Feng Shui with Fido™Puppy series: Housebreaking Your Puppy

The CRATE: 

Using the puppy crate properly has a few tips that I want to share in order to create the best results. Feng Shui with Fido™ is my method of puppy training and philosophy that I’ve shared with my private clients for years. In order to get great results with housebreaking new 8 week-old puppy, it’s great to remember that crating your puppy is age related.

Here are 5 steps to help explain the crating process.

1. The crate serves as a den. The den concept is meant to teach your puppy to learn to self soothe, learn to hold the urge to go to the bathroom and learn the route outside. This is a process and happens over time. Some people try to crate their puppy’s early and get up at 2 am and 5 am to take their pups outside, this does not housebreak your pup faster.

2. If your puppy has pee’d in the crate, your doing something wrong and shutting the crate door too early in your pup’s development.

3.  The crating process should begin within a corralled space. This allows your puppy initially to be able to go in and out of the crate and den naturally.

4.  Your first step is to provide a space within your house that will serve as a playpen area. The crate will help your puppy den and feel safe. This is the first step in teaching separation from you and preventing separation anxiety from happening in the future. 

5. When your puppy is approximately 14 to 16 weeks old he/she will be able to hold his urge to go to the bathroom all night long. By that time shutting the crate door will be no big deal. Until then you should initiate outside many times throughout the day/evening and provide wee-pads within the corralled space only. Free time with you to play is awesome too.

6. The whole point of a crate is to provide a covering for your puppy. Plastic crates do that. If you have a wire crate put a towel on the top in order to create a cozy space.

What’s The Deal With Crating Your Dog? Is it Cruel?

Paws For A Minute® dog training tip! Crating your dog is not a mean thing to do. However, using a the crate as a punishment,  time out or for too long a period of time is wrong. Dogs are den animals. They love to go into small spaces. You must take the time to teach your dog to learn to be crated, slowly. Leave the crate door open and allow your dog to naturally go in and out on his own for a few days. Best way to achieve a great result is to baby gate a room or area and put the crate within that space. Do a gating exercise while your home for 20 minutes a few times a day. Use a leash to guide your dog in and take him out of the crate, when ready to shut the door. This helps guide your dog instead of coax.

Dog owner tip: Properly crating your dog and doing so, slowly in stages, can teach your pup to self soothe. In time, your dog will LOVE to have bone chewing time with music while crated. It’s meant to help teach your dog a schedule! Crating can be used as a great housebreaking tool and help cure separation anxiety. It can create trust by teaching your dog how to be calm indoors. Yes, any age dog can learn to be happy while crated.

It’s up to you to teach your dog slowly with patience. Always begin small periods of crating, after a walk and while you are home, at first.