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crate training
large dog crate
breed puppy
water bowls
crate train
dog crates
water bowl
german shepherd
Crate Training
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A wise man once told me "every puppy should come with a crate", back then I wasn't too sure what could be so significant about a crate. 7 years and a vet degree later has made me realize the dogs that we get into the clinic that are well behaved, not anxious and don't try to nip are generally crate trained as puppies. In other words, most well adjusted dog start off as being crate trained.

Before we get into what is crate training, I want to clear up a big misconception. To crate train a dog does not mean the crate is the naughty corner or you are "locking up" your puppy, the crate is suppose to be like a den, a warm safe place the puppy goes to to SLEEP and REST. The idea behind a crate is do everything on your terms, thus establishing dominance and a well adjusted dog.

First of all, how to buy a puppy crate. There are many dog crates on the market, most people know before they buy a dog what size dog they are going to have. The ideal crate size is one where your puppy is able to have a water bowl and lie down comfortably. If your not sure, most dog crates come with recommendation on size. If you are getting a large breed puppy, such as a german shepherd, get a large dog crate based on the grown size of your dog and use a divider down the middle to make it smaller during the puppy months.

Next how to use your puppy's crate. Try to buy a puppy on a Saturday morning and plan to have the weekend at home introducing your puppy to the house. On the friday night buy a crate, warm bedding, food and water bowls, some toys and a lot of newspaper for accidents. When you get your puppy resist the urge to play with it right away. When you get home pop your puppy in the crate for an hour and let it settle in (make sure there is always water in the crate). After an hour take you puppy out an play for half an hour with ONE of the toys, before the puppy gets too tired pop him back to bed in the crate, let him rest for an hour or two and repeat the process. The same process is used at meal times, take puppy out, play for 15 minutes with ONE toy, feed the puppy, put puppy in the place you want him to toilet, praise the puppy for going to the toilet there and replace puppy in the cage. Finally it is important to take your puppy out of the crate only when it is quite and relaxed, and if it is being rowdy ignore it until it has settled down. If you start taking it out when it is jumping and barking you are telling your puppy if it wants something it needs to make a lot of noise.

You are probably think at this point why do all of this crate training, can't my puppy run free? This process is showing your puppy YOU are the boss, YOU choose when to play, YOU choose when to eat and YOU choose when to rest. By showing you are the boss you will avoid possible dominance aggression later in your dogs life and when your dog knows you are the boss dog training becomes a lot easier.

To recap, get your puppy supplies on a Friday night, bring home your puppy on a Saturday morning so you can spend two days with it before going back to work. Make sure everything your new puppy does is on your terms, and finally enjoy the well adjusted puppy you have created later in life!

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