Crate training a puppy is not a form of punishment, but can actually help a dog become a more well-adjusted pet. Not only is training your pet to sleep in a crate easy, but dogs of all breeds find them reassuring, rather like sleeping in their natural home, a den. In no time the crate will not only become your pet’s preferred place to sleep but a place of comfort when events in the outside world become frightening – such as fireworks. Although you may feel a crate occupies lots of space, you can use the top as tabletop space.
Before you bring your new puppy home, decide on a good place for the crate. It should be close to where the family will spend lots of time but you may want to initially put the crate in your bedroom to ease the first few nights of sleeping. A new puppy will miss their litter mates and may whine the first few nights at their new home. This is not because of the crate, but due to loneliness. If they can see you at night, not only is this more reassuring for the pet, but you will be aware when they need to go potty during the night. Eventually you will want to move the crate to a more centrally located place so the puppy can feel included with the “pack” even when they are in their crate. During crate training, don’t be afraid to move the crate from place to place from day to night. It is easy for the puppy to understand this as their “home” even though it is in a new location.
Do not put water in their crate as puppies like to keep their bed area clean and yet will frequently spill water when drinking. A safe chew toy or two is a nice addition to the crate as it will give them something to entertain themselves with. You may shut the door at night and when you have to leave the puppy alone, but normally you should leave the door open for the puppy to have access in and out as they see fit. Do not leave the puppy in their cage for longer than they can wait to go potty. During early crate training, this is no more than a couple of hours during the day.
Go to http://dogstylenetwork.com/puppytraining.htm for more ideas on crate training and care.