One of the biggest mistakes new puppy owners make is not crate training. Teaching your puppy to sleep happily in a crate while you're in bed or while you're away for the day can make or break your house-training journey and save your favorite couch from sharp little puppy teeth!

Training Your Pup - Kennels and Crates

Choose the Right "Den"

Dogs are den animals, holding onto this evolutionary instinct from their wild predecessors. To your domesticated dog, his den is the place he will go when he's tired, frightened, or just wants to escape to "his" place. With a puppy, don't give him a huge crate. He needs something that's big enough to stand up, sit down, and turn around in. Any bigger will encourage him to potty in his kennel. You need to choose immediately if you want your dog to be an inside or an outside dog. Building a chain link kennel outside would provide ease in this process and will teach your puppy more self dependence.

Introduce the Crate

Leave the crate in the most frequented room of your house. If the family congregates mostly in the kitchen, then leave his crate there with the door open. Add a comfortable bed or even an old t-shirt that smells like his favorite family member. Leave the door off at first so he can go in and out unencumbered. Some dogs will immediately go in and get comfortable; if yours isn't one of them, entice him in by dropping tasty food treats in front of the crate and gradually just inside the door.

Let Him Eat in the Crate

Dogs won't soil where they eat so by feeding his meals inside the kennel, you're teaching him two things: this isn't where he's supposed to relieve himself and this is a safe, happy place. If he's willingly going in and out of the kennel, put the food bowl at the back. If he's still showing some reluctance, put it in just enough to keep him from being anxious. After a few days, he should be eating comfortably in the crate. This is when you begin shutting the door. The first time, open it as soon as he finishes his meal. Gradually, leave the door closed for a longer period of time after he's done eating.

Crate Him While You're at Home

It's important to not just shut him in the kennel and leave for your 8 hour work day. Instead, leave him kenneled for short periods of time while you're at home. When you let him out, give him praise but don't make it a big deal. His crate should be a daily part of his routine, not something that's out of the ordinary.

Leave for Short Periods of Time

When you finally leave him alone, make your trips short. Leave him in the crate just to run to the post office or to the grocery store for some bread and milk. Don't make a big fuss when you leave; urge him into the kennel, shut the door, and leave. Prolonged goodbyes can make a dog feel more anxious. Make sure that every time you put him in the kennel, you're putting him in at different times as you're getting ready to leave. Some days put him in while you're putting your shoes on, other times put him in right as you get out of the shower. If you develop a predictable pattern, a more anxious puppy will begin to fret when you hit the point in your routine where he'll be kenneled. When you get home, don't get excited to see him. Keep your arrivals low-key to prevent any anxiety.

Don't let a puppy's sad eyes make you feel bad for kennel training. Older dogs who have been properly introduced to the kennel seek their crate out as a safe haven and genuinely enjoy being there. Train your puppy gently and consistently and his crate will become a happy hideaway for the rest of his life.

 

Erika RemmingtonThis article was written by Erika Remmington. Erika is a recent graduate from the University of California, Berkeley. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her husband and 18 month old daughter. Click here to contact Erika.

 

 

Informational credit to Lynx Brand Fence Products Ltd., An Edmonton Dog Kennel Chain Link Fence Company

By Natalie Gomez 52 days ago at 10:00 am 0 Comments
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Puppies are cute and smart and full of energy. They melt our hearts and tire us out in equal measure. Probably the hardest part about a new puppy is that they don’t know the rules of your house: what not to chew, who not to chase, and where not to go to the bathroom. Potty-training can be one of the most exasperating times in your life with a new puppy. Here are five tips to make it easier for you and your pup.

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Supervise your pup at all times

It is much easier to prevent accidents than to discover them hours after they’ve occurred. While your pup is potty-training, keep him with you at all times. Close doors to rooms you are not using, set up baby-gates, or keep your puppy on a leash. As you play with and supervise your puppy, you will start to notice how he behaves when he has to eliminate. Often he will start sniffing around, try to sneak off somewhere private, or even start whining. These are sure signs that he needs to go out.

Take your puppy out often

Your puppy has very little bladder or bowel control when he is young. He will need to go out every time he wakes from a nap, eats, drinks, or plays energetically. When in doubt, take him out.

Come up with a command for eliminating

This will make your life so much easier as your pup grows up. Come up with a command that you will use only when you want your pup to eliminate. Make sure it is a command that you are comfortable using in public. “Go pee,” might not be the best choice. Common commands are, “do your business,” or, “get busy.” Whenever you take your pup out, bring him to the spot you have chosen for him. When he does eliminate, say your chosen command and praise him lavishly. He’ll get the hang of it in no time.

