Crate Training is the fastest and most humane method of housebreaking dogs. Have you ever seen a dog under a table, chair or bed? The reason is that dogs naturally want to seek shelter, even in a house. If you don’t provide it, they will create it themselves in an effort to feel safe and secure. A crate serves as a den for your dog.
Like babies, puppies cannot control their bladders until they mature (usually between 3 and 6 months). Dogs have a natural instinct to avoid eliminating in their dens. Therefore, confining your puppy in his crate for the proper amount of time encourages him to “hold it” until you take him outside for a walk. For a step by step guide on housebreaking visit Adam’s free newsletter.
What about housebreaking older dogs?
It is never too late to crate train your dog! The number one reason dogs end up in shelters is behavior problems. Crate training, at any age, can help break bad habits and solve most of these problems.
Crates are not just for training, they are good for the lifetime of your dog. By providing a crate for your dog, you are in essence providing him with his own bedroom. Crates are especially important for older dogs that use it to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday family life, which often includes small children or other pets that may harass them.
Dog crates are the best housetraining tool available. They provide a room for your dog while protecting your home furnishings from damage. However, even a crate isn’t an absolute safe harbor for your pet. As per crate manufacturers’ warnings, you should always remove standard collars before placing your dog in a crate. Always make sure there are appropriate toys & treats to keep your dog’s attention in the crate. In the car a crate can provide safety for you, your dog, and your passengers and provide comfort and protect your dog during sudden stops and turns.
Separating your dog from the rest of the family can add stress to your dog. Dogs are social animals, so the ideal location is a room full of activity. Your dog will enjoy his new room while still being part of the family. At night the bedroom is an ideal place for a crate so your dog will feel the security of being close to you.
Confining him in his crate for excessive periods of time will be a negative experience for your dog. After housebreaking your dog, we recommend removing the door from the crate so he can enjoy his den any time he chooses.
Top veterinarian behaviorists and dog trainers recommend covering the crate. This makes the crate a more den-like environment, providing more security, which reduces barking. Covering the crate will result in a better experience for both you and your dog. Inside the crate Very few dogs exhibit a desire to chew their own personal dog beds.
How do I stop my dog from whining or barking inside the crate at night?
Using the famous snuggle puppy that comes with a heat pack and heartbeat will take the place of your pup’s littermates. Many puppies will become so attached to their snuggle puppy they will keep it for life.
HELPFUL HINTS FOR CRATE TRAINING
* “Gone Are The Days Of Your Puppy Crying All Night” Anya has found a fascinating and unique item she sells in her pet store located at Icewind Farm. It’s called The Snuggle Puppy. It’s a cute plush puppy which has a velcro opening, which comes with heat packs and a real sounding heatbeat. This is very soothing for a young pup. You can visit Anya for a demonstration at Icewind Farm in Anya’s Pet Supplies.
* Puppy Poochie Bells – The easiest way to house train your puppy. Most people pick their puppy up and then head out the door. The puppy has no idea where it went to get there. If you hang Anya’s new designer bells on the door and ring them each time you go out the door, your puppy will learn in a few days to ring the bells all by himself and let you know its time to go potty. The bells can also be purchased from Anya’s Pet Supplies, there are many designs and colors to chose from.
* We suggest you put a soft comfy bed or fleece in your puppies crate at night. This will remind your puppy of where he was sleeping before he came to you and will not soil it. To see what we use visit Anya’s Pet Supply at Icewind Farm.
* Other items to add to the crate at night besides the snuggle puppy, a hard chewy toy just in case he decides not to sleep at first or wakes up throughout the night this will give him something to do. Anya will show you many items to use when you visit us.
Many people feel it is cruel to crate a puppy or a dog. All those negative associations about cages and zoos and such. I was under that impression myself when I was later convinced, that it was one of the most valuable things that my new puppy could learn. It keeps the puppy safe from chewing things like electrical cords and your new shoes when you cannot be around to supervise. It can be considered the same as a playpen for a baby. It is also an invaluable tool in house training a puppy. Puppies learn from their mother that they shouldn’t soil their sleeping area. When they are still in the whelping box, the puppies will crawl away from their sleeping area to an area they chose as the potty area, and eliminate there. They are already innately trained not to soil the area where they sleep.
