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Crate and Potty Training

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The most wonderful tool available for helping you train your puppy is a crate. Think of it as your puppy’s safe haven and den, a place where you can know with complete certainty that he feels safe. After all Canines are den animals.

PRINCIPLE: Crate training works on the principle that the puppy does not like to soil where they sleep. If the crate gives your puppy just enough space to sleep comfortably, he probably will not want to use the crate as a potty area. That means that when you cannot directly supervise your puppy you can keep him in his crate, knowing that he will instinctively control himself when in the crate – as long as you do not leave him in there longer than his little puppy bladder can handle!

If you leave a puppy in a crate for more than a couple of hours at a time, you are setting him up for failure. If you take him out often you will give him the opportunity to get it right. That is the GOAL!!!

If you take him out on a regular schedule (this will be discussed under House-Training), you will have even better success.

 When purchasing a crate there are two things to consider.

  1. The ultimate size of your dog. Our Standard Poodles tend to range from 45 to 55 pounds and stand 22 to 25 inches high at the shoulder.
  2. Unless you are going to be buying different crate sizes as the puppy grows, it is best to buy a crate with a divider. ( My recommendation is that you look at www.petstreetmall.com or www.chewy.com. The Midwest iCrate, 42”L x 28”W x 30”H, with double doors. They come with a divider.)

Your puppy has already been introduced to the crate. So Crate Training should begin immediately upon your arrival home. Once your puppy accepts the crate as its ‘den’, you will have few problems getting the puppy to enter the crate or stay in it for several hours (as it grows older). There are numerous training aids which provide guidance in this area. However, since it is important to begin a training routine immediately, the following basic tips will give you a start:

  • Never push or shove your puppy into the crate
  • Never use the crate as a means of punishment
  • Coax your puppy in with toys or a treat
  • Reward your puppy with lots of praise and another treat

Also note:

  • Do not leave your new puppy alone in the crate for more than 2 or 3 hours during the day. Your puppy will need to relieve itself often. Because they do not naturally like to soil their sleeping area this works in your favor for potty training. They will whine or bark so you can quickly take them outside. In this way the puppy learns to tell you when it needs to go outside and you should show your approval.
  • This may be a little challenging at first when the puppy seems to whine to want out of the crate. You have to set the pace as to what whine or bark you will accept. Do not give in to every whine or bark. If you wish the communication to say ‘I need to go potty’, then make sure you take your puppy outside in conjunction with his whine or bark.
  • If possible place the crate in your bedroom at night until your puppy feels secure. This also allows for you to hear its whine when it needs to go outside to potty.
  • Use old towels or blankets for bedding to begin with. For the first few nights placing something of yours with your scent on it will help your puppy feel more comfortable and secure. Soon your puppy will be sleeping through the night. You establish the times for going to sleep and waking up. Be consistent. Thereafter do not place anything in the crate until his potty training is well under way. The idea here is that if your puppy has an accident he will be wet and uncomfortable until you come to rescue him. When your puppy is dry and clean for two weeks straight then you can try giving him a towel and see how he does.
  • When possible leave the door open during the daytime in a restricted area so that the puppy can go in and out at will.The crate is not only used to help you house-break your puppy but also to help you establish yourself as leader and set clear limits for your young puppy. A puppy that is not crated gets into lots of expensive trouble before he is full grown. Dogs do not suddenly outgrow destructive chewing and getting into things, so it is best that they never learn that they can chew or destroy furniture or other valuables.

More helpful hints:

  • The rule for puppies between seven to fourteen weeks old is that they are in their crate more than they are out. When they are out they are confined to a puppy-proof area and under close supervision. If no one is available to watch, the puppy does not receive freedom. Remember, your puppy is a baby and also needs a lot of sleep and down time. When he is out of his crate he is usually in overdrive, playing hard.
  • After about fourteen weeks you can start to be a little less vigilant and see how it goes. If your puppy is getting into trouble back up and limit his time out to supervision time only. Gradually work toward having your puppy out for longer and longer periods of time without him getting into trouble. Also, do not give him the run of the house. Start in a small area and as he earns your trust widen the area he is allowed to be in.
  • As he gets close to a year old you can gradually leave your puppy out longer while you are home with less supervision. However, make sure you check on him frequently to be sure that he is not getting into trouble. Crate him when you leave the house, at least for the first eighteen to twenty-four months of his life. Remember, he is not considered full grown until he is two years old.
  • When your Poodle has proven that he is trustworthy while you are home, you can then allow him out of his crate while you are out. Start with short periods of time. Eventually, when he can handle small amounts of time, you can extend his free times to longer and longer periods, until he can be home alone several hours of the day.

