House and Crate Training

House breaking a puppy can be an overwhelming task and can lead to stress, frustration, and resentment.  We are very focused on making this process as easy as possible, which is why we keep our puppies in a clean and dry environment and also why we spend a lot of time taking the puppies outside as often as possible once they’re of an appropriate age.  Very young puppies cannot be fully house trained and need consistent and responsible supervision and guidance to become fully house trained, however, all of our puppy families have reported a smooth transition to house training in their own homes. House training is only one part of raising a puppy, however, it is a very important issue for most families.

To help with this process, we send our puppies home with some early crate training exposure.  An appropriate sized crate gives the puppy a safe place to be kept when a family is not able to supervise or when a puppy is left home alone.  Crate exposure begins here in our house around five weeks and slowly builds over time.  One important element of crate training is to make the crate a positive place where the puppy feels safe and content.  We start with open door crates where the puppies are completely free to go in and out of the crates to rest or to chew on a high reward item.  They naturally choose the crate to nap and rest with their litter mates and make very positive associations with the crate early on.

Please note that all young puppies must be given frequent opportunities to go potty.  Do not expect an 8 week old puppy to be in a crate for 8 hours during the day without soiling their crate.  This is not only counter productive to house training, but it is also not in the best interest of your puppy.  All new puppy families should plan to take some vacation from work if at all possible.  Puppies should have a minimum of a few days (preferably longer when possible) with someone at home as they transition into their new surroundings.  The more time you can give your new puppy, the more more benefits and rewards you will receive.  You will need to have a plan in place to give your puppy potty breaks throughout the day.  If everyone works full time, this means you need to have a trusted friend or family member help with potty trips and visits in the beginning.  If this isn’t possible,  you will need to set up a puppy room or large play pen area with a sleep and play area and a separate potty area.  Using this set up may delay the timing for a fully house trained dog, but it is necessary if you must leave your young puppy all day without potty breaks.