The Pros and Cons of Crate Training Puppies
Crate training puppies is a common activity for new pet owners and offers both pros and cons as a potty training method or behavior training tool.
Pros of Crate Training
Gives your puppy his own space: Buying a dog crate will allow your puppy to feel comfortable in his own area of your home. Owners should buy a crate that is appropriate for the breed and size of dog, allowing enough room for the dog to stand up, lie down and turn around. Too much room, however, can encourage your puppy to go to the bathroom in the crate. If you have a large breed puppy, buy a crate that will accommodate an adult dog but block off half of the crate so your puppy has a smaller area and will be less likely to soil his crate.
Makes potty training easier: Puppies that haven’t been house trained should never be left in a dog crate for long periods of time; pups can’t control themselves for very long and will have an accident through no fault of their own; however, crate training can help to create a routine that makes house training easier. Puppies usually use the bathroom after waking up, eating or drinking, or playing. Wait an hour after any of these activities before crating.
Keeps your puppy safe and comfortable: Once your puppy is comfortable in his dog crate you can easily transport your dog for trips to the vet or rides in the car. Your dog can also be crated when you leave your house and want to keep him in a secure area. Keep a blanket and a toy in the crate to make this space a welcoming space and an area he will enjoy spending time.
Cons of Crate Training
Whining: Most puppies will whine and cry for their first few days or even weeks in the crate. Do not respond immediately to whining; instead, stay close but ignore the puppy. If it continues, say something to reassure the pup in a positive voice. If he is urgently whining he may need to relieve himself and you can take him outside to use the bathroom. If he is only whining to attract attention do not reward your puppy for whining by taking him out of the crate or training will become a longer and more difficult process.
Separation anxiety: Some dogs will whine, bark or soil in their crate due to separation anxiety. This behavior may develop if you use a crate for punishment rather than encouraging your puppy to think of the crate as his own special home. Separation anxiety can also occur when a puppy is left in a crate for long periods of time, causing anxiety and usually accidents in the crate. If you have to be out of your home for long hours, ask someone to come and let your puppy out to play and use the bathroom. Once you are home, don’t let your puppy out of the crate immediately, and don’t give your puppy a lot of attention or make a fuss. Reassure the dog and let them out of the crate when you are ready.