I have been asked a lot lately about crate training and if it’s something I do or believe in, so I thought I would write this article on the very subject.Yes I do believe in crate training, it’s great for lots of reason if done correctly. With crate training, you accomplish a two major things, you’re training your Rottweiler puppy to use the crate, and you teach it how to use the toilet outside correctly.
As pups leave our home, I always ask this question, where will your puppy sleep? Some say, well we have a massive yard and the puppy has and will have all the backyard to his/herself to roam and play. Great I say, but where will the puppy actually sleep? We as adults have a home as our den and when tired where do we retreat to rest and sleep, yes the bedroom. Well dogs are naturally den animals. In the wild, a dog’s den is their home, a safe space where he/she can sleep, retreat, without fear of danger or harm.
For pet owners a crate fulfils this natural need for safety and security, something that belongs to them and them alone.. If introduced and used correctly, it will serve as their safe haven to sleep, hide when it storms, and rains. It’s their home.
Ok, so what sort of crate do we choose/buy?
Cost of these crates is around $80 – to $100, google crates and shop around for best prices.
Plastic crate types are also good, come in different sizes. I would buy something on the medium size, remembering it should be big enough for your pup to stand, turn around in, if too big I found at times your pup can go to one end do his/he business and come back to the front where its dry. But never pup your puppy in a crate if he or she has not been to the toilet first. We will touch on that a bit later.
Don’t forget to put a blanket or pillow in the crate for comfort for your puppy.
Now, on to the actual crate training process.
Expect a couple sleepless nights.
Again, first make sure your pup has been to the toilet outside. Put the crate on the floor where you want your puppy to sleep and leave the door open so your Rottweiler puppy can enter and exit the crate or explore it as it pleases. Allow your Rottweiler ample time to sniff the crate and investigate it so that it can see for itself that it is completely safe. Be sure to praising and rewarding the puppy once it enters the crate. Never force or shove your pup in the crate, first impressions for the pup need to be good ones.
Feel free to put his favourite toys in there, his favourite treats and even feed the pup in the crate till he/she feels comfortable.
Second or third time while puppy is in the crate close the door while praising your puppy.Plan ahead so the first time that you leave your Rottweiler puppy in the crate, should not be more than one to two hours.
Great if you are home going about your daily chores. Your puppy may cry or whimper, as tempting as it may be, do not let the pup out as it will learn how to use this in order to get out the next time. (Same as babies do)
Try not to go near the crate, if you have to ignore the puppy. As soon as the time is up, take your Rottweiler puppy to the bathroom outside and praise vigorously it as it does its business. Repeat this process a couple more times over the next couple of days, with each stay in the crate being longer than the last. This will allow your puppy to transition easily into being comfortable in staying in the crate for longer length of time.
It really is as easy as that. Practice and patience will give you the results you want.
Once your puppy is crate trained, you can use this crate method for the rest of his/hers life.
A few other pointers to keep in mind.
Do remember to take your pup to the toilet before you go to sleep, or do any other crate training. If puppy whines during the night, take the pup outside to the toilet, pup will do his/her business, put pup back in the crate straight away. . The puppy can’t hold their bowels and bladders for longer than a couple of hours at night time. This will improve with the pup’s age.
Do remember to feed your pups before your put him /her to bed for the night.
Do not allow the pup to play once outside for a wee, its straight back in the crate/bed.
When the puppy wines in the crate, do not yell or hit the crate. If this annoys you, go the shop or something to distract yourself, but do not punish the pup. This is a bit harder at night time, so practice during the day, so come night time hopefully the puppy will adjust and only whine when he/she needs to go to the toilet.
As tempting as it maybe, under no circumstances take the puppy to bed with you. This will form a very undesirable habit, I speak from experience, lol
Dogs aren’t meant to be crated day and night, just like we go outside, pups need other stimulation also.
End result, happy puppy, and happy owners.