At Found by the Hound, we are advocates for crating training dogs. A crate is a perfect tool to fast track toilet training. A crate provides a secure space for your puppy when you are unable to supervise and can also become their own safe sanctuary for the duration of your dogs life.
That being said, difficulties may arise when introducing a crate (particularly with puppies) and without correct education, crate training can quickly end up in the "too hard basket" category.
Don't give up! We are sharing some simple solutions to the biggest issue owners have when embarking on their crate training journey.
BARKING & CRYING
Attention seeking behaviour like constant barking whilst in the crate can be a common concern when crate training (especially with new puppies).
Do NOT let them out while they are barking or crying. By doing this, your dog will learn that when it barks you will come running and then your puppy will continue to use barking/crying to get your attention all the time.
Your best option is to ignore the behaviour. Be PATIENT! Trying to tell your puppy to be quiet will only be giving attention for the behaviour and will make it worse over time. Purchase ear plugs to help get you through the first couple of nights if needed. Remember they won’t do this forever.
Don't give in! When you start ignoring a behaviour, the dog will try even harder to get your attention. He assumes he isn't barking loud or long enough to get your attention and will dial up the volume. Don't lose hope or give in.
Reward the calm and quiet behaviour without over stimulating the dog.
Puppies may bark to indicate a need to toilet, keep in mind that a puppy has a small bladder and will need to be taken to the toilet often. Try and get to your puppy before it starts making noise or needs to go to the toilet urgently as you can’t return to a crying puppy you need to work on timing it well to avoid your puppy becoming desperate. Accidents can happen in the crate, don’t be angry remember this is all new learning experiences for your puppy.
If you are struggling with crating and need some advice, comment your concern on this post!