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Crate or Play Pen Training

A chihuahua dog sleeping in her crate

Crate or play pen training

A crate, indoor kennel or puppy pen can be a really helpful piece of equipment when training your puppy. Whilst many people don’t like the idea of crates as they believe it is wrong to put a dog in a cage, if you think of the crate like you would a child’s playpen you may have a better appreciation of its potential use.

Firstly, the crate must always be a positive and comfortable place for your puppy to spend time in. Not only should it contain a comfy bed but also lots of fun toys and tasty chew items. Your puppy should be introduced to the crate gradually and encouraged rather than forced to use it. Once they get the idea that it is a fun place to be, you can put your puppy in there for short periods throughout the day. For instance:

You should never use the crate as a punishment, or your puppy will become confused and not enjoy spending time in there. This will mean they will be less likely to settle when you try and leave them. That said, once your puppy is comfortable with their crate or play pen as a sleeping area, this can be really helpful for house training.

Fiona Whelan ~ Pet Behaviourist

Fiona has been working at the Training and Behaviour Centre as a behaviour specialist since 2002, and previously ran her own training and behaviour establishment in Lincolnshire for seven years so has a wealth of experience as a behaviour counsellor.