Dog on a blanket inside a crate with text "Crate Training 101"

Adorable puppies! They pounce around with their clumsy paws, snooze in a variety of weird positions, and pose for the cutest photos. However, puppies require training to grow into well-behaved adult dogs. Crate training puppies is often necessary to keep these young canines safe and out of trouble.

Crate training can be the most frustrating and heartbreaking, because of the puppy whining. It is important to take the right steps to minimize stress for both the new owner and the puppy. How do we train our puppy to feel at ease and comfortable in the crate?

Crate training can take days to weeks, depending on the age of the dog, temperament, and past experiences. Here are a few suggestions to begin the training process.

• Intro to the crate – put the crate in an area where the family spends a lot of time. Add a blanket or towel to the crate.

• Feed the dog its meals inside the crate. Begin closing the door for a few minutes each time, gradually increase the amount of time the dog is inside the crate. If they whine in the crate, do not let them out until the behavior stops. Otherwise, the dog will associate whining with being let out of the crate.

• Give the dog a treat after he or she goes into the crate. A kong toy filled with peanut butter is an enjoyable activity. Do not use a lot of peanut butter, just enough to keep them interested.

• Provide exercise before crate time.

• Never leave the collar or harness on the dog while crated. If it becomes entangled in the crate wires, the dog could strangle.

• Be patient! Prepare yourself for at least six months of training.

While a little bit of puppy whining in the crate is expected, pet parents should be aware of any excessive whining or unusual behavior, whether the puppy is crated or not.

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