Sunday, March 2, 2014

Crate Training VS Long Term Confinement Space

This is the 2nd episode in my Puppy Training Series be sure to of watched the first episode because that one is about Potty Training

You’re going to be comparing your dog baby to a human baby for a little bit right now.

Think of the crate as your dog’s crib. Naps, sleeping at night, but it’s also a space to put your dog in to help with potty training which I’m about to explain how that works so don’t be clicking elsewhere. Pay attention.

You want to create a small space in your crate with dividers, explained in my crate training episode, to make sure your dog feel the need to hold it’s bowels. When the space is too small to go to the bathroom because your dog doesn’t really want to hang out with it’s feces and urine you’re doing a good job. I personally think it’s pretty torturous to keep your dog locked in a crate for an extended amount of time if it doesn’t have to. Think of a crate like this. For human babies they have a diaper and they just go as they please. That’s another video I don’t know how to help you there. Your dog is naked and they can go freely on your floor wherever and whenever. If the dog can get away from it’s bowels it’s not going to be extremely worried about pooping somewhere. However if the dog is going to be standing in the feces it’s not going to want to go to the bathroom. It will hold it’s bowels until it’s in a space where they feel they can designate that as a bathroom. Your dog is a clean animal it doesn’t want to just poop everywhere, it wants order and it wants to go where it’s supposed to I promise. You have to create that for the dog. If the dog can just freely poop in your house and expect you to pick it up then that teaches the dog it can just go wherever and it’s promised it will be picked up and cleaned by you. That’s great I might as well come over to your house too and poop everywhere. 
That is exactly how crate training helps with potty training. Now that you have a place to put your dog where you know they won’t go to the bathroom take those potty training tips I taught you in the previous episode mash them together and come out with a potty trained dog!

Puppies have a lot of energy and require a lot of attention. Always remember; the age of your puppy in months is the maximum amount of time they should spend in a crate. 1 month = 1 hour max. 2 months = 2 hours and so on. But remember that NO dog should be left in a crate longer than 6-8 hours. 

So after I tell people about the crate they tend to get sad and say they don’t want to put their dog in a crate all dog for potty training or when they’re not watching them. I agree! So this is why I also like to set up a Long Term Confinement Space for your puppy.

A long term confinement space is a gated pen, or a small place such as a kitchen blocked off with a baby gate. Think of the long term confinement space as your dog’s play pen.  A place that is safe for your dog without letting them have full reign of the house. Because remember we want to introduce everything slowly. If you’ve watched my puppy proofing episodes you’ll know this. I would use a LTC space when you’re home and unable to monitor the dog carefully or when you’re not home and will be too long for your dog’s crate time limit.

There are times in our lives that we have to be away from our dogs for more than 6-8 hours, for this I would call for a long term confinement space. The reason for a long term confinement space is to puppy proof an area that is safe for your dog and your belongings. 

If your dog isn’t fully potty trained yet but you have to leave for more than six hours well…looks like you’re going to be having some accidents because it just isn’t fair for your dog to spend that long in a crate. They will probably have an accident in the crate anyways being in it that long which we do not want to happen. You never want to push your dog so far that they have an accident in their crate. If they’re easily having accidents in the crate it’s not small enough or you’ve abused the crate too often. 

So remember we have a potty schedule log set up, we’re using the crates for sleeping/quiet time with a chew while we may need to have our bathroom break soon, and we’re using the long term confinement space for when our puppy’s bladder is empty/they don’t need to poop and it’s time for some play time while you cook dinner or watch your favorite TV show. Puppy can enjoy learning to be by themselves and find something fun to do with their chews and toys. This is also a great place to learn some independent with, because you don’t want the dog thinking it can always be with you. Otherwise you’re going to get separation anxiety when you leave them alone. 

Here’s a resolution however IF you’re one of these people that are away from their dog far too often and that is dog day care.

Dog day cares are great especially for puppies!!! It gives them a place to get their energy out, socialize with other dogs which is extremely important while they’re young, and a place to work on their potty training. A lot of dog day cares will work with you to help teach the dog to be potty trained but then again some do not because they allow the dogs to pee and poop whenever they please. Do your research and try to find the best dog day care that fit’s your needs. Teaching your dog to use fake grass will help in some cases where they use it at the dog day care. 

Now don’t get too excited yet. Most dog day cares require for your puppy to have at least two or three sets of vaccinations and for them to be spay/neutered. A dog walker or more time with your dog may be needed to accommodate until they’re old enough to go to dog day care. 

Even if you are with your puppy constantly I still suggest dog day care to get your dog the socialization it needs with other dogs. But before your dog goes to dog day care take a puppy class that has puppy socialization time so your dog can learn to socialize while doing it with other puppies. Plus you get to hang out with a dog trainer one on one and learn from them as well.

Written by Faris Jaclyn
© Faris Jaclyn I Littlest Pet Shop Photography

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