Learning how to kennel train a puppy is very similar to learning how to crate train a puppy. It takes advantage of the puppies natural instinct to have a ‘home’ or ‘safe’ area of their own. Some people consider it cruel to crate or kennel train a puppy, but in reality, once a puppy creates that association that a kennel is it’s own private spot, it becomes one of the most peaceful places for the puppy to be.
People use kennels in different ways, some allow their new puppy to live indoors and in the kennel, others offer the kennel as an outside option if the puppy wishes to be out in the fresh air during the day and still maintain an area of their own. With proper kennel training, your puppy will learn to treat their kennel as their own and separate from their potty area.
So – kennel training is excellent but let’s look at how to kennel train a puppy.
Kennel Train A Puppy
The first step is actually to get a kennel. Pretty hard to learn how to kennel train a puppy without one. Make sure you get one which suits your puppies full adult grown size. If you get one too small you’ll not only end up paying a second time for a bigger one – but you’ll run the risk of hurting your pup if you don’t change it quickly.
This chart gives you a basic look at crate sizes for breeds which gives you a rough idea of what to look for in a kennel, but you should consult with the breeder or pet store assistant to make sure you’re getting the right thing.
Kennel training a puppy is the same as potty training a puppy – the quicker you start training, the easier they’ll learn, so it’s helpful to have the kennel ready when you bring your puppy home.
The next step in learning how to kennel train a puppy – is preparing the kennel to make it welcome to the puppy. Place it somewhere you likely won’t have to move it. I’ve seen some with flat bases, some with wooden stakes to drive into the ground and some with open floors (though these are much harder to keep clean). I prefer to place it under shade and in plain sight of the main windows and doorway. Create a comfortable area within the kennel using a blanket or towel for example. Place a toy or two within the kennel and, especially on warmer days, I like to leave a water dish outside even if they have one with their food bowl elsewhere.
So, now that your kennel is in the right place and prepared – the next part in kennel trainig is getting a puppy to associate the spot as their own. Start by placing your puppy into the kennel several times a day for a few minutes at a time and repeating a word like ‘Kennel’ or ‘Go to the kennel.’ Heck, you could say ‘Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’ as long as you use the same command consistently, and this is for your young puppy to link what you are trying to show him. Eventually, when you say the command anywhere, the puppy will understand you want them to go into their kennel and go themselves. It’s the same as any kind of puppy or dog training – consistency is key.
Keep in mind that puppies can’t be left unattended for too long. And, regarding potty training, which needs to be kept in mind when looking at how to kennel train a puppy as you will need to give them frequent potty breaks. You don’t want them associating their kennel with their potty spot.
You do however have to expect accidents from time to time. Their poor bladder control will do that, not to mention excitement if puppy sees someone coming. Make sure you clean the kennel properly if this happens. When the kennel itself smells like their potty area, puppy most likely will dedicate this spot to something you don’t want.
Once you feel comfortable that your puppy is properly potty trained and house broken you may choose to allow them to come and go between your house and their kennel training. The results or kennel trained puppy might surprise you since the puppy may decide it prefers sleeping in his or her spot as opposed to sleeping on the comfy couch!