Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Crate Training Your German Shepherd Puppy

Somewhere deep inside that absolutely adorable German Shepherd puppy that you've just adopted lie genes that tell him that he needs a den. Dogs have always wanted a den -- a place that they consider safe and comfortable. So the first thing to get into your head when you begin crate training that puppy is that you're not mistreating him. You are actually providing a safe and comfortable "den" for him.

Crate training is an essential part of creating peace and harmony when humans and dogs live together. Crate training will make the dog happy and satisfied, and crate training will also aid in housebreaking because it takes advantage of the dog's natural reluctance to soil its sleeping place, or den.

Crate training can also help to reduce separation anxiety, prevent destructive behavior like chewing furniture, keep a puppy away from potentially dangerous household items like poisons and electrical cords, and to serve as a portable indoor doghouse that can be moved from room to room whenever necessary.

First, you need to let your German Shepherd puppy come and go into and out of the crate as he wants to until he figures out that the crate isn't a trap. Make a game of it. Place the puppy's toys at the very back of the crate so that the puppy recognizes the crate as a "happy" place rather than as a place of confinement. Add bedding to the crate. German Shepherd dogs like a soft towel or pillow to curl up on. If the puppy will be left for more than two hours in the crate, be sure to add a water bowl that attaches to the side of the crate. During the early days of crate training, the crate should be placed close to YOU when you are home. This will help to relieve any separation anxiety the puppy may be feeling.

Crate training is simple, and it's an effective way to make living together pleasant for both of you.


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