SETTING THE RULES FROM THE BEGINNING
If your puppy whines when you first put him in his crate it is probably because he would rather be snuggled up close to you the way he was with his littermates. If you allow the puppy access to your lap, bed, couch or chair when you first get the puppy then it will to eliminate these behaviors as the puppy grows up. Think of what the adult size of your dog will be and decide if you have room in your lap, bed, etc, for the adult dog. You must decide before you bring the puppy home what the “rules” will be and then stick to them.
Crate training should all be done positively with no negative associations. When you first bring the puppy home from the breeder, have the crate ready and comfortable for the puppy. I put a washable pad in the crate, possibly a pillow so it is an inviting area for the puppy. (My dogs crates are as comfortable and inviting as my own bed!) I get a small yummy treat and allow the puppy to sniff it and then lure the puppy into the crate with the treat. When the puppy goes into the crate to get the treat and explore the new area I just leave the door open and let him come out as he wishes. I don’t force the pup into the crate and I don’t make him stay in there the first several times. I then repeat putting a treat in the crate, allowing the puppy to go in on his own for the treat. I do this several times and praise the puppy gently while it’s in the crate and associate a word or phrase for going in the crate. My word association is “kennel up” and “good night” I use the word association AS I’m putting the treat into the crate and the puppy is following it in. Do this about five times and then quit for awhile. Repeat this procedure several times the first day.
CLOSING THE CRATE DOOR
When the puppy is going in after the treat comfortably and when the puppy has just finished playing and piddling and is tired, lure the puppy into the crate with the treat as you have before only this time close the door. I also put a new toy in the crate at this time. Something the puppy hasn’t seen before and something that is interesting and will keep his attention for a few minutes. After I close the door, I sit on the floor in front of the crate and talk to the puppy if necessary. If the puppy cries or whines, I put my fingers through the grate in the door to reassure the puppy that I am still there. Usually, they will only whine for a short while and may even fall asleep if they are tired. I stay there until the whining subsides and the puppy calms down and then open the crate door. 5-10 minutes usually. If the puppy happens to fall asleep, great! I let him sleep in the crate until he wakes and then it’s right outside to go potty. I don’t use alot of praise and fanfare when I open the crate door and I ignore the puppy for a few minutes after he is out so that he doesn’t get the impression that getting out is much more fun than being in the crate. I do not let the puppy out until he is quiet for at least 30 seconds and has calmed down if he has been whining. I might try and distract him with another toy to give him a chance to be quiet to I can let him out while he is quiet but I WILL NOT let him out, especially the first time, until he IS quiet. I don’t yell or correct in any negative way. I just make up my mind that I will calmly wait the puppy out no matter what.
THE FIRST NIGHT AT HOME
IF you have gotten your puppy during the day and had time to do the above steps, great! The puppy will already be familiar with going in the crate after a treat. If not, and you want to begin the puppy’s life at his new home sleeping in a crate here’s what to do. I play with the puppy till he’s tired, make sure he has pottied outside and place the comfortable crate (with pad) on a chair or table right next to my bed where I can reach it while I’m still lying down. My night stand is set up for this purpose. I remove any collar that might be unsafe, place or lure the tired puppy into the crate possibly with a safe toy, go to bed and turn out the lights as usual. If the puppy whines, I place my fingers in the grate of the crate and talk softly to the puppy until he falls asleep. I may lose a little sleep that night and possibly the next but I will NOT open the door for the puppy for at least four hours. (I repeat: the puppy has successfuly pottied just before this!). I do not get angry with the puppy or yell at him but I do not give in and let him out either. If the crate is comfortable and warm enough, the lights are out and you are right there to talk softly to him and let him lick your fingers, then usually he will fall asleep within an hour, less if he is tired. At eight weeks of age you cannot expect the puppy to go more than four hours without pottying. So, as soon as the puppy whines after waking up, have your sweats, shoes and shirt ready to take the puppy outside. Dress yourself quickly before you open the crate, carry the puppy to the potty area immediately, praise softly and gently for a job well done, bring him back in and without getting into a play session with him, return the puppy to his crate, turn the lights out and go back to sleep.
