If you’ve just acquired a Rottweiler pup, then you may be wondering about several things. While every home and dog owner is an individual, many concerns are shared. Keeping your dog safe is a top priority.
Preventing your house from being chewed to pieces is a very close second. Crate training your Rottweiler puppy can go a long way in solving these two issues and can help with potty training too.
In this article, we take a look at what crate training is all about. We look at the benefits and potential downsides of crate training for both you and your dog. There are several strategies you can use to crate train your dog, and we go over them in detail. We also discuss what to avoid doing to keep your dog feeling safe and happy.
What is Crate Training?
Crate Training is a way to take advantage of your dog’s natural denning instincts. Dogs naturally seek out small, enclosed spaces where they can sleep, hide from danger, and get some peace.
Some people think crate training is cruel, seeing it through the human lens as a jail cell. Done correctly, however, crate training has many benefits for both your dog and you. Crate training your Rottweiler puppy is one of the quickest and least stressful ways to get your dog to behave the way you need him to.
What Are the Benefits of Crate Training Your Rottweiler?
Crate training your Rottweiler puppy has lots of advantages. A lot of anxiety, stress, and worry can be avoided if your dog learns to see the crate as his safe zone. This goes not only for the dog but for you, the owner, as well. It is a method recommended and accepted by many professional dog trainers and veterinarians.
Helps with Potty Training Issues
All pups need help with figuring out where it’s okay to do their business and where it’s not. Having a crate helps with this process, localizing your dog. Due to his natural denning instincts, he will avoid peeing and pooping inside the crate. It makes it much easier for you to get some control over the process.
Keeps Your Curious Pup Safe
Your Rottweiler pup is naturally curious and doesn’t necessarily know what can and can’t be eaten. A crate is an excellent place to keep your pup safe when you’re busy around the house and can’t watch him. It will stop him eating something he shouldn’t, like the choco chips somebody left on the table, or some cleaning chemical.
Keeps Your House Safe
A crate is a great way to keep your Rottweiler pup from shredding your house to pieces. Your pup may not mean any harm, but he’s curious, playful, and has a row of sharp little milk teeth. He can quickly wreck grandma’s antique table or chew your favorite book to a pulp if left unsupervised. Crating is a great way to prevent accidents and damage for the first couple of months.
Peace of Mind for You
We love our pups, but life is what it is, and we can’t spend the whole day, every day, with them. We have to go to work and run errands. Knowing your pup is safely in his crate while you’re away can reduce anxiety and stress on your part. You can be sure that both the pup and the house will still be in one piece when you get back.
Comfort and Safety for Your Dog
Done the right way, crate training will hone your dog’s denning instincts. He will come to see his crate as his personal comfort space and go in willingly. Any time your dog is feeling stressed or anxious, he can go to his crate for comfort. This might be when you have guests; your dog doesn’t know or noisy kids running around the house.
Great Help with Traveling
A crate-trained dog makes travel much more comfortable and less stressful. Conditioning your Rottweiler to see the crate as his den means you can easily move him around. It includes things like visits to the vet, family outings, and even longer vacations. Air travel, should it become necessary, also becomes much less stressful.
Helps Prevent Anxiety and Fear in Your Dog
We love our dogs and want the best for them, but often unintentionally cause them emotional stress. It usually happens when we react badly to what we perceive as the problem behavior. The dog ends up feeling afraid, confused, and anxious.
Crate training your dog is an excellent way to get your pup safe when it’s getting over-excited. It prevents the problem before it happens, preventing stress and anxiety for your dog (and you).
What Are The Downsides of Crate Training?
Done well, crate training is a great way to get your dog feeling safe and comfortable. It works well in many life situations, like when the dog needs to be left alone or travel. Crate training your Rottweiler puppy simply hones his natural denning instincts.
The dangers with crate training don’t come from the use of the crate in and of itself. Rather, it’s the way the training is handled that can cause problems.
