Some puppies take to a crate quickly and easily, while others will be stubborn and put up a fight every time you want to put him in. If you’ve had a dog that hated his crate, you will know the long nights of squealing and scratching to get out every two hours.
It does get better – but there are some things you can do to help your puppy get used to his crate with a little less stress and fuss!
- Make the crate comfortable with soft blankets and some plush toys. Keep an eye on him with the toys if he is a chewer.
- If he cries at night, take him straight out to the garden to his ‘spot’. When he is finished his business, bring him straight back in and into the crate, no distractions.
- Feed him at least an hour and a half before bedtime, then take away the food and water bowl.
- Play with him for a decent amount of time before bed to tire him out. If he is feeling sleepy he will be less likely to put up a fight.
- When his is in the crate and being calm and quiet, give him lots of praise.
- Try a heartbeat or heated toy. The heartbeat toy stimulates the mum’s heartbeat and will help the puppy sleep, and the heated toy will make the puppy feel like he is with one of his litter mates.
- Never use the crate as a form of punishment. This will cause your puppy to fear it and he will then refuse to enter.
- Don’t leave him in the crate for too long – this can make him depressed and anxious. Make sure he gets plenty of play time and bonding time outside the crate.
Remember – a crate is not long-term. Once the puppy is older and can be trusted to wander the house alone, the crate should be a place where he goes voluntarily.