A dog crate is an essential tool for both dog health care and puppy training. According to Cheri Lucas, the founder and president of Second Chance at Love Humane Society, “Crate training has been proven to be the fastest and most effective way to housebreak a puppy.”
Dogs like to be in confined areas that simulate a den and they feel safe in enclosed areas where they can curl up. A crate provides the type of environment that will make a puppy feel secure.
Dogs naturally won’t want to go potty in the area where they sleep. This makes using a crate ideal for potty training. Choose a dog crate that is large enough for the puppy to stand up in, turn around, and lay in comfortably.
You want to avoid choosing a crate that is too large as the dog may use one end for a bathroom area and sleep in the other end. Crates that come with divider panels will allow you to buy a crate that will fit your dog when they are full grown but can be divided to a smaller size for when your dog is a puppy.
The best way to crate train a puppy is to start the first day you take the puppy home. The crate should be placed in an area of the house where the rest of the family will be. Dogs are pack animals and like to be with the rest of their pack, the family. Take the dog outside to go potty after taking them out of the crate and before putting them into the crate.
To ensure proper dog health care and good behavior, the crate should never be used as an area for punishment.