How do I crate train a puppy?
Crate training is a way to housebreak your puppy so that as a dog it won't urinate and defecate wherever and whenever it pleases. Basically, you're using a crate as a place of confinement. It's not a form of punishment - when dogs are confined, they do not want to use the restroom. They have a strong instinct not to do it in such close quarters.
The point of putting them in the crate is to force them to learn bladder control. They have to hold it in for awhile instead of just going whenever they need to. You don't put them in there for long periods, but you do try to establish a routine schedule in which the puppy will be forced to hold it for awhile and then is taken out of the crate, immediately put on a leash, and taken outside to do its business at the same time every day.
You should also make sure the feeding schedule is just as regular. In short, you'll be feeding the puppy, then putting it in a crate for 15 minutes to half an hour (it varies, but that's roughly the amount of time it will take the puppy to want to use the toilet). After that period, you take the puppy outside to the same spot every day and wait until it uses the toilet. When it does, praise it and give it a treat.
There are some good resources you can get that will describe the method in more detail.
Quick and Easy Crate Training is a 60 page guide that only costs $5.
It was written by several leading dog trainers and goes through the entire process in more detail.
You can also get Puppy Training here online, a longer guide that walks you through the entire training process of the first 8 weeks of having a puppy. It doesn't just have info on crate training a puppy, but will go step by step through everything you need to do in general to raise a well developed puppy.
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