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The benefits of crate training a puppy, according to experts

BY Liz Lannie

28th Jul 2023 Animals & Pets

The benefits of crate training a puppy, according to experts

Crate training your new puppy is an effective way to make it feel safe and to soothe potential issues like separation anxiety, says pet expert Bella & Duke's

Summer is often seen as the best time to get a puppy to make the most of the longer days and warmer weather. Many agree that this is the best time to housebreak pets.

While it may not be necessary to make sure your puppy is crate trained, there are additional benefits it brings.

Crate training shouldn’t be looked at as a necessity, but for those in busy households or with nervous pets, a crate can become your furry friend’s cosy den or place of respite and relaxation.

"The main purpose of crate training should always be to allow your puppy to have its own personal space"

The main purpose of crate training should always be to allow your puppy to have its own personal space where they can feel comfortable.

It is important to understand that for some pets being in an enclosed space can result in unnecessary anxiety or stress and will not fix any separation anxiety your puppy may be having.

As leaders in raw pet food and wellness, Bella & Duke’s expert pet behaviourist Liz Lannie has shared her top five tips to make crate training a positive experience:

Provide enough room 

Bed and bowl in crate for puppy trainingMake sure your pet feels comfortable in the crate by providing a bed, toys and a bowl of water

Make sure your crate is big enough for your furry friend to stand, lay down or stretch. Think of it as your pet’s own mini room, allow enough room to fit a bowl of water and a bed.

Night time training 

Give your puppy the time and space to choose to fall asleep whilst you're in the same room.

Completely ignore your puppy. No eye contact, no speech, and no-touch. Continue with what you’re doing and don’t give your puppy attention when you feel like they’re ready for bed.

Letting them go to bed of their own accord and with you nearby will allow them to naturally feel comfortable.

Upgrade from a crate to a cosy den 

Crates can be the perfect place for your dog to escape from the madness of a busy household or if there are unfamiliar experiences like thunderstorms and fireworks.

Make sure their crate has everything they need to relax. Place a blanket or piece of clothing that has your scent in their cosy den and prepare in advance of stressful situations.

If you know you’ll have a lot of strangers in your house or if there’s a storm coming up, place some treats wrapped up in your blanket alongside a long-lasting chew so they have something to keep them occupied and ease their mind.

Always leave the crate door open 

It’s important to ensure your dog always has the option leave. This will remove any possible stress or anxiety and not make it so your canine companion feels forcefully trapped.

Have patience 

Dog sleeping in crate at nightCrate training a puppy means that it will have a safe place to retreat to when there are fireworks or frightening storms

It’s not natural for dogs to be in an enclosed space for prolonged periods of time and there isn’t a one size fits all plan for crate training.

Being there with them through every step of the way will help them feel more comfortable and trusting of you.

"There are inarguable benefits to creating a safe space that your dog can go to whenever they like"

Lannie adds: “Crate training should never be a formal necessity. Dogs love freedom, they love to explore on their own accord and should be allowed to do so, but there are inarguable benefits to creating a safe space that your dog can go to whenever they like.

"Don’t think of it exclusively as crate training, but introducing your furry friend to its own safe space.

"After a long day of meeting strangers where the social battery runs flat or to get away from potential stressors, setting up a cosy den and ensuring your canine companion feels safe can be a brilliant way to build a healthy and long lasting bond with one another.”

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