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1. Choose a wire crate that is big enough for the dog to grow into. Make sure the one you purchase has a divider so that you can make it smaller during the housebreaking process.
2. Use the divider to make the crate small enough so that the dog can stand up, turn around and lie down stretched out. If you make it too big he can eliminate in one end of the crate and sleep in the other. Theory is he won't go where he has to sleep.
3. Set up a schedule. Take the dog out as often as possible. At the beginning take him out every hour or two. Use your kitchen or phone timer to remind yourself to take the dog out. Puppies process food very quickly. Observe your dog and see how quickly he pees or poops after eating or drinking. Set the timer so that you can take him out before he makes a mistake. This concept is called "Set him up to win". If you forget to take him out you have set him up to fail. He will have an accident and it will be your fault!
3. The only way to correct a mistake is to CATCH HIM IN THE ACT. If you turn around to find a puddle or a pile, you missed the opportunity to teach him and correct him.
4. There are two musts for proper crate training that are easy to understand but difficult to follow.
RULE 1: Don't leave a puppy or older dog in the crate longer than he can be expected to hold his bladder. Set him up to win! Take him out often so he can learn where to eliminate.
RULE 2: You must keep your eyes on the dog 100% of the time when he is out of the crate.
Besides those rules, you should follow a few suggestions.
*Don't ever use the crate for punishment. Make the Crate a happy place. Something good happens whenever the dog goes in the crate.
*Establish a schedule and stick to it. Use a timer as a reminder.
*Take the dog out immediately after being in the crate, after a play session, first thing in the morning, before bed.
*Praise your dog for eliminating outside. Carry on like a lunatic. Make sure he knows that what he did pleases you.
*Correct an "accident" only when you catch him in the act. When you do, immediately pick him up and take him outside.
*Most Important - Call me to let me know about your success.
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2. Go to the bathroom.
3. Give your dog a chance to be a dog.
4. Practice your discipline