How to Crate Train Your Puppy

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Bringing a new puppy home is always exciting and those first few days together you spend all your time cuddling, playing and teaching your puppy.

Unfortunately you'll eventually have to leave your puppy at home and it is important that they are crate trained. 

Your puppy isn't born with an understanding that their crate is a safe place for them so it takes time and effort to get them comfortable in their crate.

Here is a breakdown of how to properly crate train your puppy:

1. Introduce your puppy to the crate
Bring a crate into your puppy’s life casually. Open all possible doors on it, and simply let it be in the room. Don’t address it; just let it sit there. Your curious puppy may explore it. They may even lay down inside! After you feel as if your puppy is comfortable in their new crate you can move on to step 2!

2. Put toys in the crate
Putting your pup's favorite toys, blankets, treats, etc. will entice them to enter into the crate. Your puppy will now associate the crate as a place where "good things or rewards" happen and will be less cautious of going inside.

3. Feed your puppy inside the crate
Put a meal inside, and leave the doors open. Direct your puppy to their meal, and see how they react. Start with the meal at the front of the crate and move it towards the back as they get more comfortable. Once your dog has no problem going to the back of their crate to eat, try shutting the door while they eat. As soon as they are finished eating, open the door.

4. Leave your pup in the crate for an extended period of time
If your puppy is handling everything through step 4 without being stressed, you can now leave them in there for a longer period of time. Lead your puppy into the crate, and then close it and leave them in there for a little while longer than you previously have been. Hang nearby for a few minutes, and then leave the room for awhile. Once you come back, don’t open the crate right away, give it a few minutes.

5. Time to leave your pup at home!
Now that your puppy is used to staying in the crate, you can try to leave home for a bit. The most important thing is to not act like anything special is going on - just leave! Act very low key as you leave home and as you return. This will help your dog understand that this is a normal activity. Small praise is okay, but don’t make it a huge deal. 


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