Be sure to understand
the difference between temporarily confining your dog
to a crate and long term confinement when you are not
home. The major purpose of confinement when your are
not home is to restrict mistakes to a small protected
The purpose of crate training is quite the opposite.
Short term confinement to a crate is intended to inhibit
your dog from eliminating when confined, so that she
will want to eliminate when released from confinement
and taken to an appropriate area. Crate training also
helps teach your dog to have bladder and bowel control.
Instead of going whenever she feels like it, she learns
to hold it and go at convenient scheduled times.
Crate training should not be abused, otherwise the
problem will get drastically worse. The crate is not
intended as a place to lock up the dog and forget
her for extended periods of time. If your dog soils
her crate because you left her there too long, the
house training process will be set back several weeks,
if not months.
Your dog should only be confined to a crate when
you are at home. Except at night, give your dog an
opportunity to relieve herself every hour. Each time
you let her out, put her on leash and immediately
take her outside. Once outside, give her about three
to five minutes to produce. If she does not eliminate
within the allotted time period, simply return her
to her crate.
If she does perform, then immediately reward her
with praise, food treats, affection, play, an extended
walk and permission to run around and play in your
house for a couple of hours. For young pups, after
45 minutes to an hour, take her to her toilet area
again. Never give your dog free run of your home unless
you know without a doubt that her bowels and bladder
During this crate training procedure, keep a diary
of when your dog eliminates. If you have her on a
regular feeding schedule, she should soon adopt a
corresponding elimination schedule. Once you know
what time of day she usually needs to eliminate, you
can begin taking her out only at those times instead
of every hour. After she has eliminated, she can have
free, but supervised, run of your house.
About one hour before she needs to eliminate (as
calculated by your diary) put her in her crate. This
will prevent her from going earlier than you had planned.
With your consistency and abundance of rewards and
praise for eliminating outside, she will become more
reliable about holding it until you take her out.
Then the amount of time you confine her before her
scheduled outing can be reduced, then eliminated.
Mistakes and Accidents During Training
If you ever find an accident in the house, just clean
it up. Do not punish your dog. All this means is that
you have given her unsupervised access to your house
too soon. Until she can be trusted, don't give her
unsupervised free run of your house. If mistakes and
accidents occur, it is best to go back to the crate
training. You need to more accurately predict when
your dog needs to eliminate and she needs more time
to develop bladder and bowel control.