Puppies are used to pouncing around, running in different directions, snoozing off wherever they want, and snuggling with their humans. But they sometimes need to be put in a crate as a start to their training and discipline. MLK9 Dog Training in Knoxville, TN, provides crate training and other training programs for puppies. They offer dog boarding, group training, and behavior modification programs as well.
While crate training is critical to building your puppy into a well-behaved adult dog, it may take some time for your puppy to adjust to this new change. Below are tips to keep your puppy calm in the crate:
Ignore the Puppy if it Whines
Most new pet parents give their puppies unnecessary attention or take them out of the crate when they start crying or whining. Giving too much attention when the puppy whines in the crate will only reinforce the behavior. Try to avoid giving it attention or don’t take it out of the crate when it whines. You can release the puppy after a few minutes of quiet behavior or after a nap.
Choose the Right Crate Size
Your puppy should have enough space in the crate for it to be comfortable. The crate should be large enough for it to stand up, play with toys, and turn around. You can buy crates that have a divider to adjust the crate size as your puppy grows.
Provide Lots of Potty Breaks
Puppies, especially the ones that are not fully potty trained, cannot hold it for long like adult dogs. As pet parents, it is your responsibility to take your puppy out for ample potty breaks. You can calculate the number of hours your puppy may need between bathroom breaks by adding their age plus one.
Consider Where You Place the Crate
The location of your puppy’s crate can impact how soon it gets used to it. If you place your crate in a room far away from you, the chances of your puppy whining are higher as it may feel scared and isolated. Ideally, the crate should be kept in an area where the family spends a lot of time. Not only will this reduce your puppy’s anxiety, but it will also let you keep an eye on it and understand when it needs to go outside.
Exercise your Puppy
Playtime is important to keep your puppy calm in the crate. Ensure your puppy is getting a lot of playtime and exercise. If the puppy is well-exercised, it will be tired and will nap once in the crate. You can even add interactive toys and treats to the crate to keep your puppy busy.
Get Your Puppy Used to the Crate
Your puppy would be used to sleeping with other pups or close to you before you transfer it to a crate. It needs to get familiar with the new setting. Familiarizing your puppy with the new crate is one way of reducing its anxiety and keeping it calm. Be patient and take your time to acclimatize your puppy to the crate. The crate should become a safe and happy place for it. Don’t use the crate as a part of your puppy’s punishment. They will start associating it with the negative feeling of being punished and will get anxious to get inside. Add treats, chew toys, and comfortable bedding inside the crate. Reward your puppy when it is calm and peaceful. Once it gets used to it, your puppy will enter the crate on its own and stay calm.
Spend More Time with the Puppy When They are in the Crate
Interact more with your puppy when it is in the crate. When the puppy is sent into the crate for the first time, it can feel like it is being kept away from you. It may see many interesting things happening outside the crate. That is why it could cry when put inside. Spend time with the puppy and sit down and speak to it as it slowly gets used to the crate.
Tips to Make Your Puppy Comfortable in the Crate
Sleeping alone can be a major change and lead to anxiety in your puppy. Below are simple things you can do to make it more comfortable in the crate:
- Make the sleeping area cozy with blankets and soft toys for burrowing
- Provide a warm comfort item like a heating pad
- Add snuggly soft toys with heartbeat sounds to soothe the puppy
- Plug in a Dog Appeasing Pheromone or spray it in the crate.
- Play calming music near the crate
Your puppy may have gotten used to sleeping in a pile of littermates before you put it in the crate. You must take efforts to ensure your puppy’s comfort to calm it and reduce its anxiety. With time, it will get used to the crate and learn to enjoy it.