Crates when used appropriately are safe and welcome spaces for your ween. Like a bedroom for a child, the crate often becomes a place of refuge when your ween is feeling stressed and needs a break. They are also excellent tools for house breaking or to help teething meeps stay out of trouble. Here we would like to share our ideas about crate training so that you and your ween can use the crate to your advantage.
1) Start early:
In order to create positive associations with the crate we recommend starting when meeps are still young and adjusting to their new environment. If you offer treats when they enter and exit then your meep will show excitement when presented with the crate instead of reluctance or fear. Do not use the crate as a form of punishment when your ween makes a mistake.
2) Get the right size:
The crate should be large enough that your ween can sleep comfortably. Larger crates will offer room to pee in the corner which you want to avoid. With meeps expect to get a small crate and upgrade in size as they get older.
3) Length of time inside:
A rule of thumb for meeps is to use their age in months as a maximum number of hours left in a crate without a break. Their bladder and bowl control improves as they age. If you are working and not able to offer your meep a pee break at an appropriate time then we would recommend you find a dog walker to help for the first few months. Investing the time in at an early age will have huge long term benefits. Cutting down your house breaking time in a big way. Improperly managed, a dachshund can take years to house break. It's totally worth the extra effort in the first 6 to 12 months. Check out our HOUSE BREAKING blog for more suggestions.
If you are using the crate for an extended period of time, make sure to offer your dog a walk or exercise before and after the crate. If you're feeding your dog before a long crate stay we suggest giving them 30 minutes to digest before a final pee break. This will help limit mistakes made in the crate.
4) The crate is not a cure-all:
Crate time is a tool in your arsenal, not a cure all. Use crate time to help your ween succeed with things like house breaking and destructive behaviour. However you also need to include lots of time-in with your dog. Actively teaching them the ins and outs of life at home. As your ween gets older you can experiment with more time out of the crate and see how they do.
Managing your dog wisely sets them up for success. Fewer mistakes made early on will help to shorten the training process for you both!