Crate Training a Puppy It Is My Den

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Crate Training a Puppy It Is My Den

by Rena Murray

Kennel training puppy is thought by many owners to be unfair, mean, cruel. The terms "kennel training puppy" and "crate training a puppy" are synonymous and simply mean teaching and conditioning a puppy to sleep or wait safely and securely in a crate, as in a den. The truth is that puppy crate training can help both puppy and owner. It is a great solution for dog separation anxiety, assists with potty training for puppy dogs, and certainly helps avoid damage during the puppy chewing phase.

In the wild, dogs and wolves live in personally dug dens more often than in caves. The area has space for the pack members to enter and for each individual to have an assigned spot to sleep. There is little room, but the animals are secure and unafraid. It is their place of refuge and rest!

One of the things that makes crate training a puppy harder is that dogs naturally sleep together, not alone. Separation from the litter is, therefore, difficult for a puppy. Then when you, her new pack leader, leave her alone for long or for short, that can cause further feelings of separation anxiety. A place of security is one key in solving this.

I was well aware of such problems before I purchased my eight week old Labrador Retriever puppy. I determined before I brought her home that puppy crate training would be necessary until I could trust her alone in the house. So I purchased a dog crate and simple fleece blanket-liner.

When I first brought my pup inside, I only allowed her to smell the areas of the house in which she would initially be kept. Until she had clearly completed her puppy potty training, she was not going to be loose in the house. She certainly would not be unsupervised until she was past the puppy chewing phase, either.

I placed three of the puppy's favorite toys in the kennel. Two or three toys is the right number for comfort and to reduce boredom, but more than that causes confusion and add to the anxiety. At the front of the cage I placed a sturdy bowl of fresh water.

I covered the top, back, and three sides of the dog kennel with a folded, light-weight, cotton bedspread to make it snuggly and secure-feeling, like a den. Her "safe place." (As a side benefit, that also made it more attractive for the house.) You can use any sheet, beach towel, fabric, or buy a kennel cover. There are some impressive crate accessories, covers, and liners on the market, including some insulated ones for colder climates.

I placed my little Lab in her puppy crate the first night. For three days, she cried when left alone there. After that, though, she only woke me up when she had a need to go wee or potty. Then I whisked her out promptly and placed her on the grass to do her business. That made puppy house training a cinch, and we only had two or three accidents in the house ? ever!

The manner in which you do things is as critical as the act itself. I was very careful to put my puppy into the cage nonchalantly ? not with hugs and kisses. The more precise you are, the easier it is to get what you want from a dog.

The most important thing to remember is not to let your puppy out of the dog crate when she is crying (unless, of course, she has a real need to go). She must have boundaries from the start. Boundaries give her security, and boundaries give you necessary respect and control as Owner and Master, her "Pack Leader."

Crate training a puppy may be a little bumpy at the start, but it sure is a great help ? with reducing dog separation anxiety, puppy chewing, puppy potty training, protecting your house, and so much more! So give your cuddly little one the comfort and security she wants and needs. Give her a "safe den" of her own. She will learn to love it and run to it as though to proclaim: "It's MY den!"

GET HELP from Rena Murray at the Dog Obedience Training website. An accomplished Dog Behavior Modification expert, Dog Obedience Trainer, and Platinum Expert Author, Rena provides self-help Articles and free "Best Ezines"-recognized newsletter: PAW PERSUASION POINTERS to help you better understand communication and control of your dogs, debunk dog training myths, explore right and wrong dog training techniques for specific situations, address destructive dog behavior, excessive and obsessive dog behavior, and other canine issues, from new puppy to old dog. Subscribe for free at, visit Rena's BLOG - , find the dog products, crates, and gifts you need at, and Contact Rena for Coaching .

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