Helping You Get the Most From Your Hunting Dogs
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|Moving a crate into your bedroom accomplishes two things. First, as stated above, it reduces separation anxiety for the puppy. Second, it allows you to monitor your puppy’s housebreaking routine. Before putting your puppy up for the night, make sure he has had a chance to go outside and eliminate. |
Inevitably, you will find that as you close the door to the crate he will begin to whine and fuss. Never let your dog out of the crate if he is crying. At first this may not sound logical. But remember, dogs learn quickly through associations. If you open the door when he cries he will quickly think crying opens the door. At this point you will want to introduce a "NO NOISE" command and bang your hand on the top of the crate. If the puppy continues to whine, just ignore him. The last thing you want to do is reward this behavior by opening the crate door and comforting him. The only exception to this rule is when crying is a result of having to go to the bathroom. Therefore you will need to go on those "midnight-walks". Then if at all possible, wait for a break in the crying before opening the door, even if it is a break for only10 seconds.
The crate can be an effective tool when housebreak your new companion. The underlying reason for this is fairly simple. Dogs normally will not eliminate in the same areas they live. It’s only when a dog has been left in a crate too long that they are forced to eliminate in the crate. Remember, young dogs are not physically able to "hold-it" for hours and hours on end. So when deciding to put your youngster up for the evening, be mindful of how long he or she will be able to comfortably "hold-it". During the night, if your puppy seems to be stirring, get up and take him outside immediately. With puppies you may have to carry them outside to avoid accidents. Once he has had a chance to relieve himself, bring him straight back inside to his crate. If he begins to fuss again, issue the "NO NOISE" command and be consistent.
After a few nights of dealing with the whining and carrying on, your puppy should begin to make it through the night with minimal fussing. Crate training takes time and sometimes requires a "deaf ear" on your part. Use common sense and consistency in your approach and soon the answer, as whether to crate or not to crate will become obvious. Good luck and enjoy your new puppy.
Rules to live by when crate training
- The crate should never be used to punish your dog.
- Keep the introduction to the crate short and sweet. Let the dog get comfortable with the crate before attempting to close the door on him. Once you close the door, reward him with praise and/or a treat. Keep the first few sessions with the door shut short. Ten seconds without crying is what you’re striving for. Open the door and give him lots of love and praise. Slowly, and I mean slowly, increase the time with the door shut.
- Select the proper size crate for your dog. If you buy a crate that is large enough to accommodate him when he is full-sized, block off an area inside the crate to make it just large enough for him to stand up and turn around. Making it too large will allow him to soil one area and live in the other.
- Pick up your dog’s water 3-4 hours before putting him up for the night.
- Allow your dog to eliminate completely prior to being put up for the night.
- Take him outside immediately upon letting him out of the crate. With puppies, you may have to carry them outside to avoid accidents.
- Let him naturally find the crate in your kitchen, living room or wherever you decide the crate will reside. Make sure you place the crate in an area well circulated, free of drafts, and out of direct sunlight. Placing food in the back of the crate will encourage your pet to explore and enter this new area.
- Never let your dog out of the crate if he is crying.
- Have a vigorous play session before to going to bed.
- An undergarment or a ticking alarm clock can comfort a new puppy during his first few nights away from his littermates.
- Never disturb your dog when he seeks solitude in his crate. Remember this is his domestic den and like you, he needs valuable time alone.
- Finally, be patient and committed to the process.
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