Positive House Training With a Crate | Teacher's Pet With Victoria Stilwell

Uploaded by eHowPets on 05.07.2012

For most puppies, the crate is a really valuable tool to use in the house training process.
But you have to build up a positive association with the crate, so the puppy feels good about
being inside there. So, I'm going to show you a couple of ways to do that. When you're
getting your puppy used to the create, it's a good idea to use really fabulous toys–and
maybe some food, if that's what your puppy's motivated with. And allow your puppy to experience
the toy in the crate. The fact that he wants to stay in his crate and chew is a really
wonderful sign, because this crate is going to be his home. And, at the moment, you can
see, I'm not closing the door, because I want him to feel completely comfortable about being
in the crate, so that he knows that if he wants to come out, he can come out. If he
does come out, what I'll do is I'll just gently take the toy away from him and put it back
in the crate again, so that he knows the crate is where he gets the toy. After your puppy's
got really comfortable being in the crate, then you can start to shut the door, just
for short periods of time. I'm still here–you're presence is still giving your puppy confidence,
that even though he's in the crate, you're still with him. And then I open the door again.
So again, he has that freedom to go if he wants. Good boy. So, he's probably not gonna
like the fact that I took it away from him –good boy– so I'm just going to put it
right back in the crate. Good boy. Alright, good. The actual fact of me taking it away
from him when he comes out –as well– is gonna be maybe encouraging him–that in fact
in the crate, it's gonna be much better for him to stay in the crate, because in the crate
he gets to keep his toy. When he comes outside, I take it away from him. Don't you think it's
better to stay in your crate? I think so. You got it. You got it. There you go. And
the puppy works out really, really quickly: You know what? Best to stay in the crate and
chew the toy, because if I come out she takes it away from me. That's not cool. Now that
he's very comfortable, I'm gonna just close the door. You can start this for a period
of a minute and then gradually build up–2 minutes, 3 minutes, 4 minutes, 5 minutes.
When your puppy is engaged and playing with his toy in crate that's the time when you
can begin to increase distance and move away. Leave your puppy by himself in the crate,
just for a little period of time, so he gets confident. You don't want him toileting on
any kind of bedding in there. It's best just to put a little bit of a towel in there. When
you see that you're puppy's not chewing up a towel, for example, that you've put in there,
then you can use a bit of softer bedding. Puppies love to chew things, so you have to
put things in your puppy's safe zone that are safe to chew. I like to use toys like
this that really help enrich your puppy, so that puppy has to use his thinking brain to
find out how he's going to get food out of this toy, for example. And these toys are
really great for what I call mental enrichment. Let's see if he likes this: Are we gonna get
it out? We gonna get it out? Go get it. Go get it. Go on. I'm going to leave him and
see if he plays with it himself. Another way that you can make the crate a really fabulous
place to be is to actually feed your puppy in the crate. Everything about this crate
has got to give the puppy positive feelings, so that puppy wants to go in there whenever
you ask him to. When your puppy's really well house trained, and you have transitioned him
successfully to peeing on the pads to outside, then you can remove the safe zone, remove
the pen, but keep the crate. As your puppy grows, your crate's going to grow with your
puppy. You can decided to get rid of the crate all together and just use a bed, but a lot
of people just like to use a crate, even if they have to buy bigger ones as the pup grows,
because this has become pup's favorite place. A crate is a great place for your puppy, just
to hang out. This is his safe place. This is a place that he can go to if you have lots
of people coming in, and he needs a bit of quiet time. Also, the crate can be taken in
the car as well. So you can actually travel your dog in his bed, so that he gets used
to being in the car as well. What you should not be doing with the crate is putting your
puppy in there for hours and hours and hours, and leaving him in there. Because if you do
that you're actually encouraging your puppy to toilet in the crate. So that negates this
crate's advantages, right there and then. Also, when you just leave a dog in a crate
for hours and hours and hours, you can cause all kinds of anxiety problems. You're gonna
encourage your puppy to chew, because your puppy's gonna get bored and then chew whatever
is in the crate. But also, you're gonna cause the puppy anxiety. What's the puppy got to
do all day? Maybe it's finished with a toy you've given it, and then its got hours and
hours and hours to wait, doing absolutely nothing until you come home. That's why this
safe zone is so important. So if you do have to go out and work–that puppy can be maybe
in the crate for an hour–get somebody to come in, let your puppy out, so puppy can
be in the safe zone. And if you do have to go out for longer than an hour or so, then
you can have the crate open with the door open, so puppy can go in his crate and come
out and pee, using the pad, if he needs to. But don't leave a young puppy in a crate for
hours and hours and hours on end. That's just not fair on the puppy and is really going
to set your house training process way back. And that's how you house train your puppy,
positively. I'm Victoria Stilwell for eHow Pets.