Just like having a daily routine helps with raising children and teaching them organizational skills and discipline to prepare them for adult life, puppies and untrained older dogs too can benefit a lot from having a puppy crate training schedule. Having one helps you to quickly teach your pet how you expect him/her to behave, and it helps you to get him/her used to using their crate at certain times of the day.
One of the first things a puppy needs to learn is to become aware of her ability to control her bladder and bowel. With good training she will quickly learn this, as she soon realizes that she finds it disgusting to be trapped in the crate with her own mess. She will also learn that you will soon come to let her out, because you have learned how frequently she needs to go, and have become responsive to that need.
All she needs to do is learn bladder and bowel control. So let's look at how you can quickly gain the benefits of housebreaking a pet with the aid of a dog crate.
Puppy Crate Training Tip – Introduce The Crate At The Weekend
- Puppy Crate Training Tip – Introduce The Crate At The Weekend
- Ensure The Crate Size Is Large Enough
- Get Your Puppy Accustomed To Using Their Crate
- A Crate Is A Dog's Personal Space, Not A Toy & Not A Form Of Punishment
- Reduce Separation Anxiety With A Toy In The Crate
- How Long Can A Puppy Stay In A Crate?
- Get Your Dog Clean Fast With A Puppy Potty Training Schedule
- A Puppy Crate Training Schedule Example
- A Typical Puppy Crate Training Schedule Example for Canines Older than 4 Months
The best time to introduce your puppy to the crate is when she is tired. Preferably begin crate training at the weekend when you have no other commitments. This helps you both prepare to start training proper, according to your schedule on Monday.
An excited pup wants to do nothing more than play, and this is not the time for her to feel locked away, so wait for her to feel tired first, when she wants to rest.
It is advisable that you take at least 1 week if not 2 weeks break from work so that you can put full attention into training your puppy to schedule, or otherwise have someone else that can take over the responsibility while you are away.
The best dog crate location during the day is where people are the most – the living room, so your dog does not feel isolated. They will feel most comfortable there because in the wild dogs like to stay together in a pack, as they are social animals. So dogs will feel most comfortable being around the people they live with.
Ensure The Crate Size Is Large Enough
The best crates to train your puppy in are those that have enough room for your pup to fully stand and turn around in and no more. Ideally though they should be large enough to accommodate your puppy as he develops and grows into his full adult dog size. Such cages typically allow you to section off part of the cage to ensure your pup only has access to the space he or she needs as he or she grows.
The Midwest iCrate Pet Crate or Midwest Life Stages Dog Crate are in our opinion the best dog crates for this. They both come with an adjustable divider panel allowing you to easily adjust the length of the crate to suit your pup as he or she grows to their full adult size.
You may use treats and praise to get her to enter the crate, and also put a toy in there that she only has access to inside the crate. The Kong Puppy Toy is recommended, and you can buy it on Amazon.
Let her enter and leave a few times before you close the door.
Get Your Puppy Accustomed To Using Their Crate
Once you have successfully introduced the crate to your puppy, then you can close the door and remain beside the crate for a while. And then you can move onto closing the door, and leaving her sight.
Once you do so, do not leave her in there for longer than 5 minutes to start with, and then gradually increase the time to 30 minutes, and then to an hour.
Do also use the crate both when you are physically in sight and when you are not, to get her used to feeling that being in the crate is normal and comfortable and does mean abandonment.
If she does bark and whine, ignore her – you do not want to teach her that she can make a noise and you will come on command. You want her her accept that the crate is somewhere you will like her to go.
She needs to learn to work to your schedule, not the other way around. She will get used to this quicker if it happens at specific times of day.
Training should be regular and consistent. This is one of the key things to get right when it comes to the question how long does it take to crate train a puppy. Lack of consistency can be confusing and distressing and lead to protracted, rather than fast crate training.
A Crate Is A Dog's Personal Space, Not A Toy & Not A Form Of Punishment
Similarly, do not praise her when you let her out. You do not want your dog to think that being released is a reward. To help minimize her getting too excited by visible distractions, you may wish to buy a crate cover. This also increases the level of privacy that she has in her den.
This is important, as one of the first things you need to teach your dog after introducing the crate to them is that it isn't a toy, but more like their own personal den to use regularly. A schedule helps your pet quickly understand when you expect them to use the crate and a command that you may use when you want them to retire to their crate.
Remember though that you do not want your dog to associate the crate as a form of punishment and make her fearful and provoke separation anxiety, so no shouting at her or scolding her to get into the crate. She needs to get used to the crate being a positive place.
So using treats, and praise are ways to help with getting them to enter, but should only be used for as long as it takes for your dog to readily use the crate without them.
Reduce Separation Anxiety With A Toy In The Crate
Putting a toy inside the crate can also be useful, especially as an aid to dealing with separation anxiety as your dog turns her immediate focus to the toy instead of being afraid of you leaving her. The Kong puppy toy where you can also put food or treats inside that your pet has to work to get at is a great one to have.
