Training your Pitbull puppy is an important part of being a Pitbull owner, and housebreaking is often one of the most difficult tasks to accomplish. Pitbull puppies can be very stubborn, but essentially they are just like any other puppy. Using crate training methods can help make housebreaking easier. Though it takes time and patience, the results will benefit not only you but your Pitbull.
Picking the Right Crate
Though your Pitbull puppy is tiny now, he will grow to be much bigger in the future. Buy a crate that will be spacious enough to hold the size of your Pit when he is fully grown. Buying a crate with a partition allows you to change the amount of room inside of the crate as your puppy grows. Puppies should have just enough space to lie down. If a puppy has too much room in the crate, he will learn to relieve himself in one area of the crate, and lie back down in another area.
Inside the Crate
Your Pitbull should feel comfortable inside the crate. You may put a blanket, towel or dog bed inside the crate. You may also keep a toy inside if you will not be home for a while during the day; dogs can get bored and you do not want your strong chewer to destroy the crate. You may leave a water bowl inside the crate. If the dog is left inside the crate for long hours, she will need water. However, be mindful of how much water you leave; the dog will urinate in the crate if you leave too much water for her to drink.
Where To Put the Crate
Locate the crate in a well-ventilated area. However, do not place the crate directly next to a vent; you do not want heat or cold air-conditioning blowing on your puppy. Placing the crate next to your bed while you sleep can help comfort your puppy at night.
Introducing the Crate
Give the crate a positive connotation for your puppy. Do not place or force your puppy into the crate. Put your puppy on the leash and allow him to walk into the crate with your guidance. Entice your puppy into the crate using treats, and praise him once he is inside. Do not linger outside the crate while your puppy is inside; close the door and walk away.
When To Crate Your Puppy
Crate your puppy for short periods while you are home. This helps him get used to being in the crate. Leave the crate door open throughout the day so your puppy feels comfortable to walk in and out. You can also crate your puppy after he has finished eating, for about half an hour. When the time is up, let your puppy out and immediately take him outside to relieve himself. Your puppy should also be crated at night. This will help him get used to to waiting, and prevent him from urinating on your bed.
When They Cry
Do not allow your dog to come out of the crate just because he is crying. This is negative reinforcement. This can be especially difficult at night, since you want peace and quiet while you sleep. Do not give in. Eventually your puppy will learn, and the crying will stop.
If you come home or wake up to excrement in the crate, do not get angry and do not yell. Quietly allow your dog out of the crate, and take him outside to relieve himself with lots of praise and even a treat. A popular rule of thumb is that your puppy can hold his urine as many hours as he is months old; at two months, he should be able to wait two hours. Do not expect him to understand that he has to hold his urine. Accidents will happen.
- Photo Credit Pit image by Mark D. Farthing from Fotolia.com