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Crate Training

Are you in the market to purchase a puppy? Before you get overwhelmed with puppy-breath and cuteness, take a few minutes and purchase a puppy crate or cage.

Make your purchase wisely. If you are considering a large-breed dog, than buy a crate that will fit your puppy when he is full-grown.

Do you want a crate or a cage? There are advantages and disadvantages to both. In a crate, your dogís view of the world is essentially cut-off because of the limited openings along the sides. However, when a puppy becomes overwhelmed by scent and/or stimulation, this can help him calm down considerably.

In a cage, your puppyís world is open. Although he canít always get out too enjoy the festivities, he can see the activity and respond by getting excited instead of staying calm, so consider also purchasing a cover.

Once you have your puppy and your crate, you need to impress upon him that this crate is his sanctuary. Bringing a puppy home and putting him into a crate and walking away is no good. This will only cause your puppy to become anxious. He needs to adjust to the concept that this is his safe haven.

Using two means that a puppy understands; food and play, you can lead him to understand that this crate is HIS safe area. Begin by feeding your puppy near the crate. Sit with him on the floor while he eats- puppies are pack animals and he will welcome your presence. Once he has finished eating, take him outside to potty and do his business. Then, bring him inside and take him over to the crate (the door should be open). Take a soft throw toy and toss it into the crate so he pounces after it. Once he is inside, shut the door, but donít latch it. Count to ten, than let him out. Repeat this exercise several times a day for at least ten minutes each time.

Gradually move his food bowl into the crate as the days pass until he is eating with his full body inside the crate. Then while he is eating, shut the door and latch it. Sit on the floor while he eats. Many puppies when they are anxious will piddle. But crates are easier to clean than carpets are. Puppy pads will help if this is a problem.

Keep toys inside the crate at all times. Puppies are notorious chewers, choose bedding wisely. Soft bedding is fine, but puppies can make short work of padded blankets or pillows. Most crates come with standard pads that fit comfortably.

The crate is a safe haven for your puppy. A place too keep him when you are busy, a place where he can sleep at night. After crate training, you will find he will go inside his crate automatically, especially after he misbehaves. Once he is inside of that crate, nothing should touch him. Not an angry voice or God forbid anything else.


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