Beagle crate training – the do’s and don’ts


Crate training a puppy be it a beagle or some other breed is definitely important as it serves a dog’s basic need of having its own ‘den’! Though there might be some initial resistance, they grow attached to it and learn to love their crate as their very own special secure place/den. Whether you’re traveling with your pet in the car or plane, in a dog show, at a motel or just at home. Yuck! Isn’t that the feeling you have when you accidentally step on slimy, smelly pools of Beagle poop? Are you exasperated with the way your Beagle keeps peeing in the house? If yes is the answer to all the above questions, then you will enjoy reading this write-up on Beagle crate training.

Crate training is also employed to help your dog learn to hold his bladder for a certain time frame. You can use it to confine your dog when you are not around to supervise him. Most dogs usually do not relieve themselves in the same place where they sleep, your pet will in all likeness try to hold it when confined to his crate. This helps you in preventing him from getting into the bad habit of making accidents happen in your home. When you find him capable of restraining himself in his crate, you can rest assured that he will be able to do so when he is outside the crate as well.

Other than being a kickass housebreaking tool, crates can also help in reducing separation anxiety, and prevent resultant destructive behaviors like chewing furniture, and also to keep your pet safe from potentially dangerous household items (i.e., poisons, toxic chemicals, electrical wires, etc.), and to serve as a mobile indoor dog house which can be moved from room to room whenever necessary.
 

Crate training should not involve any dilly-dallying. It should be started as soon as the Beagle puppy is brought home.  You should not allow him to loiter freely in the house or you will be left mopping pools of pee off the floor.

Nosy is the apt word that describes beagles and they are likely to end up in all kinds of mischief. It can make your life with your beagle much easier.

Worrying about whether your beagle will like its crate? You will be delighted to know that most beagles fall in love with their crate. It has been observed that wild dogs sleep outdoors in small, warm spaces that help them keep themselves safe. Thus a beagle is likely to yearn for an environment such as a crate which ensures their safety. If you do not assign them a particular safe area like a crate, they may despair and try to control a bigger area like your living area.

Preparing the crate does not involve many hassles, not if you follow the guidelines given below. There are basically three types of crates – Vari kennel type, and wire mesh type and plastic airline crates. 

Vari kennel type Remove the screws, the top and the door of the crate by taking it apart. Let your pup go in and out of the lower half of the crate before putting on the top half. This process can need anywhere from several hours to a few days. This step can be bypassed in the case of a young pup who takes to crating right away.


Wire Mesh type
Tie back the crate door so that it remains open without moving or shutting closed. If the crate is furnished with a floor pan, a piece of cardboard or a towel should be placed beneath the floor pan and above the floor to keep the former from rattling.


Plastic airline crates
– If your dog will be accompanying you on a plane, you will need to purchase a hard plastic crate approved by the airlines. Hard plastic crates feature ventilation holes that allow the air to circulate and a wire grill that acts as a door and lets your dog have a view of the world outside. The unit comes in two pieces and is assembled with the help of screws and knobs around the sides.

Your work does not end with buying a crate. You need to furnish the crate with such necessities that will make your beagle have a comfortable as well as enjoyable time in the crate.

Toys and Treats- Put the favorite toys of your puppy and dog treats at the far end opposite the door opening. While including the toys, ensure that they are inedible and too large to be swallowed. Fragmented toys are a strict no-no since they can cause choking and internal obstruction. You may also include a sterilized marrow bone packed with cheese or dog treats in the crate.


Water
– Confinement of the puppy to the crate for more than two hours calls for the inclusion of a water dispenser. A small water dispenser with ice water needs to be hooked to the crate.

Bedding – Prepare a soft, comfortable bed for the puppy by placing a towel or blanket inside the crate. You can also add a piece of your own clothing that carries your smell, it will keep your pet comforted. If your puppy has a tendency to chew the towel, take it off to prevent the puppy from swallowing or choking on it. Although most puppies like resting on soft bedding, some may like to lie on a hard, flat surface and may avoid the towel by pushing it to one end.  If your beagle puppy eliminates on the towel, remove it until the pup grows out of the habit.

