BeaBently 5403One of the often asked questions that come up for someone with a new puppy is.  "Do you have any crate training pointers to make this part of crate training a puppy less stressful?  We know that when done correctly this is a happy experience."  First, we suggest that it may be helpful to explain that even humans want a little privacy and most enjoy a den of their own. We call them bedrooms, dens, man-rooms, craft rooms, media rooms, garages. But whatever we call them they are places for relaxing, taking time for ourselves, reading, watching the game, tinkering on the auto, resting, working with our hobbies. Rooms that give us humans a sense of comfort and safety.


IMG 8647

 Crate training is a big favor you can do for your new dog. It is his safe haven from the world. It is his bedroom. From his crate he gets used to new sights, sounds, and people without feeling pressured to react. A crate relieves him of all that responsibility and of the opportunity to destroy the house. Their bedroom is where a dog will want to go when they are feeling overwhelmed by all of the noise and activity of their family. Many of our Bostons enjoy corners of a favorite chair under a blanket, and of course in our beds under the covers. So, there is nothing unusual for a Boston wanting a quiet safe room of their own. And that is what a crate should be. 

Nothing is more important than starting a young Boston's training experience on the right paw. There is, of course, many points of view on crating, and we understand that. However, we feel that it is so important that every dog is crate trained when young, even if they seldom are required to be crated. We want our dogs to be able to be, if not happy, then at least not terrified when they are crated. Consider where they will be when they need to be boarded, when they visit the vet over night, or when they travel. Because life is so full of the unexpected, we highly suggest this should just be part of their training.



klack 3987Take a potty break first.
Make sure Sam has been outside to 'do his business' before you crate him, even for short periods. This way when he starts fussing right away you know he doesn't have an urgent need to 'go' and cuts down on the chances he'll eliminate in the crate, which defeats the purpose of crate training as an aid to housebreaking. When you think Sam is ready to spend some time with the door closed, start with very short periods and work up. Here are some more rules of crate training and a couple of pointers to make this part of crate training a puppy a bit less stressful for you both:


Put his favorite toy in with him.
It's a good idea to have a special toy for Sam to play with only when he's in his crate. Make sure it is something he really likes and is safe (no loose parts etc.). It will stave off boredom and help him forget he's not outside running around. If you have an old blanket or something similar like an old unwashed t-shirt that you do not mind getting ruined (it's possible it'll get peed on, pooped on or chewed beyond recognition), you could put that in the crate also. Sam will feel happier and be reassured if he can 'smell' you right next to him.

Do not shut him in and then leave the room.
Young puppies want to be with their people at all times. If you disappear from sight he will be scared, and you do not want him to make those kinds of associations with his crate.

Ignore initial 'fussing'.
Almost all puppies will fuss and cry the first few times they are confined to their crates. Remember, they want to be right next to you at all times. If you take little Sam out as soon he starts whining, We can guarantee he'll whine even louder and longer next time. Anyone who has raised children will know all about this phenomenon! Stay close by but ignore the racket and do not make eye contact.
There is one caveat here. Occasionally you will find a puppy that is particularly highly-strung and nervous who may suffer from severe separation anxiety when put in his crate.
If your puppy appears 'hysterical' (whining, barking, scratching, throwing himself around, has a bowel movement or is panting heavily) it's best to let him out and consult your veterinarian or an experienced dog trainer for advice on how best to handle that. It may be that he has a tendency towards anxious behavior, such as separation anxiety.
However, do not be fooled too easily. Sam may act like a crazy dog for a few minutes, but then settle Klick 3945down to the occasional whine. If he is generally not an anxious, highly nervous dog, he's unlikely to develop raging anxiety issues because of his crate.

Wait for quiet before letting him out. Whether your puppy is in his crate for 5 minutes or 30, never open the door and let him out while he's crying and complaining. Wait for a lull first, or he will think he is getting out because he is making such a fuss.
A comfortable dog crate can be the dog's private room and the owner's best friend. Appropriate use of a crate is a great aid to housebreaking, prevention of chewing and other destructive behavior, and a source of security to a dog who might otherwise suffer separation anxiety when left home alone; with some comfortable padding on the floor suits Boston's well.


A Blessing for foster homes.

Many foster homes crate-train most rescue dogs as soon as they enter the house, initially crating them (i.e. closing the dog into the crate) at night, feeding them in the crate, and crating them when they are left home alone. Once the dog has adjusted well to being a house dog, the crate is simply made available with door left open for dog to use at will. Many make frequent use of it for a private nap. Dogs love small, dark, enclosed places to be used as a "den", i.e. a private sleeping place. To a dog, a crate is a cherished private space, not a jail. A similar result may be achieved by "dog proofing" (clearing out dangerous or destructible items) one room of the house, so the dog may be confined there when necessary. A dog proof room is not as powerfully relaxing as a crate, but it is often preferable to giving the dog free run of the house.


Alone and restless, how could you leave me!
If your new dog will be left alone for several hours every day, start crate training now, even if you are just in the next room or in the house while he is out in the back yard. He needs to learn he has to spend time without you. A dog that gets constant attention and then is suddenly left alone for eight hours may bark, chew, or develop other behavior problems due to separation anxiety. When your dog is demanding attention, restless or feeling need, and you're busy, there are things you can do. Just because your dog is demanding attention, does not mean that he is always going to get it. Remember: You are the Alpha dog. You can put the dog in the kennel/crate.

Crate training method: 
If they decide to act up while in the crate, say not a word... instead use a crate cover or item that you wear and place it over his crate. That way the room darkens for him and he has an owner's scent from the cover to console him. Now when he goes in his cage, tell him it is bedtime... he will learn to curl up on his pillow before you even get the door closed for the night.


What size should the crate be?

mommy 9162


Do not crate your dog in an undersized crate!

So what size crate do you need?

We have a chart that will help you with selecting the correct size.




Introducing the crate:
When you're crate training a puppy it makes the whole process a bit easier if you let little Sam get used to the crate, and feel comfortable around it, before he has to spend much time actually inside the crate.
Something worth mentioning here is that you should never use the crate as punishment. Sam needs to think of his crate as a safe, happy place where he gets the chance to chew on his very favorite toys! Putting him in his crate as a punishment or when you are angry with him will undo all the hard work you invested in the first place.
Open access
When you begin crate training a puppy, leave the crate door open and throw some tasty treats inside, all the way to the back. Puppy curiosity will get the better of your little fur ball eventually and he will venture inside to claim them.
Feed him inside
Give Sam his meals inside the crate (with the door open). This way he learns to associate one of his favorite things (food!) with his crate. If he seems scared at first try feeding him right outside the crate door a couple of times then try it inside again.
IMG 7331Play Hide & Seek
Make crate training fun for the puppy by playing this game. Put a tasty treat or special toy inside his crate and then encourage Sam to 'find it." Using a happy, friendly voice say something along the lines of "where's your goodie? Let's find it?” Follow the search with praise, such as "Oh, there it is. It is in your crate (or bed, house, whatever you want to call it). What a good boy, you found it!"

I Want My Den!

Confine your dog to a crate or a kennel when you can't supervise him. Dogs are "den animals." They derive a sense of security and well being when they're confined to a small, enclosed area. Think of a kennel in the same way you'd think of a baby's play pen or crib: If your dog isn't old enough (or responsible enough) to be left unsupervised-- then put him in the crate.