Easy Trick to Crate Training Puppies Under 8 Weeks Old

October 6, 2021

by Diane Zahorodny

Early crate training is so easy, it barely requires any of your time and their new owners will love it! All I did in the video below was take the door off a cat carrier and put it in their pen. For the next hour, they did this clown car routine that was cracking me up.

The simple act of providing them with different types of crates to explore will help desensitize and prepare them for the trip home and formal crate training (with the door closed).

I remember loading one of my puppies into his new owner's car. I set him down in front of his new crate and he just climbed right in. His owner said he was silent during their entire 4 hour ride home. And I did no formal crate training with the door closed. What a great start to their new life together!

Easy Crate Training

STEP 1: Provide a crate with door removed or secured open

Doors on crates can bang around and scare puppies and pinch toes so it's a good idea to just take them out of the equation. It is also a good idea to give them crates of different sizes, shapes and materials that you swap out day to day.

STEP 2: Add puppies

Puppies LOVE crates because they are like a den and they will basically desensitize themselves to being inside. The puppies in the video below did this clown car routine for over an hour! This is just a regular cat crate and sometimes all 5 puppies stuffed themselves inside at once!

Formal Crate Training

If you have the time, you can start more formal crate training with your puppies by slowly introducing them to being in there with the door closed.

STEP 1: High value treat

Prepare a tasty treat like a food stuffed toy with cheese or meat mixed in or a raw bone

STEP 2: Get puppy interested in treat

Put a crate in an area where it’s just you and one other puppy. Let the puppy sniff the treat until they are very excited about it.

STEP 3: Treat in crate, puppy outside crate

Toss the treat into the crate and close the door with the puppy still on the outside. Wait until they’re begging to get in there!

STEP 4: Let puppy in crate

Open the door, let the puppy in and, once the puppy is focused on the treat, close the door for a few seconds the first time, then longer the next time and so on.

STEP 5: Let puppy out before puppy wants to get out

Open the door before the puppy is asking to get out. Take away the food stuffed toy/raw bone and immediately give them a high value treat like meat or cheese. Leave the door open and let them come out on their own.

You get a little bonus resource guarding training in STEP 5. By offering a high value treat in exchange for the item you want, you’re teaching your puppies that good things happen when you take things away from them.

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