IMPORTANT NOTES:

  1. Though it will break your heart at first to hear your puppy cry in a crate, it is essential that you do not give in and take the puppy into bed with you. To prevent future behavior problems by giving privileges too soon, your puppy should sleep in a crate from day one. The crate can be in your room, but your puppy should not be allowed to sleep with you.
  2. Using a crate is an excellent way to ensure that your puppy will not destroy something valuable. Be sure also to have lots of hard chew toys available for him to chew on.
  3. Dogs that are given too much freedom too soon are bound to get into trouble and learn to be destructive. Many behaviorists and dog trainers agree that separation anxiety can be triggered by failing to set boundaries and limit freedom when a dog is young. A young dog that does not get too much freedom too soon can learn to be alone without becoming destructive.
Before we go any further we want you to know that the training of your puppy has already started. The mother of the puppies start training her babies right away. It is a delight to watch her gentle but firm ways. One thing she teaches them is about keeping there eating and sleeping areas clean. In order for her to do this successfully the Breeder has the whelping/weaning area set in a way to aid in her natural training process.
We have bought puppies from Breeders where right away we can tell that they did not have their whelping/weaning area set up correctly. The result was that it took us several months, instead of several days, to train the puppy to go potty outside and not to soil it’s sleeping area.
Here at Poodle Mojo we aid the mother in the natural training process and then we continue the process so your puppy comes to you already potty and crate trained. It is up to you to know how and to continue in their training.
Remember…

In order to house train your puppy successfully you must crate train your puppy. If you are buying your puppy from us it will have already been introduced to the crate. Yes, we have heard some people say that a crate is cruel. Well, these people think dogs are people instead of canines. Dogs are den creatures. They like a safe place to be able to go to. They also like their own place. If you have to relate in people terms, well then, you have a house and you have a bedroom. Some of you also have your favorite chair.

The first training priority for most new puppy owners is house-training. This is definitely job number one for any puppies living with humans. Puppies don’t come to you understanding that you care one way or another where they relieve themselves. But obviously you do care, so the whole point of house-training is to communicate to your puppy where and when you would prefer that he “do his business.” Your puppy does not want to do things to make you angry or stain your carpet, but when a puppy has to go, a puppy has to go. Therefore, the key to this process is to reward your puppy when he does what you want, and to keep him from ever making a mistake.

Supervision is the KEY in this process. Young puppies do certain things when they are getting ready to relieve themselves. Typically, they begin to sniff the ground while moving constantly, sometimes in a circle, looking for a good spot.

Until your puppy is well trained, go outside with him. This not only keeps him/her company, but allows you to praise him immediately when he relieves himself in the right spot. The right spot should be a spot that you always take him to until he can go out by himself.

The Schedule

The most effective house-training is a combination of crate training and schedule feeding and potty training. And remember consistency is the key to success.
Here is an example of a potty schedule for an 8 week old puppy:

  • 6:00am – Potty
  • 
6:30am – Feed
  • 6:45am – Potty
  • 
8:00am – Potty
  • 10:00am – Potty
  • 12:00pm – Potty
  • 2:00pm – Potty
  • 
4:00pm – Potty
  • 
4:30pm – Feed
  • 
4:45pm – Potty
  • 6:00pm – Potty
  • 8:00pm – Potty
  • 10:00pm – Potty
  • 12:00am – Potty

Here is an example of a potty schedule for a 12 week old puppy

  • :6:00am – Potty
  • 
6:30am – Feed
  • 6:45am – Potty
  • 12:00pm – Potty
  • 4:00pm – Potty
  • 
4:30pm – Feed
  • 4:45pm – Potty
  • 
6:00pm – Potty
  • 10:00pm – Potty

Here is an example of a potty schedule for a 6 month old puppy:

  • 6:00am – Potty
  • 
6:30am – Feed
  • 6:45am – Potty
  • 12:00pm – Potty
  • 5:00pm – Potty
  • 5:30pm – Feed
  • 6:00pm – Potty
  • 10:00pm – Potty

Here at Poodle Mojo we start your puppy on a crate, feeding and potty training from 4 weeks on. All you have to do is continue their training.

Chewing

Another aspect of house-training is making sure that your puppy does not chew what you do not what him to chew, or he does not chew things, like wires, that will hurt, make him sick or even kill him. Puppies are curious, and if left unattended they may very well find things that will not be for their own good. T

hus if your puppy is crate trained you will have a safe place to put him when you are not able to give him your full attention. Make sure that you provide plenty of SAFE chew toys for him. For in the crate the chew toys should not be ones that they can chew of pieces, but rather hard chew toys that will entertain them for hours. Nylabone is our choice.