It is also important to remember that training can take time, but having a schedule where patterns can be recognized and learnt is far more helpful at teaching your pet, than doing everything in a disorganized and random fashion that will do more to confuse and frustrate her instead of helping her learn. You will also need to be patient, especially when it comes to potty training as your pet learns that she can control her bowel and bladder and no longer has accidents.
How Long Can A Puppy Stay In A Crate?
Once you have introduced your dog to the crate and she has become accustomed to it, you can then start crate training puppy and introducing your schedule. It will change as the weeks go by, as your pet learns to become better behaved and less needy.
The maximum time that you should schedule your puppy being inside the crate is as follows.
- At 8–10 weeks you want to get her used to being in the crate for up to 60 minutes during the day.
- Up to 3 hours when she's up to 14 weeks old
- Up to 4 hours when she's 15-16 weeks
- Up to 5 hours when she's 17 weeks+
So if you work a full time job, you must make sure somebody else will be around to ensure your dog gets ample time outside of his crate to eat, exercise and relieve herself.
Get Your Dog Clean Fast With A Puppy Potty Training Schedule
Answering the question of how to crate train a puppy would not be complete without tackling the issue of housebreaking a puppy so that it knows where it it permitted to do its business and where no to. Potty training is one of the most important issues you will want to take care of after bringing your new pet home. You do not want the stench of poop and urine in your house, and you especially do not want it all over your furniture, rugs or carpets.
Crate potty training a puppy need not be difficult. With a crate, your pup will not want to be trapped inside a crate with her own mess either, so potty training should also be part of the schedule in crate training a puppy. It serves as a great way for her to learn to become aware of when she needs to relieve herself and that she will be let out to do so, as you will come.
How often a puppy needs to go will typically be about 1 hour for every month of age, so about 2 hours for a pup that is 7/8 weeks old. And of course when she last consumed food/drink, finished exercising, or has woken from a nap will influence this.
The best way to be sure is – you guessed it – incorporate it into your schedule. You should already have it scheduled when you will supply meals and drinks. You will also need to notice when she subsequently eliminates, so you can pencil this in too.
A Puppy Crate Training Schedule Example
If your puppy is less than 3 months old, you should establish a young dog crate training schedule that includes frequent rotation of potty breaks, exercises and naps, as your pet will need a lot of all three.
Over the subsequent weeks, you can reduce the frequency of needing to take your dog out for potty breaks and exercise, as your dog's metabolism changes and she learns to control her bowel and bladder, and becomes less excitable and less hyperactive.
So for a puppy less than 3 months, you should limit the confinement to the crate for an hour max at a time. You will gradually increase this up to a maximum of 6 hours up to 11 months old. From 12 months old, you can crate her for a maximum of 8 hours, although preferably there should be someone to give your pet a break in-between.
So a typical daytime pup crate training schedule would look like the following:
- 7am 5 min potty break then play/exercise time
- 8am provide food and water, remove after 15-20 mins, then play/exercise time
- 9am potty break then crate
- 10am potty break then play/exercise time
- 11pm potty break then crate
- 12pm potty break then food and drink, then play/exercise time
- 1pm-6pm potty break every hour and alternate play/exercise time and crate time
- 6pm final meal and drink for the day (a further light drink may be provided later on if dog is thirsty) followed by play/exercise time
- 7-10pm potty break every hour and alternate play/exercise time and crate time
- 10pm potty break then crate
- 11pm potty break then crate and move to the crate training your puppy at night schedule.
Accessories Can Help
Leave some chew toys in the crate for your dog to keep herself occupied while she is in her crate. This also helps her to form a positive association with her crate. Toys also help to ensure she is well exercised and ready to sleep when the lights out.
As your pet starts to get used to her crate and whilst you are around, you may also want to get your pet introduced to a dog crate cover, to teach her when its time to calm down and rest.
A crate cover can also be useful if you have kids around to reduce your pet getting over excited and wanting to play. Although you will also want your kids to refrain from interacting with your pet or making sudden noises for the same reason.
A Typical Puppy Crate Training Schedule Example for Canines Older than 4 Months
After your pet is 3 months old, her stay in the crate can be extended slowly and gradually. The dog crate training schedule for how long a dog can stay in the crate is as follows:
- 8-10 weeks 30-60 mins
- 11-14 weeks 1-3 hours
- 14-16 weeks 4 hours
- 17+ weeks 5-6 hours
As above you will follow each potty break with play/exercise time or 1 of her three meals for the day. Also, when crating for longer than 2 hours, attach a water bottle to the cage so your pet always has convenient access to fluid throughout the day.
You may ask why not use a bowl, and the answer to that is that a bottle will be much better at preventing you pup from making any accidental spillages.
After your pet is 12 months and becomes an adult dog, she can be crated for up to 8 hours, but this should not be a regular occurrence for her own well-being.
So do ensure there is always someone to give your dog a break, so she is not crated for that long, and gets some time to stretch and exercise.
Using a schedule for puppy crate training is the fastest way to house train her. It'll help her quickly recognize and learn to work to your established routine and that the crate is a part of her everyday life.
It also teaches her that it is her own personal space to feel secure and relax in. So she'll know that she can also choose to voluntarily go to it when she gets bored or tired of playing.