Tips for Using a Crate To Potty Train Your Dog
Updated: Jul 27, 2022
Housebreaking your new puppy can be one of the most challenging parts of getting them acclimated to your home. Fortunately, crate training can help during this process, making it easier to clean up after messes and showing your pup where they can and cannot potty. Here, we’ll provide a few essential tips for using a crate to potty train your dog and teach you the importance of persistence.
Understand the Purpose of the Crate
Crates are an essential tool for training your dog. Designed to create a closed-in area where your dog feels comforted and safe, crates are a great way to provide your pup with an escape from stressors in their day. They’re also helpful in regulating your pet’s bathroom cycle during training, making it easier to predict when you will need to let them out. Understanding this, rather than seeing them as mere cages, can significantly improve your dog’s comfort and compliance during training.
Place the Crate Strategically
Before starting your crate training, bring the product into the house and set up a spot for it near the door. This could be your home’s front door or back, wherever you plan to let your dog out to do their business. The proximity allows you to let your pup outside quickly when needed. Ensure you also furnish the crate with a towel along the bottom in case of accidents.
Create a Positive Association
Once your dog becomes used to having the crate in that area, start acclimating them to it. Utilizing positive encouragement such as treats or kibble can be very helpful here. Throw a few into the crate and praise your puppy when they walk in to retrieve them. Creating a positive association with their kennel will encourage them to see it as a safe place. With time, they may even choose to spend time in it all of their own accord.
Take Your Dog Out and Repeat
After getting your pup comfortable with their crate, shut them in for about an hour before taking them out. For younger dogs, this is the longest time they can hold their bladders. Then, wait patiently for them to go, praising them if they do. If they don’t, repeat the action and put them back in the crate for another hour. Repetition is the most important tip for using a crate to potty train your dog, as they’ll need time to develop those associations and learn how you want them to behave.
Whether you need help with potty training or overall obedience commands, Acadia Canine Academy can help. Our dog boarding and training courses run for several weeks in a controlled, homey facility where it’s easy for your dog to learn. Here, we tackle the fundamentals of crate training and more, teaching you how to facilitate positive behaviors at home. Contact us to learn more about our program and start developing an even better relationship with your pup today.