Dog May Spend Too Much Time in the Crate
Crates are a big convenience for us, but they shouldn’t be used as a housing substitute for your dog. All too often, crates end up serving as kennels instead of training aids. The recommendation is a maximum of 4 hours at a time in a crate. In extreme situations, you may need more, but you still shouldn’t exceed 8 hours. More than this can cause your dog to develop a dislike for crates and even people.
Can Create Feelings of Isolation and Exclusion
Rottweilers are affectionate, energetic dogs, and thrive on being part of every family activity. Crate training your Rottweiler puppy creates a physical barrier between the dog and you. It means the pup cannot interact with you the way it naturally would. It may cause the pup to feel isolated and unwanted, leading to other unwanted behaviors over time.
(Want to know what the best companion dogs for a rottweiler are?)
Younger Dogs May Have Bladder Control Issues
Puppies under 6 months of age have limited control over their bladders. However, much the dog may not want to soil his space; he can’t hold his bowels for longer than 3-4 hours. For some, it can even be less than that. Crating your puppy, especially for longer periods, can lead to anxiety instead of being a help. He may get stressed because he doesn’t want to soil his space, yet is helpless to prevent it from happening.
Not Suitable for Dogs with Medical Conditions
Dogs suffering from medical conditions that affect their urination and defecation cannot be safely crated. A dog that cannot control its peeing and pooping functions well will end up soiling itself in the crate. It is uncomfortable for the dog and can lead to other health issues over time. If there are any concerns over the dog’s health, it is best to consult with your vet before starting crate training.
Care Must Be Taken When Selecting and Building a Crate
Crate training is successful only if done correctly, and if the crate being used is suitable for your dog. If the crate is too big or too small or poorly ventilated, it will not give your dog the feeling of comfort you are looking for. It’s also important to put the crate together well.
A crate that collapses while you are away can frighten your dog and cause him physical injury. The dog could also harm itself in any number of ways if free to roam without supervision. And you may find yourself coming back home to chewed shoes and shredded books.
How to Crate Train Your Rottweiler Puppy?
Crate training needs to be approached correctly if it is to be successful. It is not actually hard to do. It simply requires some patience on your part. Be prepared and commit yourself and invest some time daily for at least 6 months.
Not every puppy will behave the same way. Some will take to a crate right away, but others will need more time to adjust. No matter what stage of the training process you’re at, don’t rush your dog. Let your pup set the pace.
Introduce Your Pup to His Crate
Once you have your crate ready and assembled, place it somewhere, the family mostly spends their time. Whether it’s your den, kitchen, or family room, it should be where people spend most of their time together.
Take the crate door off and leave the pup to explore it freely. Some will naturally take to it and start taking a nap in it right away. Others may not be so quick about it.
Positive Encouragement Is The Way to Go
If your pup isn’t in a hurry to accept the crate, you can help him along. Bring him near the crate and start talking to him. Keep your voice relaxed and happy. Make sure the door is either off or well secured.
Start by dropping small treats near the crate, then just inside the door. If the pup is comfortable with this, start dropping the treats inside the crate itself, further and further back. If the treats aren’t working, you can also try a favorite toy.
If your pup initially refuses to go into the crate, don’t force the issue. Your pup will eventually go willingly to pick up his treat or toy. It’s a matter of time. Some pups will go through this step in minutes, and some will take days.
Feed Your Dog Meals in the Crate
If your pup is happily going into the crate, you can place his food bowl at the back. If he is still reluctant, place it only as far in as he is comfortable going. Each time you offer him food, keep the food bowl a bit further back in his crate.
The amount of time needed here varies with each individual dog. Some will be eating comfortably by their second or third meal, and others may take several days to get there. Again, don’t try to rush your dog. Slow but steady wins the race, in this case.
Once your pup is comfortable eating his meals inside the crate, you can start closing the door. The first few times, only keep the door closed while he is eating his meal. Open it up as soon as he is done.
