Crate Training can have a huge impact on the life of any young dog. Personally, I didn’t like my crate very much. But in that regard, I am very much in the minority. Not only is Crate Training hugely beneficial to the education of a young Puplet, the overwhelming majority of pups love their crates which they see as a safe haven, a place of comfort and safety when their exciting new lives with their new owners occasionally seem a little overwhelming.
One of the key benefits of Crate Training to any new puppy owner relates to toilet training. I hate to blow my own bugle, but I was fully toilet trained in just two days. Yes, that’s right. Two days and I was clean and dry throughout the night. (Believe it or not I was clean and dry throughout the day from day one – well, maybe day two, excluding the occasional accident. I’ll tell you more about that in another article). (link to that article).
Back to Crate Training as an aid to toilet training a puppy, no one, neither humanoid nor any other kind of animal, wants to go to the toilet in its own bed. Well you don’t do you. It’s just not nice. We dogs have a saying: “Don’t s*** in your own backyard.” You humans probably have something similar.
So, putting a young Puplet in a crate over night with its blanket and its toys means that it will feel safe, warm, cosy, and, importantly in this case, ensure that it will do everything in its power to avoid going to the toilet until morning when you let it out. Why? Because, like the rest of us, pups hate messing in their own beds. Simples!
That’s how it was with me. That first night I kept everything crossed for the first six hours – arms, legs, even my then floppy and seemingly oversized ears just in case that made a difference. I tried anything and everything to avoid not only embarrassing myself, but spoiling my spanking new bedding.
Finally, around six in the morning, I couldn’t wait any longer – nature took its course and I was compelled to redecorate my entire crate an unnecessary shade of brown. Or was it taupe. Something like that. And, having let go of one lot, I thought I might as well go for broke and give the whole lot a jolly good watering as well.
I felt awful, awful, and determined to try harder that night, especially when I was so close the first time of asking.
Next night, I just peed. (Around seven in the morning for those of you who are slaves to detail).
Next night – voila, I was clean and dry and never looked back!
The best bit for me personally was that after that, Mum and Dad no longer shut the door of my crate at night and although I never told them (hope they never get around to reading this), I never again used my crate from that day until this. I prefer freestyling anywhere and everywhere in the house just as the moment takes me.
My best friend Mischa on the other hand simply loves her crate. Absolutely adores it. Morning, afternoon, day or night, any excuse and she’s in her crate like a rat up a drainpipe. Too many visitors? In the Crate. Football on television? In the crate. Dad’s had curry for dinner? In the crate. Like I say, any excuse and Misch is off to her crate. She’s even been known to pick the lock – to get in! It’s her own special place that only she uses. Think young bird and nest or young child and camp and you’ll get the idea.
The vast majority of dogs are like that apparently. In a recent study, nine out of ten young dogs surveyed said they preferred their owners buy them a crate. Fact. You can’t argue with statistics like that, no matter on which side of the political divide you happen to find yourself.
So, if you want to give your young Puplet the very best start in life – and who doesn’t – start off by buying him or her a crate. He or she will thank you for it – in oh so many ways!