This is considered one of the most preferred methods. The basic idea is that the dog is kept in a crate especially on times when the owner is away or cannot be closely watched and supervised.
With crate training, it is important to remember that dogs can only be kept on his crate after he has thoroughly relieved himself. Otherwise, you will be greeted with soiled crate when you come home from work. Also, you have to time the number of hours your dog is inside the crate. Note that he cannot be crated and stay there forever. Give him time to stretch, run, and just play around.
Crate training will only be successful if you cannot watch over him the whole time. So how long can you crate a dog? Crate limits can be calculated based on his age in months. For example, an 8th month old puppy should not be crated for more than 3 hours, while a six month old puppy can handle 6 hours of crate training.
No dog should be crated for more than 8 hours in a day. But if you need to leave him for more than 8 hours because of work, you can leave him with toys, chewable and rubber balls inside his crate to keep him busy and happily occupied while you are away. This is also the reason why crates should be comfortable and big enough for him to move. Do not make your dog feel that he is confined in a small crate. Remember, size matters.
This comes in three styles : the plastic crate, wire or mesh style, and soft tent-like crate.
1- Plastic create
this has less ventilation than a mesh wire type. It can break down into two large pieces so storing would be a bit of a challenge. However, the good thing about this is that cleaning this type of crate is easy. But with large messes, you would need to hose it down and scrub every crack and fissure. This type of crate is generally acceptable for air transportation should you be needing to ship or travel with your dog.
2- Wire or mesh style
if it is a collapsible model then it would be easier to carry. And because it is mesh, your dog will have a full view of his surroundings.
3- Tentlike crate
This is made up of PVC tubing and plastic mesh. It is feather light and can be folded down equivalent to few hollow tubes. The only disadvantage is that there is a possibility that the dog can easily chew on through mesh panels.
You may use washable materials for the bedding such as old towels, newspapers, and blankets. Using these inexpensive and second hand materials will save you the frustration in cleaning and replacing beddings should your dog have accidents. If he is well-trained, you can immediately change it to a more permanent bedding.
The location where the crate is placed also plays an important role in crate training your dog. This formula is done during training in order for the dog to know that the crate is part of his daily routine or activity. This is why it is also not advisable to just banish the crate and your dog in an empty space, the basement or at the back of your house. Otherwise, he will refuse to get inside the crate when it is time for crate training.
Graduating from the crate
When it is time for your dog to be introduced to large spaces, make the introduction gradually and in stages. You may choose a specific area of the house where you will first enlarge his privileges to roam. It should be a room that is easier to clean, definitely not carpeted, and less accident prone. Remember to use baby gates when you start allowing him to get out of the crate.
Once he has relieved successfully in the designated spot, give him the freedom to roam around the room and give praises for a job well done. Once he has proven himself without any accidents for days, you may introduce him to another room in the house. When you do so, make sure he is totally empty and has just relieved or urinated.
Again, leave no room for mistake and watch him carefully. If he show signs of relieving in this new room, immediately carry him outside.
Prevention is always better coupled with positive reinforcement. Remember that the more vigilant you are, the more successes you will have with your dog.