Using a crate is a great strategy to help with potty training, establish a safe space, and ensure your puppy isn’t tempted by mischief throughout the day! So, how do you ensure that your puppy is comfortable and well adjusted to their crate? Platinum Goldendoodles is here to help you on your journey to crate training!
- Don’t leave your puppy in a huge crate.
It may be tempting to buy a large crate, especially if you’re the owner of a standard Goldendoodle who is sure to reach a large size. This isn’t the best strategy for a puppy though. Dogs don’t like to tinkle where they sleep, but in a big crate – there is plenty of room. Make sure to invest in a divider for the crate, so the space can grow with your Goldendoodle.
- Don’t coerce your puppy into the crate.
Discovering an interesting space filled with toys and blankets may be intriguing to some Goldendoodles puppies, but this isn’t always the case. Never force your puppy to get into the crate. This may create a lifelong aversion to a crate, and this won’t serve you or your puppy in the future.
- Ignore the temper tantrums.
Try to resist any whining or barking from the crate if you know your Goldendoodle has already done their “business”. It’s essential to allow your puppy to acclimate to the new environment. Removing them at the first whimper will teach the puppy that is all it takes to regain their freedom!
- No yelling zone!
Furthermore, never yell at a puppy while they are in the crate. A crate is supposed to be a safe place for relaxation and sleep. This will lead the Goldendoodle to associate the crate with fear! Ignore any demands from your pup and carry on with business as usual.
- A crate isn’t a prison.
Do not leave your puppy in the crate all day and night. Investing in a puppy is an agreement to make the 2 am wake-up call so your Goldendoodle can go potty! This phase will not last forever and they’ll be sleeping through the night in no time.
- Make a place for puppies!
A crate should be a place for your Goldendoodle to calm down, unwind, and feel at ease. Make the space your puppy’s oasis! Fill the crate with their favorite chew toys and comfort items. You can also use a blanket to drape over the crate, so the space is free from outside distractions. This will help your Goldendoodle to fully relax and enjoy their “home away from home”. When you can, leave the door open so they can explore the crate on their own time. On that note, never use a crate as punishment.
- Praise, Praise, Praise!
Your Goldendoodle needs to know that its crate is not a place for punishment or negativity. You can use treats to reward them once they enter their crate and always use lots of praise! One treat to entice them in and another once they have entered. Use a command word as you’re going through this process. You’ll be setting yourself and your Goldendoodle up for success with this method. Positive reinforcement is key when it comes to training any dog.
- Slow and Steady.
It would be a shock to anyone to go from having the freedom to roam, to hours spent in a crate! Your Goldendoodle isn’t any different. When beginning crate training, start with small increments of time and slowly increase the duration. 20 minutes is a great place to start. Once they are comfortable during the entire 20 minutes, you can increase the time! This will avoid fostering any feelings of fear and anxiety during crate time.
- Potty Breaks.
Before crating your puppy, make sure they have used the bathroom! If they are whining to get out, you can eliminate the possibility that they need to go outside. But, sometimes, accidents do happen. Try not to stress and try, try again. Potty and crate training is a learning process that is developed over time. It is all a part of the journey to having a well-behaved Goldendoodle.
- Find the right size.
As mentioned before, having the right crate for your puppy will make a huge difference. If you’ve already purchased a crate for the size they may grow into, no need to stress! Utilize a divider to ensure they have a cozy space, and no room to create a potty corner! You can also use a small bed to sleep. Once again, making sure the crate is not an area they’ll want to use the restroom.
All in all, crates are a fantastic tool for training and a great way to make your Goldendoodle comfortable in their new environment. How you interact with crate time will make the difference between the crate being enjoyable and a place of anxiety. Just remember, use lots of praise, avoid yelling, and enjoy your new addition to the family!