Creating a safe area or using a crate

Puppies need to feel safe. Create a safe area in your house for when you bring them home. This safe area can be a room where their bedding is set up (such as a kitchen or utility room) or this could be a crate or pen. The area needs to be warm and dry and away from things they shouldn’t have. If you are using an area such as a utility room make sure there is nothing on the floor other than their toys.

Why use a safe place or crate?

Using a crate in combination with a puppy pen is ideal as it provides both a safe place for your puppy to sleep in and an area it can play in safely. For the first couple of weeks you need to keep your puppy in its safe place while you do things. If you leave them to run around you will have a disaster on your hands! Don’t give the puppy the opportunity to destroy your belongings.

If you have children a crate is particularly useful. For example, at mealtimes it helps to prevent one of those situations when food is dropped innocently (or not so innocently in some cases) and your dog naturally cleans up the mess made. If they learn to pick up food dropped from the table the next stage will be your puppy climbing up on the table to finish off the scraps!

Getting you puppy used to the crate or safe place

Your puppy will most likely cry the first night or two in it’s new home. Although it is tempting to run to them to comfort them, try to avoid doing this as they learn quickly that crying gains your attention. It is important to only approach them when they are not crying.

Your puppy needs to learn patience. When the dog is whining you walk away from the crate or turn your back. When your dog is quiet you walk back to the crate and give them a treat. Your puppy will soon learn you respond when they are quiet. Timing is crucial when walking away and if done incorrectly you will get the behaviour you don’t want.

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