The subject of cockapoo crate training is something that raises a lot of heated debate among dog owners.
While some owners swear by this training method, others feel that it is the wrong approach for their pets. So, if you have a Cockapoo puppy and you are thinking about crate training him then what do you need to know? There’s a lot to consider with a Cockapoo as these intelligent dogs need a lot of attention. If you are planning training for your new puppy, there are some who say that this is not the best method, but others who will advise you to consider it. For an adult dog, there are similar concerns. Let’s have a look at crate training in more detail.
The Basics of Cockapoo Crate Training
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As the name suggests, this training method is all about giving a dog his own space in a dog crate where he can feel safe and secure. It is worth pointing out that some people will use a playpen instead of a crate, though. We recommend that you look at a purpose-made dog crate as these will have been carefully designed, and you can find them for sensible prices on Amazon and at your local pet supplies store.
The first thing to talk about is how long you should leave your dog in the crate. He certainly shouldn’t be just left in here all day long as this is a breed that – like many others – can suffer from separation anxiety. Nor should he get sent here when he has been naughty and you want to punish him, as this will confuse your cocker spaniel crossbreed!
Instead, this has to be a happy, trouble-free and peaceful place where he feels completely at ease for short periods of time. To do it right you will want to start when he is still a puppy. Ideally, you will introduce him to the house in this way, so that he knows from the very start that the dog crate is his personal space.
You can leave him in here while you are at home, when you go out and at night-time. However, you need to take him out to go to the toilet at regular intervals, and also to have some fun now and then. Toilet training a cockapoo puppy is an essential part of his young life, and when done successfully will make life easier for both the cockapoo owner and the dog itself.
This can also be the place where he eats as well as sleeps. He should really begin to see it as his own little home where he is free from stresses and strains, so he can retreat here whenever he feels like it. Indeed, it could be looked upon as a kennel, should you wish. Make sure the crate is comfortable with his water bowl and some familiar items, and you will find your poodle cross appreciates this home from home.
So, what else do you need to know in order to make a decision on whether to go ahead with crate training for your lovely Cockapoo puppy? Let’s have a look at the benefits, and some useful training tips for you and your dog.
The Benefits of Crate Training a Cockapoo Puppy
Those who are in favour of cockapoo crate training puppies give an impressively long list of reasons for choosing this approach.
As well as giving him a place to feel safe and protected, this is also a method of avoiding him messing up the house while he is still being house trained. Dogs tend not to use their sleeping area as a bathroom, so while he is in the crate he is likely to wait until you take him outside before doing his business. The dog’s crate is, after all, his personal space as we have already mentioned, and the more familiar he becomes with it, the more likely he is to go there when he wants some peace and quiet!
Another benefit is that this can give you a place to keep the dog out of harm’s way when you go out. Some pooches will fight with the cat, chew furniture or cause other problems when left home alone. Crating means that he can’t do any of this, so you have less to worry about when you leave your cockapoo alone for a while.
It is also seen as being a way of helping him to avoid getting anxious when left alone in a big house. Most dogs find it easier to relax when they have just a small area like their dog crate to look after, rather than the whole house.
When used correctly, there are no major drawbacks to crate training your Cockapoo. Any problems that occur tend to be because the wrong approach has been used. As with any dog breed, the cockapoo will need time to adjust to the crate training. When in the crate for the first time, for example, your cockapoo puppy may whine as he is not sure what is going on. Regular training and your reassurance will help make the training process easier, and you will soon find he gets used to the crate.
Also, if the crate is too small or not well-enough ventilated then this can be dangerous for the dog’s health.
What size crate for a Cockapoo?
The first point to bear in mind is that the cockapoo crate has to be big enough for your Cockapoo to be comfortable in it. He needs to be able to stand up, lie down and turn around in it whenever he wants to. Also, if the crate is too small or not well-enough ventilated then this can be dangerous for the dog’s health. Naturally, you need it to be big enough to allow you to get on with potty training your cockapoo puppy – or if you have a rescue you might have an older dog that has not been trained correctly. The dog crate will certainly help, so we recommend you checkout different sizes, and pick the right one for a small dog such as your cockapoo.
While the dangers of a crate that is too small are obvious, getting one that is too big can also lead to problems. For a start, he might not be able to feel the same sense of security that comes with a snug box that is just the right size for him so it really is important to pick the correct cockapoo crate size.
When it comes to house training this could also present him with some issues. If the crate is big enough for him to sleep at one end and do his toilet business at the other end then he might do exactly that, which isn’t what you want at all. You will also need it to be well-ventilated too.
In terms of the material, many owners find wire crates to be best because they are easy to clean, very secure and allow lots of air to pass through them. However, if you are going to be taking him out in the car a lot of the time then a sturdy, plastic container is worth considering.
The alternative approach of using a playpen is also quite popular, as a puppy will be comfortable in here too. As long as he can’t jump out then it will carry out exactly the same function as a crate and maybe more fun for him.
I hope that’s helped you decide what size crate for cockapoo. There is no definite answer as it just depends how big your Cockapoo is.
How to Make It Fun and Inviting
If you are going to encourage your puppy to spend a lot of time in his crate then you will want to make it as fun and inviting as possible.
Once he starts to show some interest in the crate you can encourage him further by putting some treats in it. You certainly don’t want to try and force him in here too quickly or by physically shoving him in, as this could put him off the idea for good.
The best time to get your dog to go in is when he is tired and looking for somewhere comfortable to sleep. If he is going to be in here for a while then be sure that he has access to water all the time.
Above all, try to make this a fun place where he enjoys spending time. This isn’t a place to send him to give you some peace or to punish him; it is an important part of his overall training and lifestyle.
What to Do at Night Time
Getting your dog to sleep in here at night might be trickier than encouraging him to get in during the day. If you have managed to tire him out during the day and waited until he is tired before putting him in then there is more chance of him sleeping quickly and having a peaceful night.
Some owners choose to put a blanket over the crate to block out the light, while others will put on calming music for him. If he starts to cry or protest then try your very best to ignore him, as he should soon calm down. If you take him out of his crate at night then it is going to be a lot more difficult to get him used to his crate in the long run.
By being patient and showing your puppy a lot of love you can help make this crate training a great success. It is by no means the only way of training a pup but it is definitely a method that is well worth giving a try if you want to give your new cockapoo the best possible start in his new home.
If you are a new Cockapoo owner and need some other training tips, check out these articles:
- When should I let my Cockapoo off the lead?
- How to socialise your Cockapoo
- 10 Cockapoo training books