Crate training your puppy (continued from 10/10/17):
Teach your puppy a word that means to get into his crate. Some use “crate” others use “go to your room” or “go crate”. Always make it a happy occasion to go to the crate when you are teaching him to use his crate. While it should not be used as a punishment, time-outs are certainly an appropriate use of the crate.
A good way to start puppies on crate training is to feed them in the crate. Another idea is to give them a cookie when they go in on command. Leave the door open at first and let the puppy come and go at will. Put a special toy in their “room”. At night, close the door but keep the puppy close to your bed. Your puppy will hear your sleeping noises and learn that the “pack leader” is asleep so all is well, thus he can sleep too. The first few nights may be rough as he learns the new rules, but persevere. If your puppy has free reign or roam of the house and yard he may think he has to patrol the area and let you know when there is an intruder – possum or person. By sleeping in a confined area he knows he is not on sentry duty so cannot do anything about those outside noises.
Since dogs are pack animals and want to be with the rest of the pack (your family), consider keeping his crate in the family room where he has access to you and his hide-a-way. If possible, have a second crate in the bedroom next to your bed for him to sleep in. When he is in his crate at night, he can feel secure in knowing that he is with the pack and all is safe.
Image courtesy of cheap-dog-crates.com