, there’s no question about it! Those chubby legs, wiggly butts, and playful romping pulls at our desire to take care of them, to give them our homes and all the freedom they want. It’s so important to remember though, that they also need guidance and supervision to become the wonderful adult dog you dreamed of having. You’re raising the adult dog you want so it’s important to pay attention to the messages you’re sending them.
Puppy training starts the day you bring them home, and there’s a lot to teach them! It’s so important to teach them what they’re allowed and not allowed to chew on, to relieve themselves outside instead of inside, to chew on their toys and not on your clothes or hands, to not jump up on you and your visitors. One key tool to helping your puppy learn what’s appropriate is a crate!
You might feel bad putting your puppy in a crate, especially when they whine and bark to get out. Remember though that puppies are young and growing. They need time to sleep and may not necessarily give themselves that opportunity if they’re out all the time with you. Not to mention it’s important to teach them how to be by themselves, unless you plan on spending all day every day with your puppy.
A crate gives your puppy a safe place to be when you can’t keep your eyes on your puppy, because without watching your puppy, you won’t be able to redirect them to appropriate avenues when they decide to chew on something they shouldn’t. It also aids the potty-training process when used appropriately and helps prevent your puppy biting your hands.
The first rule of thumb is to put your puppy in an appropriately sized crate. It should be just big enough for them to stand up, turn around, and lay down in. This will make it unlikely that they’ll relieve themselves in it. Feed them in their crate so that they are used to being in their crate, and use it when you can’t keep 100% of your attention on them.
To aid the potty-training process, follow the rule of two hours in the crate and one hour out of it. When you go to take your puppy out of their crate, it’s important to take them outside ON LEASH to their potty spot. Stand there for long enough to sing your ABC’s, and then bring them outside for their hour of free time. Keep your eyes on them and be ready to interrupt and take them outside if they try to relieve themselves in your home! Before putting them back in their crate, take them outside and give them another opportunity to relieve themselves. Put your puppy back in their crate, and go do what you need to do! Make your departure uneventful and your puppy will learn that you leaving isn’t anything to be worried about! Make sure to take your puppy outside before they go back in their crate and when they get out of their crate to give them plenty of opportunities to make the right decision!
Happy puppy training!
For more information about our training programs, visit our Programs page!