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The Crate Debate
Dogs are den animals; they do not soil their sleeping and eating areas. This trait has been passed down to your domesticated dog by their distant relative, the wolf. We are going to use this characteristic to housebreak your puppy.

Some people think that putting a puppy in a crate is cruel. I personally feel it is worse to come home to a mess and possibly scold your pup who was so looking forward to your return and has no idea why you are so angry.

Puppies learn from their mother not to soil their beds. When you buy the crate you can purchase one to fit your pup now or one to fit when the pup will be older. You want the crate to be just big enough for the pup to stand, turn around comfortably, and to lay down without being totally cramped. Not too big though; You donít want him to have enough room to move from his sleeping area to an empty spot where he can go to the bathroom inside the crate.

Place the crate where you intend for it to stay, If you place the crate too close to the door the pup could get cold. So try to keep in a area where it's not drafty. The bottom of the crate should not get cold or hot as well, making the pup uncomfortable. Once I placed my crate to close to the outside door and the pup was cold. He let me know by howling quite loudly till I came and moved it to a warmer area.

For now on we are going to call the crate "your room". This will take some of the edge off. Some people will gasp at your audacity do this, but remember none of these people will be there to offer to clean up your puppy's messes either.

Place the pup in the crate saying "go to your room" --I usually throw a couple dog treats in--. If you decide that pup should have something to lay on I suggest a towel or something easy to clean. Keep in mind the pup is still a baby and the crate is not a magical cure. The pup is going to have a few accidents. How many depends on how fast he catches on and how diligent you are at training.

When you let the pup out of the crate, take him outside immediately. Use the same door all the time and take to him to the same spot where you want him to go to the bathroom.

When you see pup doing his duty give a command "Hurry up", or whatever you want to use, I say "hurry up" it sounds better then "potty now!" Reward pup with a pat on the head or rubbing TOP of muzzle. All a dog really wants is your praise. You can use food as a reward if you like. Since I don't like carrying dog biscuits in my pocket all the time, I rarely use food for reward.

I place pup in "their room" at night, anytime I leave the house, and when I have guests that don't particularly enjoy my pets as much as I do. If I am going to be gone long periods I place a water bottle designed for rabbits outside the door and throw some dog cookies and a few chew toys inside the crate. It is not necessary to leave a bowl of food in the crate. They won't go hungry in 9 hours and no need to fill their stomachs making it harder to wait your arrival to relieve themselves. I wouldn't leave them any longer then that any way.

Puppies sleep 80% of the time while your gone. Their metabolism is much higher then ours. But pup is going to be well rested when you get home and will want to play. Don't forget every time you remove from "their room" immediately go outside with pup! If you have a regular schedule this will go easier and faster. Pup will come to know when he's going outside and will learn to hold it.

If your lifestyle is not on a schedule this will still work. You just might have a few accidents. If it takes to long, good news is accidents are in the crate not on your carpet or floor.

It's very important that when pup is in "their room" no one should be allowed to bother them. This gives the pup a rest area to go to when he doesnít feel like playing or he wants quiet time. This will help in raising a pup that will be less nervous.

Kids will be kids, but they need to learn how to love and respect the puppy, it don't just happen. The crate provides a safe haven for the pup till the kids learn not to pull it's tail or ears. It also helps to teach the children to respect the pup as a living being as well.




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