Crate training your dog

Many dogs and puppies find comfort in a crate

Over the years there have been many methods for house-training a dog from crates to pens, to Wee-Wee Pads to walled off areas of the kitchen. Among the many methods used, crate training is probably the most popular, especially when training young puppies.

The idea behind the crate is that a puppy or dog will feel quite comfortable in small cage, where an animal guardian can offer food, water, toys, as well as comfortable bedding that the dog will come to know as his or her own personal bedroom. It is hoped that with time the puppy will learn not to soil where they eat, play or sleep. And while many puppies and adult dogs do find eventual comfort and become house-trained in a crate, many other dogs suffer from severe anxiety and distress that sometimes lead to behavioral disorders themselves, or injury in trying to escape or get out of the crate.

As with any medical approach I take in veterinary medicine, every pet is an individual, and while crate training can work in some dogs, it fails in others. Sometimes playing soft music or a television nearby can ease a pet’s anxiety, but in other cases they do not. And so while crate training is certainly worth a try, an animal guardian must also be prepared with other alternatives as well, in case crate training is not the appropriate approach for that individual canine companion.

 

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8 Comments

  1. I have a 4 mo old maltease yorkie mix. He has more energy than a moving train! I am crate training him at nght. The question I have is, do I leave water in his crate at night, and if so, how do I provide it. His crate is small, enough for him to turn around in and high enough for him. He would turn a sturdy bowl over, or play in it. Any help is appreciated.

  2. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianNovember 18, 2010 at 8:19 pm

    I usually dont recommend water in crate over night at this age because of limited bladder capacity and increased liklihood of urine accidents. I would wait until he is a few months older.

  3. how do you help keep your dog form geting heartworms?

  4. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianMay 17, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    Heartworms are easily prevented in dogs by giving once monthly heartworm prevention medication. I usually recommend heartguard, interceptor or generic equivalent.

  5. My dog is 10 weeks old. We too are working on crate training. She peepee’s in her crate and then asks to go out. Is this normal for a puppy? How long does it normally take for the puppy to want to keep their “bedroom” clean? It seems like she pees and then asks to go out because she knows I will clean it up right away and then put her back in. Thank you for any tips. Enjoy your day. ;o)

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