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Poppy’s Training Snippets – Crate training


Poppys training snippets…Shirley Reddell

People often refer to me as a dog trainer, the truth, however, is that the only dogs I train are my own and the SPA puppies I have in foster from time to time. In reality what I do, or try to do,  is help people understand and train their own dogs. I recently adopted Poppy a border x puppy who was in foster with me.

Here is the first snippet from her training diaries.

Day 1 Crate training.

The first thing Poppy needed to learn was to be happy in a cage, despite being a very frightened pup she took to it straight away and a peaceful night for all was the result.

I am a great advocate of cage/crate training for new puppies and also for some adolescent or adult dogs, especially those adopted from a refuge who may never have lived inside, in a house/home. Some may tell you this is cruel but actually, it is the complete opposite. Dogs do not see it that way, being in a cage for them resembles a den and is security, safety and comfort.

Why crate train your dog?

Essential for a puppy, a scared rescue dog or bewildered adult. Your dog will look on it as their safe place and will go there of their own accord when they need some peace and quiet.  For a rest after a long walk or to get away from the kids!

Many people make the mistake of giving their new puppy or dog too much freedom which can cause house training issues. Puppies especially need to be kept safe when left alone, or they will inevitably get into trouble. Peeing and pooing everywhere and often chewing whatever is available. Shoes, electrical wires all is fair game to a bored pup.

For you there are even more plus points.

Your puppy will very quickly sleep all night and as an added bonus will be clean and dry in the morning.

For pups and older dogs you  will be able to leave them in the cage whilst you go out for short periods and there will be no destruction or mess as to come back to.

You will avoid the issue of separation anxiety.

How to crate train your dog.

Initially at least put the cage in a place where you spend a lot of the time, place a bed/cushion in there along with a toy or two and encourage them in with some tasty treats.

Leave the door open and allow your dog to investigate the space. Once they are comfortable and settle down close the door for a few minutes at a time. Most pups get used to this super fast. Make a habit of imposing an hour in their crate morning and afternoon. Just like toddlers they need down time or will get fractious.

My pups have the bonus of having other dogs around and generally settle in their cage in the kitchen with the others. If you have just adopted a single puppy or dog I would encourage you to have their cage in your bedroom for a couple of nights until they settle.

Dos and don’ts

Never use the crate as a punishment, always make it a positive experience with treats and praise.

Make sure your crate is large enough for your dog to get up and turn around.

Do not leave your dog crated for too long during the day. (a couple of hours max). Dogs are social animals and need company, if left too long it could have a negative effect.

Over the next few weeks we will be discussing,


Toilet Training

Separation Anxiety

And much more..

Shirley Reddell





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