Providing your puppy or dog with an indoor kennel crate can satisfy many dogs' need for a den-like enclosure. Besides being an effective housebreaking tool (because it takes advantage of the dog's natural reluctance to soil its sleeping place), it can also help to reduce separation anxiety, to prevent destructive behavior (such as chewing furniture), to keep a puppy away from potentially dangerous household items (i.e., poisons, electrical wires, etc.), and to serve as a mobile indoor dog house.
A kennel crate also serves as a travel cabin for your dog when traveling by car or plane. Additionally, many hotels which accept dogs on their premises require them to be crated while in the room to prevent damage to hotel furniture and rugs.
Most dogs which have been introduced to the kennel crate while still young grow up to prefer their crate to rest in or "hang-out" in. Therefore a crate (or any other area of confinement) should never be used for the purpose of punishment.
Some crates allow for the removal of the door once it is no longer necessary for training purposes. The crate can be placed under a table, or a table top can be put on top of it to make it both unobtrusive and useful.
Vari-Kennel type: Take the crate apart, removing the screws, the top and the door. Allow your pup to go in and out of the bottom half of the crate before attaching the top half. This stage can require anywhere from several hours to a few days. This step can be omitted in the case of a young puppy who accepts crating right away.
Wire Mesh type: Tie the crate door back so that it stays open without moving or swinging closed. If the crate comes with a floor pan, place a piece of cardboard or a towel between the floor (or crate bottom) and the floor pan in order to keep it from rattling.
Toys and Treats: Place your puppy's favorite toys and dog treats at the far end opposite the door opening. Toys and balls should always be large enough to prevent their being swallowed. Any fragmented toys should be removed to prevent choking or internal obstruction.
Bedding: Place a towel or blanket inside the crate to create a soft, comfortable bed for the puppy. If the puppy chews the towel, remove it to prevent the pup from swallowing or choking on the pieces. Although most puppies prefer lying on soft bedding, some may prefer to rest on a hard, flat surface, and may push the towel to one end of the crate to avoid it. If the puppy urinates on the towel, remove bedding until the pup no longer eliminates in the crate.
Whenever possible, place the crate near or next to you when you are home. This will encourage the pup to go inside it without feeling lonely or isolated when you go out. A central room (i.e.: living room or kitchen) or a large hallway near the entrance is a good place to crate your puppy.
In order that your puppy associate his/her kennel crate with comfort, security and enjoyment, please follow these guidelines:
Puppies under 4 months of age have little bladder or sphincter control. Puppies under 3 months have even less. Very young puppies under 9 weeks should not be crated, as they need to eliminate very frequently (usually 8-12 times or more daily).
Do not crate a puppy or dog when temperatures reach an uncomfortable level. This is especially true for the short-muzzled (Pugs, Pekes, Bulldogs, etc.) and the Arctic or thick-coated breeds (Malamutes, Huskies, Akitas, Newfoundlands, etc.). Cold water should always be available to puppies, especially during warm weather. [Never leave an unsupervised dog on a terrace, roof or inside a car during warm weather. Also, keep outdoor exercise periods brief until the hot weather subsides.]
Be certain that your puppy has fully eliminated shortly before being crated. Be sure that the crate you are using is not too large, or your pup may eliminate in it. Rarely does a pup or dog eliminate in the crate if it is properly sized and the dog is an appropriate age to be crated a given amount of time. If your pup/dog continues to eliminate in the crate, the following may be the causes:
Note: Puppies purchased in pet stores, or puppies which were kept solely in small cages or other similar enclosures at a young age (between approximately 7 and 16 weeks of age), may be considerably harder to housebreak using the crate training method due to their having been forced to eliminate in their sleeping area during this formative stage of development. This is the time when most puppies are learning to eliminate outside their sleeping area. Confining them with their waste products retards the housebreaking process, and this problem can continue throughout a dog's adult life.
If your puppy messes in his crate while you are out, do not punish him upon your return. Simply wash out the crate using a pet odor neutralizer (such as Nature's Miracle, Nilodor, or Outright). Do not use ammonia-based products, as their odor resembles urine and may draw your dog back to urinate in the same spot again.
|9 -10||30 – 60 minutes|
|10 – 14||1 – 3 hours|
|14 – 16||3 – 4 hours|
Do not allow children to play in your dog's crate or to handle your dog while he/she is in the crate. The crate is your dog's private sanctuary. His/her rights to privacy should always be respected.
Do not crate your puppy or dog if:
There are alternative methods to crating very young puppies and puppies who must be left alone in the house for lengths of time exceeding the recommended maximum duration of confinement (see Crating Duration Guidelines). We suggest the following:
Use a small to medium-sized room space such as a kitchen, large bathroom or hallway with non- porous floor. Set up the crate on one end, the food and water a few feet away, and some newspaper (approx. 2'x3' to 3'x3') using a 3 to 4 layer thickness, several feet away. Confine your puppy to this room or area using a 3 ft. high, safety-approved child's gate rather than shutting off the opening by a solid door. Your pup will feel less isolated if it can see out beyond its immediate place of confinement. Puppy proof the area by removing any dangerous objects or substances.
For general questions, or to sign up for email reminders for your pet's vaccinations, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.