An Update on Puppy Crate Training

Before we got Charlie we had read a lot about crate training and decided we would give it a go. I wrote a post about making that decision here. There is a lot of advice about how it is a really great thing, and the best thing to do for toilet training early on, so I thought I’d let you know how we got on.

Charlie’s crate lives in our kitchen. Charlie can also roam around the kitchen and we don’t really worry about him getting anything (unless we leave tea towels, oven gloves etc on the edge… he is a counter surfer!). The floor is also easy to clean, so any messes and it’s easy to clean up.

When reading about crate training, all of the advice seems to be to introduce it slowly, so it becomes a place that they love. We also always feed Charlie in his crate (he is very food motivated and will do anything even for a little kibble!). The first few nights we left the crate door open so Charlie could go in there if he wanted to, but we didn’t want to close him in at first as we didn’t want him to dislike the crate. I’ve no idea if this was the right thing to do! Every morning we would come downstairs to wee and poop to clean up. After about a week we decided it was maybe the right time to start closing the door on the crate. I really couldn’t tell you if “introducing it slowly” means over a few hours or days! I’ve heard a lot of people who have always shut the crate door from the first night. Charlie has never had an accident inside his crate, so it did work in this respect.

We built up a nightly routine. We’d save a little of his kibble from his daily allowance and it would be his bed time treat. This would get him straight into his crate, so in he would pop when we were going to bed, he’d have his kibble in the crate and we’d close the door and turn off the light with no fuss. He hasn’t ever cried at bedtime in his crate so he knows this routine means it’s time for bed and we will be back in the morning.

Now we don’t want to have to close him in his crate forever. We started with it to nail the toilet training and have had this routine going since then, but when do you have to stop closing the crate?! We had no idea! Do you do this for a few weeks? Or months? So we thought we’d give it a go, leaving the crate door open through the night time so he could sleep in there, but if he fancied a midnight wander around the kitchen he could. We started this on Saturday night, so now we’ve been 5 nights without closing the door, and we’ve had no accidents. This may be what every other dog does, but I’m pleased! Toilet training took a long time with Charlie and I still take him outside every couple of hours through the day, so him holding it all night feels like an achievement.

What do you think about crate training? Have you done it and when did you stop closing the door? I’d love to know your thoughts.

Also here’s some recent pictures if you’re just here for those!

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I think there is something down this hole…
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I probably should stick my head in to check!

IMG_5172 IMG_5173    IMG_5190

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Nope I don’t have a stick in my mouth…

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Stop taking pictures of me now!
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Sitting very nicely for a yummy treat!
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Naughty face!

 

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2 thoughts on “An Update on Puppy Crate Training

  1. Cuuuuute 🙂

    I think you’re doing so great with him, he’s so lucky! From what I have read, some dogs take to crates much better than others, some dogs start very whingy but wind up loving their crate, and there really aren’t too many ‘rules’ in regards to crate training or when to stop it…I guess every dog is an individual after all haha.

    Both our dogs are left in their crates when we leave the house, and Raiden sleeps in his overnight. When we brought Raiden home we used a puppy pen initially (5ft x 3ft ish) with a crate inside that, and then after a few weeks he transitioned to a 42 inch crate in the kitchen, which is huge for a Border Terrier 😀

    Our older dog actually had separation anxiety when we adopted him, and it was because of him that I learned all about crate training…we spent several months getting him used to his crate, and since then he has had no issues with being left alone. He now has a 48 inch crate in the kitchen where he is left (which he loves) and we also have a 42 inch crate in the living room that both dogs like chilling in.

    With Raiden the crate is more about safety (we have a lot of small pets that he could get too excited by if left alone uncrated, he would bother Kasper who resource guards etc); Kasper on the other hand could be left alone without chewing / bothering pets, but I do think his anxiety would rocket as his crate is his safe place.

    Our pups get Kongs / Quests when it’s crate time…Kasper tears into his crate after walks for a frozen Kong 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for the comment 🙂 It’s always really good to know what other people do. I actually feed Charlie all of his food from his kong, otherwise he just inhales it so quickly! Again, it’s one of those things I started in the first week we had him (I can’t remember why now but there was definitely a specific reason) and it’s just become a routine we’re in!

    Like

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