A topic that I have touched upon in the past but not explored fully is that of crate training a puppy. I have never crate trained a puppy and so I am curious, is it the best way, what does it actually help the puppy learn? Is it beneficial when toilet-training?
Crate training seems to be a very common practice for many owners these days with crates being sold in most pet supply shops. This kind of training is seen to provide dogs with a den-like space and teach them that this space is theirs for sleeping and relaxing in, the theory being that the pup will soon learn not to relieve itself in its own bed and personal space. However, in my mind I know pups can’t physically hold on for long periods of time and so when they do inevitably go to the toilet in their own personal space, does it distress them? Whilst I appreciate you can let them out of their crate to go to the loo outside on a regular basis, there will be times when they won’t be able to hold it in. It must be horrible for a pup that desperately needs to relieve itself but is stuck in its cage and sleeping space; this can potentially create unneeded anxiety.
I know a few people who have got a dog for the first time and have bought a cage but struggle to toilet-train their new pet. After looking at the wealth of information there is on the subject, I feel that like most training systems, maybe it is not being integrated properly within the dogs overall training system. Many trainers say that a puppy should not be left in a cage more than an hour or two at a time which leads me to question whether is is the best option to shut a puppy in a cage overnight. It also leads me to think that perhaps it is not a training method for toilet training but more a way of establishing a routine for the puppy which may help with toilet training in the long run.
I fully believe that all dogs are individuals and what works for one dog may not necessarily work for another. My dog has a den, it’s a small area where he has a bed and he loves to go for his quiet-time, it has no doors or sides but he has never been destructive apart from with a pack of 12 toilet rolls when he was 6 months old. I can see if used correctly, then crates could be advantageous and give piece of mind, but it is important not to rely on it. Should people not look at all possible options before making a decision on what training method to use?
What are your views on this topic? What toilet training method did you use for your dog as a puppy and why? Did you crate train in the traditional way or did you use an alternative method? Please let us know in the comments box below.
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