A pet cage is a comfort to your puppy, and later to your adult dog. It acts as his security, a “den” based on his wild ancestral instincts, a secure haven from the confusing “outside world.” Many people see cages as a confining, limited space; a place of penalty...it’s only a human view. But to your dog, it becomes his safe harbor.
Cage benefits: simplifies housetraining; confines unattended pets - saves on possible damage to household items; fosters proper puppy-habit development and behavior in adult dogs.
Tips for Crate Training (Housebreaking)
Select a cage size that allows an adult dog ample room to stretch. Use one of our cage dividers, cardboard or hardboard sheet between louvers to create a puppy-size area. Adjust as your dog grows.
Place the cage in a “people” area; kitchen or family room, in a semi-private spot, away from drafts and heat vents. Provide soft, washable bedding and offer a treat for reentering the cage. Remove any collars, chains or tags which could become tangled with the cage. Never place food or water in the cage.
Starting - establish a regular, daily routine using the cage for naps and whenever a puppy is left alone (2-3 hours maximum). Take the pup from the cage directly to a designated “outside elimination” spot. Then, go directly inside...repeated steps and praise will allow the pup to make the association.
Evenings - well before bedtime, place pup in cage and offer a treat or chew, a positive effect; close the lock gate. Then, before bedtime, take pup outside for elimination, return pup to cage and again offer treat, lock cage before retiring.
Repeat these steps 30-50 minutes apart, then extend intervals by 1/2 hour until both you and your pup’s confidence is built up to several hours separation.
If the pup shows any sign of separation response (barking) be forceful. Use your “no nonsense” voice. The pup will associate poor behavior with a raised, startling voice.
Usually pups will settle in quietly after 3 to 7 attempts. Upon releasing the pup from the cage, after naps or in the morning, DO NOT PRAISE, as this will only reinforce its desire to leave the cage.
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