This is a must for a Shiba or puppy. If you and your family do not learn how to become alpha over your puppy when it’s very young and continue through his lifetime you will have behavioral problems as your puppy matures. We highly recommend Adam Katz’s newsletter or book to guide you along. If you think you can do this yourself without guidance think again! A Shiba is so intelligent they will outsmart you every time. You will see for yourself! You can read several books on dog training, but you will soon notice something very interesting, their training tips just don’t work!
Secrets of a Professional Dog Trainer Reveals:
- Learn to be alpha
- Crate training
- Raising a puppy the easy way
- Off – leash training. Help my dog is running away from me!
- House break in a hurry
- How to build a strong relationship with your dog
- Territorial aggressions
- Food aggressions
- My puppy is biting me!
- Teaching your dog not to pull you on a leash
- Why most amateur dog owners fail
- Adopting a second puppy
- Teach your dog to listen to you!
- Do not be intimidated by your own dog!
- Take the 10,000 dog trainer challenge Page. 284
- How to bring a new dog into your home
- How to teach your dog to listen to you
- Learn faster training results
- Secrets to housebreaking your puppy in a hurry
- Stop puppy biting
- Training your dog off leash
- Aggression problems
- Written for the ordinary pet owner to develop a happy and satisfying relationship with your dog
Attention: Advice from Icewind Kennels
The Shiba Inu you now own is a sweet puppy that can turn into a grizzly bear. It’s your responsibility to train your puppy! We have provided love and socialization from the time your puppy was born, please take our advice.
The first year is the most important for your puppy to learn. Never keep your puppy confined to your home. We recommend:
1. You take your puppy on an outing every weekend to different places.
2. Have your puppy meet a 100 different people, all shapes and sizes during the first year.
3. Groom your Shiba almost every day. Touching your Shiba daily over most of his body will play an important goal later in life. Nail cutting – a Shiba’s worst nightmare! Start early and don’t give up. We recommend cutting just the tips once a week. If you decide this is not necessary, just wait and you will soon hear the “famous” Shiba scream.
HOW TO SOCIALIZE YOUR PUPPY
Acquiring a puppy prior to eight weeks of age can also create problems. These puppies miss out on important interactions that take place with other puppies in the litter. A puppy selected too young may miss out on the consequences of biting a littermate to hard. This puppy’s new owners will then pay the price when it bites them to hard while playing.
Eight weeks of age is the ideal time for a puppy to adjust to a new home.
How do we get our puppies socialized so they grow up to be well-adjusted, adult dogs that are comfortable meeting strangers, children and other dogs? The key is to make sure your puppy gets exposed to everything he may ever be exposed to during his lifetime, while he is very young. The critical age of socialization is between 8 and 16 weeks of age. If not exposed to new situations during this critical period, your puppy may always be fearful when exposed to new things in the future.
After you have chosen your new puppy and had it examined by your veterinarian, you can begin to expose it to new things. Your puppy will not have all his vaccinations yet, but you may still take him to a family or neighbor’s home to expose him to children or friendly, vaccinated dogs. If you have small children, dogs or cats in your family, you are fortunate. Your puppy will become accustomed to the screaming and active play behavior of children and will be exposed to other pets.
If you are single adult, a couple without children or a senior citizen, you will have to go out of your way to expose your puppy to children of all ages. You can invite well-mannered children into your home to have supervised play with your new puppy. If you don’t know anyone with small children, you can often find families with children at local parks. Keep some tasty treats available for the children to give your puppy so he associates them, with food rewards.
When you have visitors come to your home, when the mailman delivers mail or the deliveryman brings packages, do the same thing. Give them a dog treat; have them make your puppy sit, and then give the puppy the treat for sitting. This will teach the puppy if he sits for strangers he will be rewarded. This is an excellent way to prevent your puppy from jumping up on people. Your puppy will also learn that visitors will come bearing gifts, instead of being something to bark at and to protect the family from.
