Golden Retriever potty training.

Training your puppy to use a crate it’s essential if your Golden Retriever is going to live inside the house. When a puppy is crate trained properly, he or she will consider the crate as a “den” and go there automatically when they are tired or want to be alone.

A few basic rules of thumb:

  • A crate should never be used as punishment.
  • A puppy should never be confined to a crate for longer than 2 or 3 hours when you are not home.
  • Don’t purchase a crate that will fit your puppy when it is full-grown. If the crate is too large, the puppy will use it to go potty.
  • Move the crate from room to room with you and allow the puppy to sleep in its crate in your bedroom at night. This gives them a sense of security, and they will settle down much more quickly knowing you are right there.

A key ingredient in crate training is to make it fun for the puppy. Do this by putting some treats in the crate and letting him find them. Toss the treat into the crate and when the pup goes in to get it, say “GOOD DOG…GOOD PUPPY”. Once in a while, when the dog goes into the crate to retrieve the treat, close the door for a few minutes. If he is nice and quiet, say “GOOD PUPPY.” However, if he starts making a lot of noise, IGNORE HIM. When the puppy settles down, say “GOOD BOY/GIRL” and then open the crate door.

Remember…make this fun. It should never be a form of punishment!
Crate training is a wonderful way to help you housebreak your new fur baby. Puppies will avoid using their “den” as a place to go potty. Immediately upon taking him out of the crate bring it outside to relieve itself…..DO NOT stop to play with him first! Once he has relieved itself outside, give lots of praise! Praise so much that your neighbors will think you have lost your mind!!! As soon as you feel confident that the pup is “empty” you can then return to the house and have some playtime.

Puppies have next to no bladder or bowel control. What goes in one end very quickly comes out the other. So when you feed them, immediately take them out to go potty. When you take them out to potty, use the same phrase each time. Something like “potty” or “hurry” works well.

As we mentioned above, you cannot restrict a puppy to a crate for more than 2 or 3 hours at a time when you are not with them. If you work away from home all day, as most people do, you could try to enlist a neighbor to come and take him out several times a day. There are also pet walkers you could hire to do this.

Working people should consider using an X-Pen in addition to a crate for during the day. The X-Pen can be set up in say the kitchen with the crate (with the door open) in one corner of the pen. If no one is taking the puppy out during the day, you will have to “paper train” in part of the X-Pen. He then will have a larger area to exercise in and can still use his/her crate for taking naps.

Puppies should not be trusted to have free run of your home. There are too many things they can get into, things that can hurt them and destroy your property at the same time. When you are busy, you can either crate the puppy or tether it’s leash to you so that you are always aware of what he is doing. Use constant commands and phrases such as “settle down” or “easy” when the puppy is acting too wild.

If you are busy and decided to crate the puppy, try putting the crate in the same room with you. That way he won’t feel like it’s being punished and can keep an eye on you at the same time.

At bedtime, put his crate in the bedroom with you. Puppies that are allowed to sleep with their humans tend to settle down much more quickly. Plus…when the puppy needs to go potty in the middle of the night you will be able to hear their call.

Crate training has many additional benefits. If you plan on taking your puppy/dog with you on vacations, being able to tell a hotel/motel innkeeper that your dog will be in its crate when you are not in the room is a big plus!