Consider crate-training

Crates can be a dog-owner’s best friend. Because you’re pup needs constant supervision at this stage, it’s a good idea to crate him when you can’t be with him. This keeps him out of trouble, and keeps you from getting angry. Make your pup’s crate a special place by offering him chew toys, bones, and soft bedding. Most pups will not eliminate where they sleep, so this is a great way to prevent accidents.

Clean up messes promptly

If your dog does have an accident, don’t get angry. Take him outside, put him in his crate, and clean up the mess. Use a good cleaner that can eliminate the smell completely, so your dog isn't tempted to use that spot again.

Potty-training takes patience and persistence, but puppies learn quickly, and after a few weeks of this routine, your pup should be accident free.

 

Rianne Hunter

Rianne Hunter is a wife, mother of three humans and one pup, and an independent writer on a broad range of subjects like home, family, and pets. She recommends getting great helpful tools and products for potty-training such as the UrineBeGone.com odor removal tool.

By Natalie Gomez on Apr 24, 2014 at 9:46 am 0 Comments
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Vacations are a time for relaxation and an escape from responsibilities. However, if you are leaving a new puppy behind, it might turn you into a basket case. You wonder about their health and well-being, and whether or not they may be undergoing separation anxiety. It is tough when dealing with puppies, because they count on you every day to tend to their every need. Leaving them for a first time can be nerve-wracking. You don’t have to feel lost or apprehensive, however, if you take the proper steps in preparing them and yourself for the short separation of a vacation. Here are 5 helpful tips to retain peace of mind as you travel and ensure that your little one is well taken care of.

Leaving Your Pup for the First Time? 5 Tips to Give you Peace of Mind

Practice Makes Perfect

Before you fully pack up your bags and depart for your destination, you should try leaving or making your presence scarce during the day for short periods of time. Begin this activity weeks in advance. Practice being separated from your puppy; leave him in a designated area in your home for a time without him hearing or seeing you. Instead of suddenly disappearing for a long time span, these shorter practice runs will help with adjustment. Lengthen the alone time each day. It will help you and the pet slowly get used to the idea of being apart from each other.

Leave Them with Someone Familiar

One easy way to know that the puppy is in good hands is to leave them with someone you’re familiar with. Have a neighbor, a friend, or a family member come and dog sit while you’re away. If you know of someone with pet experience, try calling them to see if they’re available for the time you’re gone. You want someone that not only likes animals, but has experience caring for them—taking care of a puppy is no small task. Invite him or her over to your house each day for about a week or two prior to your departure. Make certain they, as well as your puppy are comfortable around one another. Does your pup respond favorably to and play with the person? If he does, you know that your pet’s loneliness will be lessened.

Leave Instructions

Also, it is important to leave clear and detailed instructions pertaining to the puppy’s eating habits and specific needs. Is he teething? Are there any health concerns? Let the chosen caretaker know. Leaving a written list and schedule for the person can help alleviate your stress by knowing your puppy is being properly taken care of. Another solution to peace of mind is to give the dog sitter any relevant phone numbers where he or she can contact you. The emergency contact for your veterinarian would be useful as well.

Familiar Scents

If your friend, neighbor, or family member can’t come to dog sit at your house, you might be forced to send your puppy over to theirs. You may want to pass along any favorite toys or blankets to the new household. Familiar sights and smells will assist tremendously in relieving tension your dog may have in the different dwelling. Additionally, you can be comforted by the thought of your companion cozily curling up in his master’s blanket at night.

Professional Kennels

If none of your close acquaintances are available, putting your puppy in a professional kennel is always a solution. Check the pricing and kennel conditions for each one you may be considering. The professionals of KennelsLosAngeles.com suggest that the nervous pet owner take a full tour of any facility they are thinking about leaving their pup at—this way you can see exactly what the environment will be like and how your pet will do there. Ask if you can get a tour of the facilities, and talk with the supervisors to judge whether they’re dedicated workers and lovers of pets. Inquire about how they exercise and what they feed the animals. Knowing that your puppy is in reliable, loving hands can do wonders in curbing anxiety while traveling.

Enjoy Yourself

There will always be risks in leaving your beloved puppy for the first time, but these simple tips can do much in terms of lessening the worry. Taking the proper precautions and considering your puppy's well-being in your decisions will guarantee a safer and smoother departure on your vacation. Be involved and meticulous in your preparations, so you don't have to wonder and contemplate them later while you're attempting to do some sightseeing. Take a deep breath, relax, give your puppy a kiss goodbye, and enjoy your vacation. His tail will be wagging when you arrive home.

 

Dixie SomersThis article was written by Dixie Somers, a freelance writer who loves to write about business, women's interests, or home and family. Dixie lives in Arizona with her husband, three daughters, and a spunky Jack Russel Terrier who makes life interesting! You can follow her on Twitter: @DixieSomers

 

By Natalie Gomez on Mar 27, 2014 at 9:48 am 0 Comments
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