Housebreaking is not the only objective of Golden Retriever crate training. There are multiple benefits of using a crate. It helps your dog learn the basics of house rule, keep a puppy safe, and play a part in obedience training. However, there are some essentials of crate training and every Golden Retriever owner must be aware of it.
Golden Retriever Crate Training: Finding the Right Crate
Purchase a crate as soon as you bring home a Golden Retriever puppy. However, you must pay attention to a number of factors while buying a crate. The size of your dog should top the list. The crate must be comfortable enough to house your puppy and his food bowl. It should not pose any threat of injury. The crate must allow the dog to stretch out, stand, or turn around without hitting the walls.
While it should be spacious, the crate must not be too large. If it is very big, the crate may lose its den-like appeal for the dog. Your puppy may also use its different parts for various purposes – one part as the bedroom and the other as a toilet – defeating your housetraining objective.
Golden Retriever Crate Training: The Placement
A young puppy loves to live with the family members than in isolation. So, place the crate in a room where your family members spend most of their time. Ensure it remains away from direct sunlight, electric wiring, cold winds, and secure from other animals.
The crate should include comfortable bedding, a food bowl, and toys for your puppy. It should be clean, comfortable, and fun for your puppy to stay in the crate. However, ensure that there is no choking hazard in the crate. Remove the leash and collar of your pet before putting him into the crate.
Golden Retriever Crate Training: Develop Habits
Your Golden Retriever crate training must focus on developing good habits in your dog. Goldens are playful dogs with high energy and do not like to be confined. They may feel constrained when put in the crate. So, make it a practice to exercise your dog a bit before crating him. Exercise provides him with mental and physical stimulation, ensuring that your puppy has no pent-up energy and that he is happy to rest in his den quietly. This also inhibits the feelings of isolation, loneliness, and boredom in your dog.
Also, take your dog outdoors to pee or poo prior to crating him. Puppies have small bladders and they need to go outside in every few hours. A relieved dog remains more relaxed and quiet inside the crate.
Golden Retriever Crate Training: Avoid Isolation
Make sure your Golden Retriever crate training does not convey a sense of isolation, restriction, or limitation to your dog. He must have a positive experience with the crate.
Goldens are highly social in nature and you must avoid any instance that forces them to associate his crate with punishment. Avoid crating your dog just before you are to leave your home. Else, he may start associating crate with impending isolation. Similarly, avoid crating when they engage in any mischievous activity. This may give rise to negative emotions, including separation anxiety, and they begin to dislike their crate.
Therefore, it is important that you should never allow them to develop negative emotions associated with the crate.
Golden Retriever Crate Training: Respect the Privacy
The crate is the home of your puppy and it must not be infringed upon. Let your Retriever feel that it is his private space and he owns it. Keep other pets and children away from the den of your puppy. Avoid forcing them to share it with other pets.
Although “one-dog-per-crate” is the best possible option, you may also try two puppies in a crate. However, keep a tab on his behavior and see if he is ready to share the same crate with another puppy.
Golden Retriever Crate Training: Allow the Freedom
Never restrain your pet from using the crate. The crate must be a place for fun and comfort for your dog. He should consider it as his own private space, and he must not be restrained from using it.
So, allow your dog to go inside and rest whenever he feels the need. Keep the door open to make sure he has free access to the crate.
Such unrestrained freedom is important in developing a positive association between the dog and his crate. When he is happy to spend time in his crate without any negative feeling, your Golden Retriever crate training will become easier and successful.
Golden Retriever Crate Training: When To Crate
You may use the crate in different situations.
- To keep your puppy safe and secure when you feel that you are not able to supervise a roaming puppy or your house is not puppy-proof.
- To housetrain your Golden, as dogs do not eliminate at their place of living. Your dog will signal you the need to pee or poo whenever they feel the urge to eliminate. You may also take him outdoors every few hours to show him the right place to eliminate.
- To prevent your dog from chewing any electrical wiring or furniture.
- To safeguard your dog from health and safety hazards when cleaning your house.
- To keep your dog protected when he is alone at home. However, do not crate him immediately before you leave home. Crate him for at least one or two hours before you plan to go out.
- To calm down an overexcited puppy or a dog with behavioral issues, crating is the best option. This conveys them the need to obey your command and exhibit good behavior. An excited dog may chew household items or even destroy them. Put him in the crate for a few minutes until he settles down.
- To ensure the safety of your pet while traveling, as an anxious dog may cause problems in the vehicle or distract the driver.
- To speed up the housetraining process and keep the puppy away from children.