These are must follow tips when crate training pups, to ensure you’re supporting their confidence and happiness. The desired outcome is a well adjusted puppy who is very happy to spend some time in and sleep in a crate that they love. If they are already anxious then forcing the issue will only make things worse.
1. It needs to be a happy place they love, that they want to stay in
2. Size wise, they must be able to stand up and easily turn around in these.
3. Start by establishing a daily routine that makes the crate enjoyable by using feeding toys such as Kongs or treats to safe treats in the crate to create positive associations
4. Ensure they can walk in and out when they please, progressing to being able to shut the door whilst having a treat. Key here is to ensure they feel no stress and that your teaching them confidence and ensuring they feel secure.
5. When they feel happy in this then you can also use it at night, eventually with door closed
6. A good place for a crate initially is beside your bed: if your pup can see and hear you, they’re more likely to settle.
7. Even if don’t want them in your room long-term, you can address this later by slowly moving the crate out of the room.
8. Having your pup nearby also means you can be responsive to potty requests. However you might want to buy pee-pads, just in case!
Remember, some puppies transition easily to the crate and some are harder work – but leaving them distressed is the worst thing to do as it will only increase anxiety rather than create confidence and independence.