How to crate train a puppy

Crate training a puppy is actually one of the easiest, fastest and in the end the best method of potty training your puppy. It is also a secure way of establishing a ‘safe place’ for your puppy. You need very little in the way of supplies (a crate, obviously!) and the ability to be consistent and responsive. Most puppies, with the exception of a few really stubborn little devils, will take to this training method quickly and happily, leaving you with a well-trained dog and happy companion for years to come.

The first thing you need to do is take a look at your puppy. Is it close to the same size it will be all its life or is in a mere shadow of its eventual adult size? Toy and small breeds aren’t going to get much bigger, however your average Golden Retriever can start off small and grow exponentially. Knowing how big your dog is going to get is key in crate training. You don’t want something too small for your growing Labrador but you don’t want the equivalent to one of Donald Trump’s mansions for a miniature poodle!

Crates are all essentially the same and come in multiple sizes. It’s a wire cage, for lack of a better word, with a hinged door. There should be a plastic bottom that can slide out for easier cleaning in case of accidents. For truly tiny dogs like Yorkshire Terriers you can get the smallest cage available – usually 18-22″. Small breeds that are slightly bigger like Pugs can get by with a 24″. Basically – the bigger your dog in his full grown size, the bigger the crate. For large breeds, like Labradors and Golden Retrievers you need to start out with one of the largest sizes available, however choose a crate that can be divided into multiple sizes. These crates have a wire frame that goes into the crate to create the exact size of living space you want your dog to have. You can move the frame as your dog gets bigger.

Why not let your Yorkie have the biggest space available? This is where the training comes in and the dog’s natural tendencies. Unless it’s an emergency dogs will generally refrain from eliminating in their sleeping quarters. If you’ve got a large space and a small dog she’ll just go over to the other side of her palatial doggie mansion and use it as her own personal toilet. Ideally the most amount of space you want is enough for your dog to fully turn itself around with ease – but no more than that.

You need to know the ground rules of crate training. When you are not able to be with the puppy or constantly

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