You just brought home your adorable Shih Poo puppy and are excited to start training them. As a responsible pet owner, you want to ensure their safety and well-being while also establishing good behavior. This is where crate training can come in handy. Crate training involves teaching your pup to view their crate as a safe and comfortable space, where they can relax and stay out of trouble. In this article, we will explore the benefits of crate training for your Shih Poo and provide you with step-by-step guidance on how to get started. Let’s delve into the wonderful world of crate training!
Why Crate Training Works
Crate training is a popular and effective way to train your Shih Poo to be well-behaved and happy. But why does crate training work? Let’s explore some of the reasons below that make it a valuable tool in your training toolbelt. By understanding the benefits of crate training, it will help you to become a more informed and effective trainer for your furry friend. So, let’s dive in and discover why crate training is such a valuable tool for your Shih Poo’s training and well-being.
Provides a Safe Space
When crate training your Shih Poo, one of the main benefits is that it provides a safe space for your furry friend. Dogs have a natural instinct to have a “den” or a small, enclosed space where they can feel secure and comfortable. A crate can provide just that for your Shih Poo.
Creating a safe space: The crate should be a comfortable and welcoming environment for your Shih Poo. Adding soft blankets or bedding is highly recommended, as it can provide a cozy area for your pet to rest. Additionally, placing a toy or chew inside the crate can create a positive association with the space.
Reducing Anxiety: Providing a designated space for your Shih Poo can significantly reduce anxiety and fear. If you’re leaving your Shih Poo alone for a few hours, the crate can provide a sense of security and prevent him from feeling overwhelmed. If you have guests over or there are other factors causing stress, the crate can be a comforting place for your furry friend to escape to.
Preventing Destructive Behavior: Dogs that are left alone with no designated space can often engage in destructive behavior due to boredom or anxiety. With a crate, your Shih Poo is less likely to do so as he has a safe space to retreat to.
Providing a safe space for your Shih Poo is crucial to a successful crate training. With his own designated space, your furry friend will feel secure, happy and less anxious. By creating a comfortable environment and positive associations, you can encourage your Shih Poo to enjoy his crate and make it his own.
Helps with Potty Training
Crate training can be a game-changer when it comes to potty training your Shih Poo. By nature, dogs do not like to soil their sleeping area, and a crate can help take advantage of this instinct to teach your furry friend where to go potty.
Here’s how crate training can assist with potty training your Shih Poo:
|1||Introduce your Shih Poo to the crate and make it a comfortable and safe space for them to rest.|
|2||Feed your Shih Poo in the crate at regular intervals so they associate it with a positive experience.|
|3||Take your Shih Poo outside to go potty immediately after they come out of the crate. This should be done on a regular schedule to establish a routine.|
|4||Monitor your Shih Poo closely when they are out of the crate and take them out to go potty regularly, especially after meals or drinking water.|
|5||Praise and reward your Shih Poo when they go potty in the designated area outside of the crate.|
It’s important to note that crate training is not a substitute for proper potty training techniques and supervision. Accidents may still happen, and it’s important to be patient and consistent in training your Shih Poo. Avoid common crate training mistakes and consider incorporating positive reinforcement techniques to make the training process smoother for both you and your furry friend. For more crate training tips for your Shih Poo, take a look at our crate training guide.
Prevents Destructive Behavior
Preventing destructive behavior is another benefit of crate training for your Shih Poo. Puppies, especially, have a tendency to chew things around the house when they’re teething or exploring their surroundings. By using a crate, you can limit their access to areas where they can damage your furniture, personal items, or electrical cords.
If your Shih Poo is exhibiting destructive behavior, it could also be a sign of separation anxiety. Crate training can help in this case too. When introduced correctly, the crate can provide a sense of security for your dog, lowering their stress levels and reducing the likelihood of destructive behavior.
It’s important to note that crate training should not be used as a punishment or a way to confine your Shih Poo for long periods of time. Doing so can make them associate the crate with negative feelings and can lead to more destructive behavior later on.
By following proper crate training techniques, you can prevent your Shih Poo from engaging in destructive behavior and keep them and your belongings safe. To learn more about common crate training mistakes and how to avoid them, check out our article on “Common Crate Training Mistakes to Avoid“. You can also read about how to use positive reinforcement techniques to make crate training a positive experience for your Shih Poo in our article on “Crate Training your Shih Poo with Positive Reinforcement“.
Reduces Anxiety and Fear
Crate training has been found to be extremely effective in reducing anxiety and fear in Shih Poos. Many dogs become anxious and stressed when left alone, which can lead to destructive behavior and even health problems. However, having a designated safe space like a crate can alleviate these issues and provide a calming environment for your furry friend.
How does crate training reduce anxiety and fear in Shih Poos?
The answer lies in the nature of dogs. Dogs are den animals and in the wild, they would seek out narrow and enclosed spaces to take shelter from danger. They prefer small spaces because it gives them a sense of safety and security. By providing a crate, you are giving your Shih Poo a sense of security and privacy that will help them feel safe and calm.
In addition to providing a safe space, crate training can help with separation anxiety. When Shih Poos are crate trained, they learn to be okay with spending time alone in their crate. This helps them become more independent and reduces the likelihood of separation anxiety.
It is important to note, however, that crate training should never be used as a punishment or a way to isolate your dog. The crate should be a positive and comfortable environment that your Shih Poo enjoys spending time in. With proper training and use, the crate can provide many benefits for both you and your furry friend.
To learn more about crate training and its benefits for Shih Poos, check out our comprehensive guide to crate training, tips for better managing separation anxiety with crate training, or how to successfully train your Shih Poo for nighttime crate training. Alternatively, you can also consider an alternative to crate training with our guide to crate-free roaming for Shih Poos.
Getting Started with Crate Training
If you’ve decided to start crate training your Shih Poo, congratulations! It can be a highly effective tool for providing structure and routine in your pup’s life. However, it’s normal to feel a bit overwhelmed at the beginning of the process. Where do you start? What do you need? How do you actually get your dog to use the crate? In this section, we’ll provide a step-by-step guide for actually getting started with crate training. You’ll learn how to choose the right crate, set it up properly, and introduce your Shih Poo to their new safe space. So, let’s get started with the basics!
Choose the Right Crate
One of the most important steps in crate training your Shih Poo is choosing the right crate. This will not only ensure your dog’s comfort and safety but also make the training process easier and more effective.
There are different types of crates available:
|Type of Crate||Description||Pros||Cons|
|Plastic crates||Durable, good for travel, and offer more privacy||Easy to clean and maintain, and generally more affordable than other types of crates||May not be as comfortable for your Shih Poo, and may not work well in hot climates|
|Wire crates||Allows for more ventilation and visibility||Can be folded for easy storage, and often come with a removable tray for cleaning||May not be as durable and can be uncomfortable for your Shih Poo|
|Soft-sided crates||Lightweight and portable, good for travel and short-term use||Comfortable for your Shih Poo and often come with additional features such as pockets and storage||May not be as durable and can be difficult to clean|
When choosing the right crate, consider the following:
– Size: Your Shih Poo should be able to stand up, turn around and lie down comfortably in the crate. If the crate is too small, your dog will be uncomfortable and may develop negative associations with it.
– Material: Choose a crate that is made of sturdy and durable material, but still comfortable for your Shih Poo to lie in for extended periods of time.
– Ventilation: Ensure that the crate has adequate ventilation to keep your dog cool and allow for good air circulation.
– Safety: Check that the crate has secure latches and won’t easily tip over. Also, avoid having any sharp edges or corners that could harm your dog.
By choosing the right crate for your Shih Poo, you’ll be setting them up for success in their crate training journey.
Set up the Crate
Setting up the crate is an important step towards successful crate training for your Shih Poo. The way you arrange and equip the crate can make all the difference in how your dog perceives and uses it. To make sure your Shih Poo loves spending time inside their crate, follow the tips below.
One of the first things you should do is to place the crate in a quiet corner of a room, away from distractions, loud noises, and direct sunlight. Dogs need their rest and should be able to nap in peace inside their crate, so choose a spot that is cozy and comfortable.
Here’s a table outlining how to set up the crate:
|1||Add a comfortable bed or mat. Choose a soft, washable pad or blanket that your dog can snuggle up on. Make sure it is the right size for the crate, not too big or too small.|
|2||Place some toys and chews. To keep your Shih Poo entertained, add a few of their favorite toys, such as chew bones, balls, and stuffed animals. Rotate the toys every few days to keep them interested and engaged.|
|3||Add a water bowl or bottle. Keep your dog hydrated by providing a small water bowl or a hanging water bottle inside the crate. Make sure to refill it as needed, and keep it clean and fresh.|
|4||Keep the crate clean. Regularly clean and disinfect the crate to prevent the buildup of bacteria and odors. Use a mild soap and warm water, or a pet-safe disinfectant, and wipe dry with a towel.|
|5||Make adjustments as needed. If your Shih Poo seems uncomfortable or unhappy in the crate, adjust the setup accordingly. For example, remove a toy that they don’t like, add a thicker bed if they prefer more cushioning, or move the crate to a different spot.|
By following these simple steps, you can create a welcoming and inviting space for your Shih Poo inside their crate. Remember to keep the crate open and accessible throughout the day so that your dog can explore and get in and out as they please. Over time, they will learn to see the crate as their own special den, a place where they can relax and feel safe.
Introduce Your Shih Poo to the Crate
When it comes to crate training your Shih Poo, the first step is to introduce them to their new space. This can be a confusing and scary experience for your furry friend, so it’s important to go slow and take the time to make them feel comfortable. Here are some steps to follow when introducing your Shih Poo to the crate:
- Place the crate in a quiet area: Find a corner of your home where your Shih Poo can have some peace and quiet. This will make them feel more at ease and less overwhelmed.
- Leave the door open: For the first few days, keep the door to the crate open so your Shih Poo can explore the space on their own terms. You can even put some treats or their favorite toy inside to make it more inviting.
- Encourage positive association: Show your Shih Poo that the crate is a safe and happy place to be. You can do this by placing their meals in the crate, or giving them treats when they go inside.
- Start with short intervals: Once your Shih Poo seems comfortable going in and out of the crate on their own, start closing the door for short intervals of time. Initially, keep it closed for just a few seconds and gradually increase the time as your Shih Poo becomes more comfortable.
Remember, the goal is to help your Shih Poo associate the crate with positive experiences, so be patient and never force them inside. With time and a lot of positive reinforcement, your furry friend will learn to love their crate and feel safe and secure inside.
Start Training Sessions
When starting crate training with your Shih Poo, it’s important to begin with short training sessions. This will allow your furry friend to gradually get used to the crate and not feel overwhelmed or anxious.
Here are some steps to follow:
- Step 1: Encourage your Shih Poo to go near the crate by placing some treats and toys near the crate. Let them explore and sniff around.
- Step 2: Whenever your Shih Poo shows interest in the crate, reward them with a treat and lots of praise. This will positively reinforce the idea that the crate is a good place to be
- Step 3: Begin by having your Shih Poo spend short periods of time in the crate with the door open. This will help them to become comfortable with the space and associate it with positive experiences.
- Step 4: Gradually increase the length of time your Shih Poo spends in the crate with the door closed. Start by leaving them for just a minute or two at a time and gradually increase as they become more comfortable.
- Step 5: Always praise your Shih Poo when they successfully stay in the crate for longer periods of time. This will reinforce the behavior and help ensure they remain calm and comfortable in the crate.
By keeping training sessions short initially and gradually increasing the duration, your Shih Poo will begin to associate the crate with positive experiences and will be more likely to view it as a safe and comfortable space. Remember to always be patient and consistent throughout the training process, and never show frustration or anger towards your furry friend.
Lengthen Training Sessions
One of the keys to successful crate training for your Shih Poo is to gradually lengthen training sessions. This will help your furry friend understand that the crate is a comfortable and safe space. Here’s how you can do it:
|5 minutes||Introduce your Shih Poo to the crate, using positive reinforcement|
|10 minutes||Encourage your Shih Poo to enter the crate, place a treat or toy inside, and leave the door open while supervising. Praise and reward good behavior.|
|15 minutes||Encourage your Shih Poo to enter the crate, place a treat or toy inside, and close the door for a short period (1-2 minutes). Stay nearby and offer praise and reassurance when your Shih Poo is calm and relaxed.|
|20 minutes||Repeat the previous step, but gradually increase the amount of time that your Shih Poo is inside the crate. You can gradually increase the time up to 20 minutes, but make sure to stay nearby and offer encouragement and rewards.|
|30 minutes||If your Shih Poo is comfortable spending up to 20 minutes inside the crate, you can gradually increase the time up to 30 minutes. Remember to stay nearby, offer reassurance, and reward good behavior.|
|1 hour||Once your Shih Poo is comfortable spending up to 30 minutes inside the crate, you can gradually increase the time up to an hour. This is a good length of time to aim for during the day when you need your Shih Poo to be contained. Again, make sure to stay nearby, offer reassurance, and reward good behavior.|
Remember, the key to lengthening training sessions is to do it gradually, so your Shih Poo feels comfortable and safe in the crate. It’s important to always supervise your Shih Poo during training sessions and offer rewards and praise for good behavior. With patience and consistency, your Shih Poo will learn to love their crate and see it as a safe and happy place to be.
Use Positive Reinforcement
Positive reinforcement is a key component of successful crate training for your Shih Poo. Here are some ways to incorporate positive reinforcement into your crate training sessions:
- Offer treats: treats are a great way to encourage your Shih Poo to enter the crate. Place a treat in the crate and praise your pup when they go in to get it. Gradually, start closing the door for short periods of time while they are enjoying their treat.
- Use praise: verbal praise such as “good girl/boy” or “clever pup” is just as important as treats when it comes to positive reinforcement. Reward your Shih Poo with lots of verbal praise every time they enter the crate without hesitation, and consider also offering a treat as an extra reward.
- Offer toys: toys are another great way to entice your Shih Poo into the crate. Place a toy in the crate and allow your pup to follow it inside. You can even throw a toy into the crate while your pup is in there to encourage them to stay and play.
- Set up a routine: the routine of crate training sessions can be a form of positive reinforcement for your Shih Poo. Establish a consistent schedule for going into the crate, such as after meals or before bedtime, so your pup knows what to expect and when. This will make them more likely to willingly go into the crate.
Remember to always remain positive and patient during the crate training process. With consistent positive reinforcement and patience, your Shih Poo will learn to love their crate as a safe and comfortable space.
Consistency is key when it comes to crate training your Shih Poo. Making sure that you are consistent with your training sessions, approach and commands, will help your pup to learn faster and feel confident in their crate. Here are some tips to help you be consistent in your crate training routine:
|Stick to a Schedule:||Consistency in the timing of training sessions will help your Shih Poo to get into a routine with their crate. Try to set consistent times for meals, potty breaks and training sessions.|
|Use the Same Commands:||Using the same commands each time you work with your Shih Poo will help them learn what is expected of them. For example, use the command “crate” each time you want them to go into their crate.|
|Stick to the Training Plan:||It’s important to have a plan in place for your crate training sessions, and to stick to that plan. If you deviate from the plan too often, your Shih Poo may become confused and it will take longer for them to learn.|
|Be Patient:||Remember that crate training takes time and patience. It’s important to stay consistent and not rush the process. Your Shih Poo may not take to the crate immediately, but with consistent training, they will learn to feel comfortable and secure in their crate.|
|Stay Positive:||Consistently using positive reinforcement, such as treats and praise, will help your Shih Poo to associate their crate with good things. This will make them more willing to go into their crate and feel comfortable there.|
By being consistent in your approach to crate training, you will help your Shih Poo to learn faster, feel more comfortable in their crate, and develop good habits that will last a lifetime. Consistency is key when it comes to creating positive and lasting change in your dog’s behavior.
Tips for Successful Crate Training
As you embark on your crate training journey with your Shih Poo, it’s important to keep in mind a few tips to ensure success. Crate training can be an incredibly effective tool in helping your dog feel safe and comfortable, but it’s important to approach the process with care and patience. In this section, we’ll explore some key tips that will help make your crate training experience a positive one for both you and your furry companion. From creating a cozy crate environment to avoiding common mistakes, these tips will set you on the path to successful crate training with your Shih Poo.
Don’t Use the Crate as Punishment
Using the crate as punishment for your Shih Poo will not only be counterproductive, but it may also cause more harm than good. Remember, the crate should always be associated with positive experiences and be viewed as a safe and comforting space by your furry friend. Punishing your Shih Poo by locking them in the crate may lead to feelings of fear and anxiety. As a result, they may become less willing to enter the crate even during training sessions.
To avoid using crate as a punishment, refrain from locking your Shih Poo in the crate for extended periods of time as a form of discipline. Instead, use positive reinforcement to encourage and motivate your furry friend to enter and stay in the crate. Positive reinforcement techniques can include treats, praise, and toys, among others. This will help build a strong and trusting bond between you and your Shih Poo while increasing their confidence and security.
It is important to remember that using the crate as punishment for your Shih Poo may have negative long-term effects on their behavior and mental well-being. Instead, always use positive, gentle, and loving methods during your training sessions with your furry friend. By maintaining a positive and welcoming environment, you will help your Shih Poo feel secure and at ease, which in turn will lead to a happy and well-adjusted companion.
Make the Crate Comfortable
One important aspect of crate training your Shih Poo is making the crate a comfortable and inviting space for them. A comfortable crate can help your furry friend feel secure and calm while inside. Here are some tips on how to make the crate comfortable for your Shih Poo:
|Add soft bedding:||Place a soft bed or blanket inside the crate. This will provide a cozy surface for your Shih Poo to lay on.|
|Provide chew toys:||Chew toys and other safe toys can be placed in the crate to keep your Shih Poo entertained while inside. This can also help prevent destructive behavior.|
|Keep it in a quiet area:||Place the crate in a quiet and low-traffic area of your home. This will help your Shih Poo feel relaxed and reduce any noise-related anxiety.|
|Add familiar scents:||Adding an item of clothing or a blanket with your scent on it can help your Shih Poo feel more comfortable and connected to you while in the crate.|
|Avoid over-stuffing:||Avoid putting too many items in the crate, as this can make the space feel cramped and uncomfortable. Your Shih Poo should have enough room to move around and stretch out.|
By following these tips, you can make your Shih Poo’s crate a welcoming and comfortable space for them to spend time in. This can help make the crate training process smoother and less stressful for both you and your furry friend.
Never Force Your Shih Poo into the Crate
It is important to note that forcing your Shih Poo into the crate is never a good idea. This can cause your furry friend to develop a negative association with the crate, which can lead to resistance and even fear. Instead, take a slow and steady approach to crate training to ensure your Shih Poo feels comfortable and safe in their new space.
Firstly, introduce your Shih Poo to the crate gradually. Let them sniff around the crate and become familiar with it in their own time. Place treats and toys inside the crate to encourage them to explore. If your Shih Poo seems hesitant or fearful, do not force them to go inside.
Next, make the crate a pleasant and positive experience for your furry friend. Use positive reinforcement techniques such as praise, treats or playing with toys when they enter the crate willingly. This way, the crate will become associated with positivity and relaxation, and your Shih Poo will be more likely to go in on their own.
If your Shih Poo is still hesitant to enter the crate, try leaving it open and accessible in a comfortable and familiar space. This will allow them to become accustomed to the crate without feeling trapped or confined.
