The first few weeks of having a new puppy are challenging. Puppies are demanding, they need attention and training, and you'll constantly be questioning whether you're doing the right thing...
Deciding on whether you should crate train is one of the most widely debated methods amongst dog owners. Some swear by it, while others think it's the wrong approach and feel passionately against it.
It can cause quite a stir!
So, what is crate training?
Crate training is all about giving your dog a place where they feel safe. Some people prefer to use a play pen, or at least a bigger space than a traditional crate.
The premise is that the 'crate' is your dog's happy, safe and trouble free place. Therefore, you should use crate training from the get-go. You want them to recognise the space as theirs.
The goal is to slowly introduce your puppy into the house as and when they feel comfortable. However, by creating the 'crate' space and their safe environment, they'll feel happy going there when you're out, when you go to bed etc.
The benefits of crate training
Crate training can have many benefits for puppies, not least of all in settling them into their new home.
- The practice of crate training will help protect your home from your excitable pup overnight
- It can also help with toilet training, as dogs are unlikely to use their sleeping environment as a toilet
- If you have other animals in the house, using a crate training method can prevent fights between pets, and slowly introduce them to one another
- Crate training can also help to prevent anxiety, as the 'crate' environment is smaller than the entire house, and so helps them to not feel so overwhelmed
The drawbacks of crate training
When done correctly, there are no drawbacks to crate training. However, if approached in the wrong way, it can have its consequences.
The key is to be consistent. Your puppy has to trust the crate, so it's vital that you don't abuse it.
Keep them in there for too long and they'll start to feel neglected or fearful. Put them in there as a punishment, and they'll grow to resent it. And it should go without saying that when they grow and become too big for the area, you'll need to adjust the crate accordingly.
Keep an eye on your pup and make sure that they're happy in the environment. So long as you're attentive and consistent, they should grow to associate it as a place they can retreat to for sleep and for some peace and quiet!
So... to crate train or not to crate train?
...That is the question. You should do whatever you feel comfortable with, remember that the right thing is not always the easiest thing!
If you're away from home a lot but don't want to crate train your dog, perhaps Tailster can help? We have approved carers all over the UK who can care for your dog as and when you need. For more information on our service, click here.