Crate and Potty Training
This is designed to help give new puppy owners ideas and options on how to confine their puppy in various situations as well as options on crate training and potty training.
It’s crucial that your puppy has a safe place to go for short periods of time throughout the day. Although a crate is a wonderfully safe place, it shouldn't be used excessively for several reasons. Puppies need to play and have some wiggle room. If you’re putting your puppy into a crate 10 times a day then he is going to begin to hate the crate. Throughout the day when you or your puppy needs a break, the x-pen is a great place to put them where they can still play, drink and have wiggle room. Puppies need to be watched constantly and the x-pen is also a good place to put them when they can't be fully watched and still be kept safe and out of trouble.
Set it up in an area that has water resistant, washable flooring. You can put a crate inside of the x-pen or if you don’t want a crate in the pen, I suggest an elevated bed. Clip-on dishes are good to avoid spills. Be sure to also have some fun toys!
It’s important that you take your puppy out to potty prior to putting them in the x-pen. Your puppy may complain at first when you start putting them in the x-pen.When you put them in, make sure to offer an enticing treat or a good chew such as a Bully Stick. Once you walk away, if they cry, you must ignore them As soon as they are quiet reward them with a treat and walk away again. It's good to walk by often and reward them for sitting quietly. If they nap and wake up, be sure to take them outside as soon as they wake. If they're jumping, try not to pick them up until they sit. It's best to pick your puppy up and carry them outside to avoid accidents between the pen and door.
The crate should be used at night, for sleeping and potty training.
When choosing a crate, be sure your puppy only has enough room to lay down, stand and turn around. This may mean buying several sizes of plastic crates or moving the divider as needed in a wire crate, depending on the type of crate you have chosen. Do not put food or water dishes in the crate. We suggest waiting to add a plush bed until your puppy is through the chewing stage and is better about potty training. We use blankets or towels, easily washable. Try to put the crate in a place that is as close to the outside door as possible. When a puppy is let out of their crate they have to go almost immediately.
We work hard to introduce our puppies to crates during their 8 weeks here, starting them at 3 weeks old. Your puppy has been sleeping in a crate with the door open, had rest time and has spent time during the day and time during the night with the door closed. We have done all of these things to help you create a smooth transition to crate training.
Even though we have started crate training, we suggest easing in to the crate training in their new home. By allowing your puppy a slower transition, it helps reduce so much stress at one time and will result in less crying and concern when you begin crate training. For those first few nights, I would have his crate in his x-pen with the door securely fastened open (like zip-tied to the x-pen) or the door removed. Either have a doggie door or a litterbox accessible to the puppy. Have a few toys and a secure water dish, as discussed in the x-pen set ups above. This is a familiar setting for your puppy. Before bed, take him out for a good walk and be sure he’s had time to eliminate. Put him in his x-pen and sit with him for cuddles and then leave him with a Kong, Greenie or Bully Stick. Be sure he has his blankie (as provided in your puppy packet) placed inside the crate. Walk away and go to bed, understanding that there is likely to be a little fussing.