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Crate Training

The crate is a natural way to train your puppy.  It approximates a den.  It will become your pup's safe place if used correctly.  Have the crate in a "people area" of your house during the day and in your bedroom at night.  Encourage the puppy to enter the crate with food treats or a toy.  Feed your puppy in the crate.  Leave the crate door open.  Let the puppy come right out again.  Do this many times a day for several days until the puppy does not hesitate to go into the crate. 

The next stage:  Encourage the pup to enter the crate, give a treat, shut the door, but stay close.  Praise; reward with food treats if the puppy is quiet.  If it is noisy, wait until it is quiet to praise and reward.  Gradually increase the length of time the pup is in the crate.  If the puppy is quiet and settled, or comfortably chewing on a toy (a safe toy), leave the room.  When you can leave the room, begin leaving the house, gradually increasing the time the pup is left alone.  Remember - never let the pup out of the crate if it is barking or whining, wait until it is quiet.  Never use the crate as punishment.  Always make it a positive experience. 

Rule Of Thumb:  for every month of the puppy's age, it can be in the crate for 1 hour (Maximum 4 hours).