Crate Training Is Training!
Regarding puppies, crate training and housebreaking are, in part synonymous. They are, in the beginning of a pup’s life, combined into one action to enable to owner/handler to housebreak the pup while teaching it where to stay when the humans are out of the house, etc.
Having a safe, clean secure space for the pup to rest, chew and otherwise be comfortable for a few hours at a time is vital to the dog-human relationship.
Unfortunately, some people regard the crate as some form of punishment, which it isn’t. These folks somehow equate dogs with people (anthropomorphism) and may have a vivid mental picture of captured POWs being jammed into bamboo cages or some such thing. It sounds ridiculous, and it should. A canine requires a compact, safe, comfortable space to rest and re-energize and sleeping on a human bed is sometimes just not practical.
That being said, there is a key factor in crate training that one must follow in order for it to be successful. This factor is known as PATIENCE. Crate training is TRAINING, and as such, follows the same rules as other types of training. You have got to give this action enough time and repetition to get the job done.
As an example, I had a young pup (twelve weeks old) that I needed to crate train. At first she wouldn’t go inside the crate at all, so I spent about a week, simply throwing some kibble into the crate and letting her go in on her own. Once in, she would whine and cry, which is not unusual. I waited until she would stop crying for a moment, then let her out and praised her.
The next step was to see how long she would go before she would start fussing. I spent another week doing this, not making a big deal out of it. I got her up to twenty minutes in the crate with no crying or fussing. I always used food to get her into the crate and to reward for her staying in there.
After another week of extending her crate time, she figured out that it wasn’t so bad. I put a bone in there for her to chew and life was great. Now, she stays in the crate for four hours at a time, no fussing, no crying.
This isn’t some time intensive mega training activity. It takes a few minutes a day, for a week or two and you will have a pup that can stay put when it needs to, stop messing in the house and upgrade everyone’s life.
By the way, I would recommend putting the crate in a place that is populated by as many humans as possible, like a living room. This way the pup is not being isolated from her people and is more apt to move through this training faster.