Why should I crate train my puppy?
Crate training in a positive manner makes your puppy feel that they have a safe and secure area of their own. The crate will keep them safe while you can not supervise them. Puppies are very curious and love to explore with their mouths. If left unsupervised they could be destructive (chew furniture) and potentially harm themselves (bite through an electric cord). Also crate training is key when potty training your puppy.
What size crate should I get?
The crate should be large enough that your puppy can get up, stretch, turn around and lie down. If your puppy will be large when full grown then get a crate big enough to accommodate your pup when they are full grown. However, too much space can cause your pup to eliminate in the crate and move to the other side. So buy a crate that has a divider that can be used when your puppy is small.
How can I work with my Puppy so the enjoy their crate?
Put the crate in a commonly used area of your home. Dogs are social creatures and they enjoy spending time where their family does.
Always give your puppy a treat when they go in the crate. Hide treats in the crate so when they explore the crate they will be rewarded.
Use an upbeat tone when it is time for the pup to go into the crate. Never scold them and put them in the crate in frustration or anger.
Feed your puppy their meals in the crate and leave the door open or closed.
Place your puppy in the crate for a few minutes when you are home. This teaches them that the crate does not always mean you are leaving.
Excessive time in a crate will result in a hyperactive puppy. Give your pup frequent breaks from the crate. Generally a puppy can be crated for 1 hour plus their age in months. Example a 2 month old puppy can be crated for 3 hours.