A dog's instinct tells him that the crate is a good thing, but don't be surprised if he puts up a fuss anyway when you start shutting him in there. Puppies may resist at first, but with a little trickery on your end, you'll turn him around on the issue.
Place your crate in an area usually filled with people, like the living room. This way, your puppy feels less isolated when you put him in, and makes the crate feel less like punishment when people are home.
Leave the door to the crate open throughout the day, and periodically drop a snack or a treat in there. This teaches your puppy that the crate isn't something he has to be afraid of, and that going in can be a pretty good thing.
Treat him to a nice, long walk or play session. Your pup is a lot less likely to cry, bark or fuss if you wear him out first. This also helps prevent any bathroom-related accidents from happening inside.
Offer your pup a small treat by showing him, then using it to lure him into the crate. As he goes in, give up the treat and close the door. If you do this every time by offering a simple treat or a special crate toy, your pup won't fuss when he goes in -- in fact, he'll be happy to do it in return for the reward.
Stay in the room with him for the first few times you crate him. This way, he doesn't associate going in the crate with being left alone. Once he falls asleep in the crate, you can leave the room.
Let your pup out of the crate after he's been quiet for a while -- the time he spends in the crate is best determined by his age, as puppies aren't able to "hold it" for very long. Praise him when he comes out, and take him outside to go potty immediately. This aids with housebreaking, too, as he learns that when he gets out of the crate, he'll have the opportunity to do his business outside.
Items You Will Need
- Small treats
- Make sure that your crate is big enough for the puppy to stand and move around in, but not much bigger. If it's too big, he'll get used to using one side as a bathroom and the other side for napping.
- Don't crate your pup for more time than his body can handle. Puppies have tiny bladders, and while they'll hold it in as long as they can, if he has to go, he's going to go. For example, a puppy between 11 and 14 weeks old shouldn't be crated for more than one to three hours at once.
- Don't use the crate as punishment. While it may seem logical, like sending a child to his room, it will only confuse your dog and teach him that the crate is a consequence of bad behavior.
- Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images