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W7702 HWY 11 Delavan, WI 53115

Confinement Training Tips

A dog's cage or crate not only prevents behavior problems (chewing, house soiling, destructiveness, digging, escape behavior, garbage raiding, etc...) but also serves as a home or den for the dog.  Cage training is neither cruel nor unfair to the dog;  on the contrary, leaving the dog unsupervised to wander, destroy and perhaps get injured is far more inhumane than confinement.  As long as the cage is big enough, the dog gets sufficient exercise and attention, and the dog is not left in the cage longer than it can control itself, the cage is a safe, secure, and humane place to confine a pet when unsupervised.  Cage training may not be ideal for every dog in every household.  Some other alternatives might be to place the dog in the yard, a dog run or a "dog-proof" room.  Of course, the cage or confinement area need only be used when someone is not available to supervise.

Because dogs are social animals, an ideal location for the cage would be in a room where the family spends time such as a kitchen, den or bedroom and not an isolated laundry or furnace room.  For the cage to remain a positive, enjoyable retreat, the dog should never be placed in the cage for punishment.  If social isolation or time-out techniques are used, an area such as a washroom, laundry room, or basement might work best.  A radio or television may help to calm the dog when it is alone.

For Puppies........

Introduce the puppy to the cage as soon as it is brought home and as early in the day as possible.  The cage should be left open so the puppy can voluntarily enter the cage for food, water, toys, or shelter.  By making allo cage experiences pleasant, the puppy should feel secure and comfortable in its cage.

It is normal for puppies to cry or whine when separated from their "pack"; therefore, escape behavior and vocalization are to be expected when a dog is first placed in the cage.  Never go to a crying puppy, as this would serve to encourage (reward) the crying.  Leave the dog in the cage for about 10 minutes, but never let the dog out unless it is quiet.  This teaches the dog that quiet behavior will be rwarded and that crying doesn't accomplish anything.

Punishment may be necessary if crying does not subside on its own.  For punishment to be successful, it must be harsh enough to stop the behavior and withdrawn as soon as the dog is quiet.  An old favorite is to throw a shaker can (a sealed can filled with coins or marbles) near the cage and yell "Quiet".  If possible, the owner should stay out of sight when administering punishment.  The dog can be taught tha barking leads to punishment whether the owner is present or not.  When the barking ceases, the punishment is stopped.

Placing the puppy in the cage a few times before the end of the day, each time increasing the time that the dog must stay in the cage before letting it out.  Always give the puppy exercise and a chance to eliminate before locking it in the cage. Remember to praise the puppy each time you let it out.

Although there is a great deal of individual variability, most puppies can control themselves through the night by 3 months of age.  Until the puppy is housetrained, it should be confined to the cage whenever the owner is not available to supervise.  Be certain to take the puppy outside to it's elimination spot frequently, particularly when it has just finished playing, eating, napping, before bedtime, or if any pre-elimination signs are seen.


Provide Security - Using DenIinstinct

Prevent Costly Damage

Prevent Behavior Problems

Train Proper Chewing and Elimination

Reduce Barking

Improve Dog/Owner Relationship

Security During Travel

Remember, if you have any questions about training tips, etc... please feel free to call our office so one of our trained staff members can help you out!  (262) 728-3303

Veterinary Topics