Saturday, 9 August 2008

How To Crate Train Your Chihuahua Puppy

Teaching your Chihuahua puppy to go inside his crate, and enjoy being in there, is called crate training. Crate training gets your puppy comfortable with his crate so that he will happily enter it and spend time in it when you need him to. Such as when you're housebreaking him or when you need to take him in the car.

Are Crates Cruel?

Dogs like small, enclosed areas. It gives them as sense of security and they tend to find small spaces comfortable. You will find that almost all Chihuahua puppies will love to sleep in their crate and will even go inside it during the day to rest or to chew on a bone. Especially if you encourage them. The main advantage of crates is that they make housebreaking a lot easier. A puppy will not eliminate where he sleeps (in his den) so crates are used during housebreaking to stop the puppy from eliminating in the home. But you will find that most all puppies love their crate so much they will use if for the rest of their lives, even when housebroken.

How To Crate Train Your Chihuahua Puppy

A crate is NOT meant to be a place where you can lock your puppy up for hours on end. If you're going to do this and not spend any time with your pup, yes it is cruel, and why do you even own a dog?! You should never associate any negativity with the crate, and being locked up in the crate for hours certainly will not be enjoyable for him so if you use a crate like that, then yes, it's cruel.

But if you're a loving dog owner, and you spend time with your Chihuahua puppy every day, loving him, caring for him, playing with him, petting him and walking him, then putting him in his crate for a few hours is not a cruel thing to do. He is not being put in their for punishment, and if you crate train him correctly, he won't see it as such. (By the way, you should never put your Chihuahua in his crate as punishment or he wont want to spend time in it). Most Chihuahua puppies will not mind being crated for short periods of time. And when you think about it, we put our human babies into crates too, we call these crates... playpens.

How to: Crate Training Your Chihuahua Pup

Put the crate in the middle of the room and place some toys and a treat in it. Always leave some toys in the crate so he can play with them. Leave the door open and allow your puppy to walk in and out as he pleases as he explores the crate. When he walks in, say "Crate", to teach him that the word "Crate" means that you want him to go to his crate.

After he's had a good look around the crate, place a another treat inside and let him go in. Close the door gently, leave it closed for a few seconds, and then reopen it. Repeat this a few times. Keep practicing by leaving the door closed for longer periods of time. Leave it closed for 1 minute, than 5 minutes, than 10 minutes. Then leave the door closed for half and hour. Then one hour. Make sure you are home the whole time while you are crate training him. If the crate is a plastic one, have the door facing you so that wherever you are in the home he can see you.

If he cries when he is in the crate don't let him out. If you let him out he will then learn to cry when you put him in his crate, and he will always do it. However, he may be growling or barking because he wants to go outside to eliminate, so keep this in mind. It's best if he goes to the toilet beforehand so you know this isn't the case.

How long can you leave him in his crate? A one month old puppy can be in his crate for 1 hour. A two month old puppy can spend 3 hours in his crate. And a 3 to 6 month old puppy can stay there for 4 hours. A 6 month old, or older, puppy can be in his crate for up to 8 hours, but no longer.

Remember, you should not overuse the crate. It is an invaluable tool for housebreaking your puppy, but it's not a substitute for companionship with your best friend.

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