Crate training is an important skill that all pet owners should teach their pets. A crate is an essential tool in the housetraining process. It can also be used to keep your pet and property safe. Crates are also a great way to transport your Labradoodle in the car.
As den animals, dogs generally like having an area that is all theirs, but that doesn’t mean that your puppy will automatically enjoy spending time in his crate. All Notch Hill Labradoodle puppies are introduced to crate training in a positive way before being sent to their new homes. If you continue to follow the below tips, your puppy will learn to love his crate.
Introducing the Crate
When introducing the crate to your new puppy, don’t lock him inside immediately. Instead, place the crate in an area of the house where your puppy spends a lot of his time. Put a few blankets and toys inside and leave the door open. The goal is to get him comfortable with going inside the crate. Do not close the crate door for the first time until he is completely relaxed. Crates should never be used as punishment.
Feeding Your Puppy in the Crate
When your puppy is happily entering the crate, your next goal is to get him comfortable with the idea of staying inside the crate for a longer period of time. One of the best ways to accomplish this is giving your Labradoodle his meals inside the crate. Place the food in the back of the crate so that he goes all the way in, but keep the door open. This creates a positive association with the crate.
Closing the Crate Door
As soon as your Labradoodle is comfortably eating his meals inside the crate, it’s time to close the door. After he is done eating, open the door immediately. Then you can start leaving him in the crate for longer periods, adding a few minutes with each meal. When he can stay in the crate for about 30 minutes, you can begin leaving him crated while you’re gone for short periods. This process can take several days or weeks.
Crating Duration Guidelines
During the day, puppies and adult Labradoodles should not be in the crate for more than 5 hours at a time. When putting your Labradoodle in a crate for more than 2 hours, it’s best to provide water by attaching a bowl or dispenser to the crate. Follow these daytime guidelines to avoid potential problems:
9-10 Weeks Approx. 30-60 minutes
11-14 Weeks Approx. 1-3 hours
15-16 Weeks Approx. 3-4 hours
17 + Weeks Approx. 4+ (6 hours maximum)
Don't ever leave a chain, prong, training, or slip collar on your Labradoodle when you put him in his crate. Give your puppy the opportunity to fully eliminate before being crated. Puppies do not like to soil their sleeping quarters if given adequate opportunity to eliminate elsewhere. Most adult dogs can stay in a crate for the entire night without a trip outside. However, young puppies and some old dogs cannot physically hold their bladders and bowels through the night.
If you have questions about the crate training process, don’t hesitate to contact us!