Enrolling you puppy in a puppy kindergarten or a puppy training class will have many benefits. This will be a way to take your puppy out of the house once a week where he will be exposed to many new situations during a critical period of socialization. Be sure to choose puppy training class where the emphasis is on having fun and meeting new puppies and their owners. Instructors should use only a buckle-type collar and never a choker or pinch collar. Basic training using praise and food rewards for motivation will make you and your puppy enjoy going to class.
Choosing the correct puppy for you and your family that fits your particular life-style is critical. Exposing your puppy to pleasant experiences such as strangers, children and other dogs between 8 and 16 weeks of age, is critical to having a well-adjusted adult dog.
For thousands of years dogs have lived in social groups called packs and each pack member has his own position or rank in the pack. Once puppies are able to walk and interact, they try to determine their position in the litter. A puppy soon learns if he is submissive, the other puppies will push him away from the food. If he is larger and stronger than the other puppies he will most likely be the one doing the pushing. As puppies get older they will have to figure out their position in the pack.
After a puppy is adopted into his new human pack, he has to re-establish his position. If he was the bully of the litter, he may try to bully his new pack members. If he was submissive with his littermates, he will probably start out being submissive. As he grows older and larger he will try to determine where he fits into this new human pack. His ultimate rank will depend on how his human pack members respond to his actions in various situations.
When first introduced to his new family, a puppy will usually act somewhat submissive. When greeted, your new puppy may roll over on his back and urinate or he may squat and urinate. He is sending you a message in dog language which says, “Don’t hurt me; I am not a threat to you.” If he submits in this manner, do not scold him or you will make the problem worse.
As a puppy grows older he will take his cues on how he should respond to his new owners by the way they react to his actions. For example, a puppy is chewing on his favorite chew toy or rawhide and a child approaches the puppy. The puppy uses the body language he learned from his littermates to warn the child not to come any closer. These warning signs may be a low, soft growl, a curled lip, raised hackles or a nip directed at the child. If the child heeds the warning and backs away, this puppy has just learned that a threatening growl is a good way to keep his prized possessions away from this particular child. The puppy also learns that his rank or position in his new family is higher than this child’s.
Sometimes children are not able to interpret a puppy’s body language and they do not back off when warned. After several such incidents, the puppy feels he has given enough prior warning and he bites the child. Other members of the family may not witness the earlier incidents when the puppy growled and did not bite the child. When the child finally gets bitten, the mom or dad will often say the puppy bit the child for no reason, with no previous warning and they may want to get rid of the puppy.
If a puppy gets away with threatening a child or younger member of the family, he will usually try the same thing when other family members come near one of his favorite possessions. If the family member gives the puppy a stern correction and lets him know he should never growl at humans, the puppy has just learned that his position in the new family is lower than the family member who corrected him but still higher than the child he threatened. Over time, similar incidents will likely occur with every member of his new human pack. The response of each family member to the puppy’s actions will help determine his ultimate ranking.
Once he determines his family ranking and he submits to higher-ranking family members, there may not be any more problems until he reaches his social maturity. The best way to describe social maturity is when the puppy becomes a teenager. Social maturity usually occurs between 8 – 12 months of age. He is now older, stronger, and more confident and his attitude toward family members may change. This mild-mannered, young, adult dog may now begin to challenge higher-ranking members of his human pack that he had previously submitted to.
The best to way assure your puppy knows his proper position in his human pack is to begin making him earn everything he receives, as soon as he joins your family. Prior to receiving anything such as food, petting, or play, you must make him sit to earn these privileges or rewards. By making your puppy sit, you will teach him that he must submit to you before you will give him anything. Nothing in life is free. Everything must be earned.
Use small pieces of dog biscuits, Cheerios or other tasty treats for this training. To teach the sit command, hold a small piece of treat at the level of the puppy’s nose. Your puppy will smell the treat and move his head toward it. When he sniffs the food, slowly move the hand holding the food back and slightly over the top of his head. As he stretches his neck to reach for the food, continue moving the treat over the top of his back toward his rump and repeat the command “sit” several times. Most puppies will drop into a sit position in order to reach the food. If you raise the treat too high over the puppy’s head, he will likely rise up on his back legs to reach the treat and not sit. As soon as the puppy sits, give him the treat, act very excited and lavish him with praise saying “good puppy”. Continue short training sessions until your puppy sits automatically when given the “sit” command. You will be surprised how quickly most puppies will learn this technique, often in just a few minutes.
