Blythman and Partners - Veterinary Practices in Tyne And Wear

Puppy Advice: Crates

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Bringing your new puppy home is an exciting time for all involved. The first few months of life for a puppy are key to shaping their brain and future. This vital window begins to close at 16 weeks old, so it is essential we start teaching them from the very beginning.

We recommend reward-based training as puppies respond well to this method and avoids using harsh techniques.

It is incredibly rewarding training your puppy, but it can quickly become overwhelming especially when searching for advice, it can often lead to being incorrectly informed.

Here are some simple tips and advice we believe will help your puppy succeed in the big, wide world!

Blythman and Partners recommend every puppy enrols onto a training course provided by a recognised dog trainer/ behaviourist.

Please ask for more information.


Having an indoor crate/ puppy pen is essential for keeping your puppy safe when you are unable to supervise them. It prevents unnecessary house damage from occurring and can help with toilet training as most pups rarely chose to mess in their bed. It can also help your puppy cope when left alone.

Correct introduction of the crate is crucial. It must feel safe and include soft bedding, water, and enrichment toys. It is a good idea to attach the toys to their crate so that your puppy learns they can only have them whilst inside, creating positive associations.

The crate must never be used as a way of punishment, and they must not be disturbed when inside as this creates negative associations. Ensure the crate is adequately sized and will be large enough for them in adulthood. They should be able to stand up and stretch whilst inside.

Puppies should not be left crated for long periods, after this time they may toilet inside and create negative associations.

Every time your puppy falls asleep or appears tired you should guide them inside the crate and leave the door open, this creates a familiar place to wake up in but not confined to.

A common technique used is allowing them to cry it out, this works well for the more confident puppy that is comfortable being left alone. For the more shy/ nervous puppy this may not be the best technique and consideration for extra help in settling into their new routine should be given, blankets with your scent on or staying with them until they settle can work well.

When crate training it is important to build up the length of time inside the crate. You can feed high value treats such as stuffed kongs inside, opening the door before they finish not giving them time to whine or get distressed.

Remember to remove all collars when left alone as they pose risk to health if caught.

Some puppies simply cannot cope with being left alone or put inside a crate, help from a recognised behaviourist should be sought.

Please note there are many ways to train your puppy. If you are ever in doubt or have specific issues, please seek professional advice.

Useful links:

Finding a certified clinical animal behaviourist:

Dog training classes near you:

Training advice useful videos:

Analysing dog food:

Tags: Puppies & Dogs
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Blythman and Partners - Veterinary Practices in Tyne And Wear