As soon as you get your Labrador puppy home, you ought to start training as soon as possible. Crate training has been beneficial for a while now, and it is convenient to start any time from when you get your pup.
The main reasons of using a crate are to help your puppy stay clean around the home and have an area to rest. Also, it is a safe place for your pup to stay when you are not around to supervise. Another benefit is that crate training helps to speed up toilet training for your dog.
Choosing the Right Crate
First, the type of crate you choose for your pup matters when starting training. The age of your pup will dictate the size and nature of the cage. Most types have a grid design with openings all around. The design ensures you can closely monitor your pup without locking it up in an enclosed solid cage.
Also, the crate should be spacious enough for your pup to stand and move freely in there. However, large ones may delay potty training since your dog may opt to relieve themselves on one corner. The crate material should be sturdy enough to withstand chewing, and the door should open out wide. Make sure you also check out our dog crate reviews resource page.
Below is a guide on how to train your Labrador pup.
This stage begins as soon as you bring your pup home. Your dog needs to get comfortable around the crate with the door open. Start by placing treats inside the crate and let your dog enter voluntarily. At first, do not close the door. Your puppy will associate the area with the treats, and soon he will start going in freely.
You can place treats when your dog is not around, so he has a surprise waiting when he gets in there to explore. It is the best time to come up with words to guide your dog what you mean. You could say, “Bed,” “in your crate,” etc. Once your dog is comfortable being around the crate, close the door briefly every time he gets in there; for a few minutes. Open the door when he finishes the bites and repeat this over the course of the day.
Here’s a super helpful video of a Lab puppy getting crate-trained at a Dog Training facility at San Jose you’ll enjoy.
Training at Night
For the first days, you can use a portable carry crate by your bed. It is essential, so your pup does not feel isolated when you leave him alone at night. During this time, close the crate for several hours. If your puppy cries, you can soothe him by putting your hand in to comfort him. If he continues to whine endlessly, he probably needs a break to his toilet area.
After a few days, you can place the dog in a different room such as the kitchen. Your dog will cry for a while, and this should not worry you. Instead, set the alarm a little earlier than when your dog wakes up at night and take him outside. At first, check on him every few hours and increase the gap slowly as he learns.
If your puppy cooperates to the above, you can stretch hours longer for extended sleeping periods. In the morning, check if the beddings are wet and if so, plan on waking him up earlier the following nights. This schedule will help your pup develop a routine while getting comfortable inside the crate.
Training during the Day
Training your pup during the day should be less-intensive. It will help the dog master the routine better at night. Also, if you intend to leave him in the house for a while, then day training is necessary. Another reason you may want to let him use the crate during the day is if you have small kids and want to get your pup a safe resting place. Leave your pet in the cage for a few minutes during the day and repeat several times.
Keeping Your Dog In For Longer Hours
It can take a day or two for your pup stay in the crate longer. The best way to do it is providing treats all through and closing the door briefly. Let your puppy in and out as many times as possible until he rests in there voluntarily.
It is a sign he likes the crate and finds it comfortable in there. If your dog seems irritable after all the stages, give him time and repeat the steps. With time, it will be easy for him to stay in, leave when he wants, and you will not have to force him.
When crate training your puppy, ensure the environment is friendly, so it is easy for both of you. Ensure you have the right snacks for your pup to help you throughout the process. One important thing to note is that it will take time and patience, but it will eventually work. Most importantly, repeat your words, so your pup gets used to staying inside the crate on command.
Dogs are my life and they are the inspiration behind my blogging. I've owned dogs pretty much all my life and am truly enthusiastic about sharing everything I've learned from them to help you care for your own 4-legged pal! I'm the proud owner of a rescued Great Dane called Bertie. Nothing makes him happier than when we pack up our stuff and take off into the woods.