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At a time when there appears to be many calls for help to the breed - page 4 / 5

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never wet in a cage.

Make it very clear to children that the crate is NOT a playhouse for them, but a “special room” for the puppy. Whose rights should be recognised and respected. However, you should accustom the puppy right from the start to letting you reach into the crate at any time, lest he becomes overprotective of it. But never let a child pull a puppy from its crate or wake it up once asleep. Puppies need their sleep, the same as children.

Establish a “crate routine” immediately, closing the puppy in at regular one or two hourly intervals during the day, (his own chosen nap times will guide you) and whenever he must be left alone for up to three hours. Give him a toy for distraction and be sure to remove collars which could get caught in an opening. At night, in the beginning, you may prefer to leave the door open and newspapers on the floor in front. Personally, I never do, I always shut them in last thing at night after they have been out in the garden. Also, I usually give them their last feed when I close the crate door.

Once adjusted to his new life he will show greater bowel control by eliminating himself only once or not at all. (Normally they never seem to mess their crate, providing you let them out as soon as they awake)

Even if things do not go smoothly at first, DO NOT WEAKEN and don’t WORRY. Be consistent, be firm, and be very aware that you are doing your pet a favour by preventing him from getting into trouble when left alone.

If you do not chose the crate permanently, plan to use it for at least the first six months or until the dog is well past the teething stage. Then start leaving the door open briefly when he is left alone. If all goes well for a week or two, and the dog seems reliable when left alone, remove the crate itself and leave the bedding in the same place; although he may probably miss the crate enclosure. That place will become “his own place” and his habit of good behaviour will continue.

Should any problem behaviour occur at a future time, however, the decision whether or not to use a crate longer, or perhaps permanently, will have been made for you! Even after a long period without a crate, a dog raised in one, will readily accept it again should the need arise.  Especially for travel, illness, etc. and may really welcome its return.

DOES THE CRATE ALWAYS WORK?

Usually yes, I have never had a dog who will not use a crate. Even dogs which come here to stay, (certainly they are not all Labradors, but all breeds, shapes and sizes!) go in crates, with no problem. Most

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