If your pup is not showing any anxiety when you do this, you can move forward. Close the door when he starts eating and keep it closed for a couple of minutes after he’s done before letting him out. Work with this until he is comfortable staying inside the crate for around 10 minutes after he’s done eating.
At this stage, if your pup starts whining or crying inside the crate, you likely went too fast. The next time around, decrease the amount of time the door stays shut after his meal. And be sure not to bring him out until the dog stops whining. Otherwise, he’ll learn that whining is the key to getting the door open.
Gradually Increase the Length of Time He’s Left Alone in the Crate
When your dog is eating his meals inside the crate and staying there 10 minutes afterward comfortably, it’s time to move on. You can start getting him used to spending longer periods inside the crate while you’re at home.
You can call your pup near the crate and offer him a treat. Use a command to enter, such as ‘kennel up’ and encourage him to do so by directing him inside his crate with one more treat holding in your hand. Once he’s in, praise him, give him the treat, and then close the door.
Sit silently near his crate for about 10 minutes, then go to another room for another few minutes. Come back and sit next to the crate again, quietly, for another few minutes. Then let your pup out. Repeat this daily, slowly increasing the duration of time he’s left alone in his crate.
Work On Departures and Arrivals
Once you’re up to around 30 minutes of mostly alone time, you can now start leaving the pup crated while you go out for short periods. You can also start getting him to sleep there if that is your intention.
It’s crucial to practice departures, so your dog doesn’t have reason to become anxious. Vary the moment when you put your pup in the crate while you’re getting yourself ready to leave. It’s safe to crate him anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes before leaving the house.
Don’t prolong your departure and make it emotional. Your dog will find it easier to swallow if you keep it short. Praise him and give him a treat for going into the crate. Close the door and leave quietly.
Arrivals should also be kept low-key in order to avoid increasing your pup’s anxiety over when you’ll come back. And remember to keep crating him for a short period of time while you’re home.
Crating Your Dog During the Night-Time
If you intend for your pup to sleep in his crate at night, start by placing the crate closer to you. Put him in the crate using your regular command and a nice treat, and shut the door. Pups need to eliminate frequently. You’ll hear yours whining and be able to take him out during the night if he’s near you.
Once your pup is comfortable spending the night in the crate, you can slowly move it to where you want it to be. Again, take your time with this to avoid any kind of separation anxiety problems.
Training Your Dog
Crate training is just one of the parts of training a happy rottweiler puppy. While your puppy is still young you’ve got a golden opportunity to train them, which becomes harder and harder as they get older. If you’re interested in training your dog, then I highly recommend checking out Brain Training For Dogs.
It’s the best training program I know for you and your pup. It’s great because it’s based on positive reinforcement rather than punishment, which not only has proven to be more effective, but it’s more fun for you and your dog.
If you want to know more about Brain Training For Dogs, then check out the review here!
What to Avoid Doing?
Crate training is a simple process, but one that requires some commitment and patience. There are some things you should not do if you want good results.
Never Use a Crate as Punishment
Your dog should associate the crate with positive things. Never put him in as a punishment for bad behavior. You will be creating all sorts of undesirable behavior traits in your dog over time if you do this.
Don’t Keep Your Pup In the Crate for Too Long
Never leave your pup in the crate for longer than 3-4 hours at a time. It is important if you don’t want to create feelings of frustration and anxiety in your dog. Pups also cannot hold their pee as long as adult dogs. Your pup will need to get out to take care of his business.
If approached correctly, crate training your Rottweiler puppy has several benefits for both of you. As a dog owner, it gives you peace of mind knowing your dog is safe and comfortable when you can’t leave him free. This might be when you’re out shopping or at work, and when the dog needs to travel. Just remember not to confine your dog to his crate for too long.
Your dog will also have a safe, comfortable den to retire to when he’s feeling stressed or tired and needs some quiet. If you let the training process take its time and take care not to use the crate as punishment, he’ll learn to love it.