Some dog owners only mean when will their dog stop barking, while others wish to know how long crate training will last. This is because crate training is a very vital part of dog training. It should be followed in a systematic fashion so that both the dog and the owner can fully benefit from the training. Crate training is important for the dog so that it will learn to live in a confined space and will not get out.
To begin crate training, you should make sure that the dog is comfortable in its new environment. Have water and food ready for them. The next step is to have the dog inside the crate with the door closed. It is advisable to give the dog two or three feedings every day so that it gets used to its new surroundings. The feedings should be done without moving the dog or giving it praise or dog treats.
When the puppy is used to its new location, you can start crating it. You should begin by taking a one-second delay in moving the crate along with the command ‘come’. It is very important that you keep a one-second delay between each command. This will make the puppy get used to the sound of the command and therefore will not panic whenever you say the word ‘come’. After a week or two of doing this exercise, you can move the crate forward one inch at a time.
It is advisable to crate the puppy for short periods because this will help it to calm down a lot quicker than if you let it stay in its crate for a longer period. Crates are known to keep puppies calmer because they cannot jump up on people or dogs. Crates also work well if you have small children who want to play with your pet. Once the puppy is calm inside its crate, leave it alone for a few minutes and then bring it back into the crate quietly without attracting any attention.
When you start potty training the puppy, use a five-second rule. This means if the puppy has to go, it must potty after five seconds instead of waiting for five minutes. You should only use the crate for potty training when you are around your pet as if you were not there, it may feel threatened and afraid and therefore may pee or defecate somewhere else. If you try to use the crate for other purposes, it will scare the dog and cause it to be uncertain of where it should potty.
The next step is to position the dog inside the crate and close the door. Let the dog stay there for five minutes and then open the door again. Continue doing this until you get the dog to repeat the five-minute wait without opening the door. Each time you do this, tell it to “click” and give it a treat so that it will know that when the door is opened, it gets a treat.
Now, for some very simple dog training, you can place your hand in the crate and tap it on the floor followed by “clicker” sound. The dog will learn that when its nose comes out of the crate it gets a treat. To teach your dog to “stay” or “come,” you should place your hand in the crate and close the door. With the dog still in the crate, close the door again followed by a “clicker” sound and a treat. Repeat this a couple times, until your dog becomes familiar with the sound of the clicking and treats.
It takes a while for most puppies to become comfortable in crates because they are new to this unfamiliar home environment. As the puppies to get used to being in crates, you can reduce the number of times you do this per day and increase the length of times between each click. If your Labrador puppies tend to yowl when you leave the house, try playing soft, soothing music to take their mind off crying. Finally, to prevent accidents, you may want to leave your dog in a crate for long periods of time, similar to leaving a newborn baby in a room with loud TV and no one else around.