Why crate train a puppy?
Crates are essential to a puppy’s safety when you are not at home. Chewing carpet, wood, trash etc. can have a deadly outcome for your Dandie. In addition, a crate can be a Dandie’s comfort or personal space when he is not sure about his surroundings. Leaving a crate door open allows an older Dandie to enjoy retreating to a crate as if it were his ‘own room’ especially during times when he is tired or there is extra activity going on around him such as children visiting.
So, how do I crate train a Dandie puppy?
If I say to you, “Come and sit to the table for a cup of coffee.” You will sit up to the table for coffee without a concern. It is that simple when it comes to crate training. When you are training a Dandie puppy to feel comfortable in his crate, you might consider the technique we use.
At mealtime, place the puppy’s food in his bowl and put it in his crate with the door shut. (Why? The food will be a fun event, the shut door prevents him from going in prematurely. You will want the opportunity to get him accustomed to the sound of the door opening and closing, and you want to teach him a command so he knows when to go to his crate.)
Gently and quietly pickup the pup, give him a scratch behind the ear, then quietly walk to the crate. (Why? The pup begins the exercise feeling comfortable and secure, with no distractions such as verbal chatter or treats or ‘come’ commands etc)
Open the door and as you place the puppy in the crate in front of his food, say “Get in your bed”, then close the door. (Why? The only verbal your puppy will hear when he is placed in his crate is his command. Your command can be anything, some people use ‘get in your cave’, others just say ‘crate’. Whatever you choose, be sure you are CONSISTANTLY using the same command).
As soon as the meal is over open the door and take the puppy outside to eliminate. (Why? Successful crate training will also help you ‘potty-train’ your puppy. Eating a meal usually stimulates a puppy to defecate. You will want him to do that outside of course. So use the moment as a teachable moment and as you carry him outside, say his command for going outside, such as “Go out”).