Since dogs do not like their sleeping areas to be wet, your dog will avoid urinating in the crate. A crate used to housebreak the dog should be of such a size that allows your dog to lie down comfortably, stand up without needing to crouch and easily move in a circle. If the crate is any larger, she may develop the habit of eliminating at one end and sleeping at the other. A smaller crate, on the other hand, might make her uncomfortable and she may be unable to rest.

The crate should be located next to you or in your vicinity when you are home. This will induce the pup to go inside it without feeling lonely or dejected when you go out. You can crate your puppy in a central room in the apartment or a large hallway near the entrance.

Your puppy should associate the crate with positive feelings like safety, comfort and enjoyment. At the very onset, keep putting dog biscuits or kibble in the crate. While examining his new crate, the pup will dig out these edible treasures and learn to associate the crate with positive things. You can also feed your dog in the crate to bring about the same effect.  If the dog does not seem willing, try feeding him in front or back of the crate than inside the doorway.

The introduction to crate training calls for petting and praising your dog when he enters the crate.  Do not push, pull or force the puppy in the crate. The introduction to crate training should have you employing only inducive methods. 

Show your dog one of the treats and throw it into the crate. After he goes inside to retrieve it, praise him enthusiastically and give him another treat while he is still inside.

The crate should never be used as a punishment tool for your pup. This simply makes the dog develop a disliking towards the crate. In other words, using the crate as a punishment tool makes him associate it with negative feelings.

 

Puppies under 4 months of age do not have much control over their bladder or sphincter. Very young puppies under 9 weeks should not be crated owing to their tendency to eliminate frequently.

A puppy 9-10 weeks of age should be crated for a maximum of half an hour to one hour. Those 11-14 weeks old should not be crated for more than 1 to 3 hours. Those of 15-16 weeks should be crated for an approximate duration of 3-4 hours. A dog older than 17 weeks can be crated for an approximate of 4 -6 hours. 

With your beagle gradually adjusting to the crate you can start to increase the duration they are in there. You can start by crating your puppy for two hours at a time. With your beagle getting older increase the amount of time to a full day or a full night.

Your presence is essential for beagle training. Beagle training is not meant for keeping your pet away from your sight. The main purpose of the training is to inculcate in your dog proper house training habits. Therefore you have to supervise your dog’s action. If you cannot monitor your dog’s training, you have to confine him so as to avoid having a mess in your home while you are away.

Take off your dog’s collar before he is confined to the crate. Do not crate a puppy in sultry weather. Cold water should always be available to the puppy in hot weather. Also do not crate a puppy if 

  • He is too young to exercise control over his bladder.
  • He is suffering from diarrhea.
  • He is found vomiting.
  • He has not eliminated shortly before being confined to the crate.
  • He has not had enough exercise or companionship.

 

In most cases a pup who cries continually when crated has either been crated too soon without following the guidelines above or is suffering from separation anxiety and is anxious on being isolated.  Some pups may not have had enough exercise. Others may not have had enough attention paid to them.

If your pet eliminates in the crate in your absence, do not reprimand him. The crate should be washed by employing a pet odor neutralizer. Avoid using ammonia based products as their odor is similar to that of urine and may induce your dog to urinate in the same place.         

There are many benefits to beagle crate training. It not only helps in housebreaking your pet but can also come handy in reducing separation anxiety, rectifying destructive behavior and keeping him away from potentially dangerous items. It can also serve as a mobile dog house that can be transported from one room to another. The crate can also come handy while your dog is accompanying you on car or plane.

Crates can be bought through pet mail order catalogs, pet supply outlets, and professional breeders. The cost of a crate usually varies between $35 and $150 and is determined by factors like the size and type of crate.

By following the guidelines above you will provide your beagle with a safe place that they can call their own. It will help you have a great and obedient beagle that does not suffer from pangs of anxiousness. So what are you waiting for? Start your beagle crate training today!

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