Once your puppy has mastered this exercise, every member of the family, including all children, must be taught how to make him sit. You will have to portion out the dog treats to be sure your puppy does not receive too many. The puppy must now sit before he receives anything. If he wants to play, he must sit. If he is being fed, he must sit before receiving his food. If he wants you to pet him, make him sit first. If he runs to the door to be let out to eliminate, praise him for going to the door, but make him sit before opening the door. You are rewarding him for signaling you to let him go out, but he must earn the privilege of having the door opened for him. When you open the door, make your puppy remain sitting until you and other family members go out the door first. This will show him that higher-ranking members of the pack go out the door first and hopefully this will keep him from bolting out the door whenever it is opened.
Mealtime is a very special time for most puppies. The individual feeding him is a special member of his family and is often considered a higher-ranking member. If you have children, help them measure out the puppy’s food and have them place a few pieces of food into the dish. After the puppy eats them, have the children add a few more pieces until all the food is gone. This lesson teaches the puppy that a child’s hand reaching toward the food bowl means the child is giving him something and not taking anything away. This exercise will help desensitize your puppy to children around his food bowl while he is eating. Allowing the children to do the feeding will elevate their rank because the puppy must depend on them for his food.
Another good idea is to have all family members do things to distract the puppy while he is eating. Pet him, rub him and gently pull on his tail and legs. This will serve to desensitize him to human contact while eating and make him less likely to be protective during these times.
Do the same thing when he is chewing on his favorite chew objects or playing with his favorite toys. Take these objects away from your puppy, praise him and then give him a food treat as a reward for giving up his prized possession. Eventually, you will not have to use food as a reward. Praise him and give back his chew object as a reward. Once your puppy will allow you to do this without any incidents, supervise and allow your children to do the same thing. Eventually every family member should be able to take things away from your puppy and reward him for giving them up.
Adopting an Older Shiba Inu
Many people think that only very young pups can bond for life. I don’t know where this myth got started but I would like to explain what really occurs between a dog and his new owner-based on 50 years of breeding, showing and training dogs of every breed from small to big.
First, I would like to tell you that one of the dogs I truly bonded with, I never even met until he was 6 years old. He was a Shiba Inu who came to me when he was 6 years old. The dog and I were inseparable until he died-when he climbed up into my bed to lie next to me as if to say goodbyes. This was truly unique, as he never once in his life would jump onto a bed or sofa. Also, the first month when he came he would barely allow me into my own house. He didn’t know me and didn’t trust me.
We place out our retired females when they are about 5 years old into new homes. The first few weeks it is very difficult for them to adjust after all they have been separated from all their friends at the ranch, they are scared, don’t know their owner’s etc. Yet these females become very close, bond very strongly with their new families if they are given a chance to adjust and the new owners give them love and attention. I often hear from these families how these older adopted dogs are the best dogs they ever owned.
Let’s take people as another example. When did you meet your best friend, husband or wife? Did you meet these people when you were babies or young kids and that’s why you bonded so well? Nonsense. Some of the happiest married couples didn’t meet until later in life, incredible friendships are often made when you are 30-40 years old, etc.
Yet, some people feel that a dog and they can only bond if the pup comes into their life at 8 weeks old. Let me explain to you that is not bonding-that is dependence. At 8 weeks or 10 weeks old a pup must have someone to feed them and protect them or they would soon die. A young pup will like everyone who offers food and some attention but to call that bonding is a little farfetched. Of course the pup becomes dependent on you-he just doesn’t know any better and you have complete control of his life. Personally, I do not equate control to bonding.
Bonding is a genuine feeling between two people, dogs, or a person and a dog. Its special chemistry that is difficult to explain but when you have it-it is very special.
For more training information we recommend Adam’s book: