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Crate training is used under the concept that a puppy will not eliminate himself where he has to sleep. Of course, if he really has to go he still will, crate or not. When crate training a puppy as a form of potty training, it is important not to use the crate as a punishment. Strictly use the crate as a place for your puppy to sleep at night or to stay when you are away from the house. This way the puppy is confined to one small area and will hopefully not have any accidents.
Start by choosing the right crate. The idea is to pick something not too large and not too small. The puppy must be able to stand up and turn around in the crate. If it is too large it will allow him a space to relieve himself, which defeats the purpose of using the crate for potty training.
Teach the dog to go into the crate by saying "kennel" or "bed" and placing a treat inside. It is important that he enters on his own and is not forced. Another trick is to leave the kennel door open and put in one of his favorite blankets or toys. Soon enough he'll be napping in there on his own.
Do not reward him when he leaves the crate. This can cause him to bark and whine when he spends time in the crate. The puppy needs to have happy experiences so he enjoys his stay in the crate and does not see it as punishment.
Take him outside as soon as he leaves his crate and tell him to "go potty." Praise the puppy for going outside. If he has an accident in the crate, do not punish him, just follow the same steps. After repeated stays in the crate and going outside to potty right after, the puppy will realize he is supposed to eliminate himself outside.
- dog in a cage image by igor kisselev from Fotolia.com