How to Crate Train a New Puppy When the First Dog Isn't Crate Trained

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Crate training a puppy with a dog that isn't crate trained only requires a few tweaks to the typical approach.
Crate training a puppy with a dog that isn't crate trained only requires a few tweaks to the typical approach. (Image: What are on going? Puppy-Dog German Sheperd image by Fotoschubser from Fotolia.com)

Crate training is one of the best ways to potty train a new puppy. However, you might wonder how do to crate train your puppy when you already have a dog at home that isn’t crate trained. Fortunately, you don’t do much different than you normally would if the dog was crate trained.

Place the crate in an area where the dog that isn't crate trained cannot see it. Some puppies become defensive of their crates or feel trapped when they see another dog approaching and act aggressive as a result. Similarly, the first dog may try to take advantage of the puppy’s vulnerable position and growl or try to attack it. For this reason, keep the crate and the current dog separated, at least until they become comfortable with each other.

Encourage your puppy to enter the crate by placing treats, toys and food inside. Leave the door to the crate open when you are home so that your pup can feel free to venture in and out at its leisure. In addition, always give it a treat when you place it inside the crate to reward it for going in. Avoid letting the other dog go inside the crate because it may become protective of the puppy’s crate and become aggressive towards the pup as a result. Consider purchasing a kennel for the existing dog if it continually shows an interest in the puppy’s crate. Most dogs see crates as dens and enjoy having areas that are made just for them.

Keep your puppy in the crate when you are not home or unable to supervise, such as when you are sleeping. Take it outside immediately after releasing it from the crate, going through the same door to the same spot each time. Give it a treat once it has eliminated where you wanted it to.

Take your puppy outside during the same times each day—doing so will put the pup on a schedule, which will likely help in the crate-training process.

Tips & Warnings

  • Never leave your puppy in the crate for more than a few hours without taking it out to relieve itself. Young puppies cannot hold their bladders or bowels for long periods of time.

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