Remember, crate training is not a quick fix and requires patience, consistency and positive reinforcement. By never forcing your Shih Poo into the crate, you can ensure that the crate remains a safe and comfortable place for them.
Don’t Leave Your Shih Poo in the Crate for Too Long
It’s important to keep in mind that crate training is not a way to keep your Shih Poo locked up all day long. While the crate can be a useful tool for potty training and keeping your pup safe when you’re away, leaving your furry friend in it for too long can be harmful both physically and mentally.
Here are some tips to make sure you don’t leave your Shih Poo in the crate for too long:
- Don’t leave your Shih Poo in the crate for more than a few hours at a time.
- If you work long hours, consider hiring a dog walker or pet sitter to come let your pup out for a potty break and some playtime.
- Make sure your Shih Poo has plenty of opportunities for exercise and play outside of the crate.
- Never use the crate as a way to punish your dog – this can create negative associations with the crate and make it stressful for them.
- Pay attention to your Shih Poo’s behavior when they are in the crate. If they are showing signs of distress or anxiety, such as excessive barking, whining, or scratching at the crate, it’s time to let them out and give them some love and attention.
Remember, crate training is just one part of raising a happy and healthy Shih Poo. Be sure to provide your pup with plenty of love, attention, and exercise outside of the crate, and use the crate as a tool to help them feel safe and secure when you’re away.
After reading this article, you should now have a better understanding of the benefits of crate training for your Shih Poo. Crate training is an effective method for creating a safe and comfortable space for your dog, while also helping with potty training, preventing destructive behavior, and reducing anxiety and fear.
However, it’s important to note that successful crate training requires patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement. Choosing the right crate, setting it up properly, and gradually introducing your Shih Poo to the crate are all key steps in the process.
Remember to never use the crate as punishment and make sure your Shih Poo is comfortable and happy while inside. It’s also important to avoid leaving your dog in the crate for extended periods of time.
Overall, crate training can be a valuable tool for you and your Shih Poo to establish a happy, healthy, and stress-free living situation. By following the tips and steps outlined in this article, you can ensure a successful and positive crate training experience for both you and your beloved pet.
Frequently Asked Questions
What if my Shih Poo cries in the crate?
It’s normal for dogs to cry or whine in the beginning when getting used to the crate. However, if it continues for a long time, try to make the crate more comfortable or speak to your veterinarian.
Can crate training be used for all ages of Shih Poos?
Yes, dogs of all ages can be crate trained. However, it’s easier to start at a young age.
Can I leave my Shih Poo in the crate while I’m at work?
It’s not recommended to leave your dog in the crate for a long period while you’re at work. However, you can use the crate for short periods such as running errands.
How long should I wait before introducing my Shih Poo to the crate?
You can introduce your Shih Poo to the crate as soon as you bring them home.
What’s the recommended crate size for a Shih Poo?
The recommended size for a Shih Poo is a crate that’s at least 24 inches in length, 18 inches in width, and 21 inches in height.
Can my Shih Poo eventually sleep outside of the crate?
Yes, once your Shih Poo is fully crate trained, they can eventually sleep outside of the crate. However, it’s important to have a designated sleep area for them.
Will crate training cause my Shih Poo to become too dependent?
No, crate training won’t cause your Shih Poo to become too dependent. In fact, it can help with separation anxiety in the long run.
Can my Shih Poo be crate trained while also being potty trained?
Yes, crate training can help with potty training as well. Make sure to take your Shih Poo out frequently and reward them for going outside.
What if my Shih Poo escapes from the crate?
If your Shih Poo escapes from the crate, it’s probably because the crate needs to be secured better or your Shih Poo needs a smaller crate.
How long does it take to fully crate train a Shih Poo?
The time it takes to fully crate train a Shih Poo can vary. Some dogs may take a couple of days, while others may take a few weeks. Consistency and positive reinforcement is key to successful crate training.
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