How to House Train a Dog Using a Crate

To house train a dog, owners often need aides to get the best result. The most common training aid is a crate.

Selecting a Crate for Dog Training

The crate you choose should be just big enough for your puppy to stand, turn around and lie down. If it's any bigger, he can find a place to relieve himself. Thus, if you would like to purchase a larger crate for him to grow into, select a partition so the crate can grow as he does.

For house training purposes, it doesn't matter which type of crate you use. As long as it is appropriately sized, any type of crate is effective.

Preventing House Training Mistakes

Puppies are not born knowing where we want them to eliminate. Thus, they learn they can eliminate anywhere if given the option. However, if they aren't given the option to eliminate in the house, they never learn that they can.

To ensure that this happens, put your puppy on a set schedule. Feed and exercise at similar times each day so your puppy will relieve himself at similar times.

Keep track of how often your puppy needs to go and when he usually does his business. This will help you set a routine.

For example, if your puppy can hold it for an hour, take your puppy outside and give him the chance to go. Lead him to the door on a leash. Don't carry him. If you carry him, he learns to beg at your feet rather than the door.

If he relieves himself, reward him with praise, a treat and a walk or game. If not, bring him back in the house. During this time, you have to supervise your puppy constantly. If you see him sniffing or circling, rush him to the door. It often helps to leave the leash on at all times.

Repeat each hour (or however often your puppy needs to go.)

Using the Crate for Dog Training

If your puppy does not relieve himself when outside, bring him inside and put him in his crate. Leave him in the crate for as long as you would like up to a half hour. Then, take him outside again.

If he relieves himself, you can leave him loose in the house, as long as you can supervise him. If he doesn't, put him back in the crate.

Your puppy should be in the crate or an X-pen whenever you can't supervise him. If you aren't paying attention, he could make a mistake. It's safer to leave him in his crate. Just make sure that your puppy is given plenty of time to interact with you, play games and go on walks so all his needs are being met.

When Not to Use the Crate

You should not leave your puppy in the crate longer than he can hold it. Thus, if he can only hold it an hour during the day (night time doesn't count), he shouldn't be in the crate longer than an hour.

If you are going to be gone for longer, set up a small room or an X-pen where your puppy can have his bed as well as an elimination area in case he needs to go.

If you follow these steps, your puppy should be house trained in no time. As he gets older, gradually give him more freedom. If he makes a mistake, go back to your protocol for a few more weeks until he's ready for another chance.