Why Crate Training is an Important Part of Labrador Puppy Training
Congratulations on adding a Labrador to your family, now the Labrador puppy training must begin. You may have heard that Labradors are more difficult to train than other dogs, but this is not necessarily true. Of course, each dog is different, so you may have a harder time training your new puppy than you have had with dogs in the past, but that is not because of the breed as much as it is because of the dog’s personality.
Obviously, one of the most important parts of Labrador puppy training is teaching him where he should – and should not – go to the bathroom. There is, however, another part of training that is just as important and will continue to be important throughout the dog’s life.
Crate training is a very important part of your Labrador puppy training. Even if you do not plan to use the crate on a regular basis, you must take the time to crate your dog for many reasons. First, it will help in the initial process of housebreaking your dog. Later in life, this training will be needed should you stay at a hotel that requires dogs be crated, or if you ever have to board your dog.
Many kennels may involve the dog spending part of the day in a crate. If he is crate trained, this will be far less stressful for him. There are many situations that may cause your dog to need to be crated for a time. By failing to properly crate train your dog, you will be making these situations extremely stressful for your pet. Below are some tips for Labrador puppy training to teach him to like his crate.
You want to choose a crate that is neither too large nor too small. There are crates that come with dividers that are perfect. You can use the divider while he is small, and then remove it when he grows. This will eliminate the need to buy two separate crates.
The dog should be able to stand and turn in the crate. If he cannot, it is too small.
Many people make the mistake of tossing their dog in the crate and locking the door. When the dog begins to whine, they leave him in there for a while and then open the door. Others use the crate for punishment. All of that is wrong, and will make the dog avoid and fear the crate. Instead, you want the dog to look at the crate as a positive and safe place. When you bring the crate home, set it in the corner of a well used room in your home. Leave the door to the crate open. Start setting treats near the door to the crate. Slowly, over a period of time, begin to move the treats further and further inside the crate. When your puppy goes in the crate to get the treat, don’t close the door at first. That will come in the next step.
Closing the Door
After the Labrador puppy training has been going on for a bit, and your dog seems comfortable with the crate, you can try closing the door. When he goes in to take his treat, shut the door, but do not step out of the room. Then, you can try closing the door and leaving the room for a while. Slowly increase the time that you leave the dog in the crate.
Do not rush the process. It can take several weeks to properly crate train a dog. By trying to rush things, you can actually slow down this training.
Just be patient and this part of your Labrador puppy training will pay off in a myriad of ways.