If a puppy is new to your family, then crate training is 9/10 times the way that apartment dwellers and those that value a virtually accident free household prefer to go. Crate training essentially starts from Day 1 when you get a puppy–whether you adopted him/her from the local shelter or just swooped him up from the breeder or City pups. From the get go it’s of high value to set a positive association with the crate. A common anology we like to use is the crate can be akin to the dog’s bedroom- thereby equating his/her space as a designated spot to be safe, chill out and essentially have as his/her own. Awwww.
Here are a few simple ways to help set up your pup’s crate to be associated with warmth, comfort and accident free-
1) place a warm blanket or towel inside (no one likes to sleep, lay or rest on a hardwood surface)
2) Cover the crate with another towel or purchase a crate cover (this not only makes the interior feel more comfortable, but can also be a value added ascetic for all guests to see and enjoy (crates no longer need to be an eye sore) or a fish tank (for all to see in). Hello- Fido could use some privacy too sometimes!).
3) When you direct your puppy towards the crate, you always want to use an encouraging yet calm tone (any hint of anxiety, anger or irritation). Negative or charged emotions will send mix messages akin to “Go to your room!”. Yikes– no one liked hearing that from their childhood.
There are numerous other methods for positively associating the crate with a warm and safe place for your puppy, but first and foremost it begins with day one and from the instant your puppy and his/her crate “meet one another”.
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