There are many benefits to crate training your Cavapoo puppy (also called Cavoodle) including house training and providing your puppy a safe place to sleep and relax on their own. So read on to find out how to get started in crate training your Cavapoo puppy.
Crate training a Cavapoo puppy has the benefit of providing a safe space, house training, and positively dealing with separation anxiety. Keep in mind, crate training should always be a positive experience and can take up to 6 months, so patience is required.
What is Crate Training?
Crate training is simply teaching your Cavapoo that a crate (chosen specifically for them) is a safe space they can spend time in. Dogs are historically den-loving animals so most often they come to see a crate as a positive space to be, providing a kind of den substitute.
If done correctly, crate training will provide your Cavapoo with a safe space that they can call their own. They will often choose to go to the crate themselves to relax or nap. Some owners say their Cavapoo has the option to sleep on their owner’s bed but they prefer their crate and will take themselves off to bed at night.
This type of training is also a great tool when it comes to house training a Cavapoo puppy as well.
Further benefits include travel safety, positively dealing with anxiety and the creation of structure in your Cavapoo’s life.
Crate training should never be confused with crate confinement. Crate confinement is just what it sounds like: confining your pet to a crate for long periods of time. This can create separation anxiety as well as bad habits and, in some cases, can even cause injury. And we would never recommend this.
Crate Training Your Cavapoo Puppy
Successfully crate training your Cavapoo puppy should be a positive experience. And you can do this with plenty of positive reinforcement training.
Before any type of crate training, you should exercise your Cavapoo pup so they are sufficiently tired and will more easily take to the idea of some quiet time in their crate. The type of exercise you do can be as simple as a big play session, a run around the yard or a walk, all in line with their age.
Here’s how to get started with crate training:
Step 1. Let your Cavapoo pup explore the outside of the crate
Puppies are inquisitive, so it’s likely that your pup will be interested in exploring their new crate. Walk your puppy around the crate, have the doors open, and let them sniff and explore on their own.
Step 2. Encourage your Cavapoo to explore the inside of the crate
As you’re hanging out in the area, encourage your Cavapoo puppy to explore the inside of the crate. You can do this by placing a small treat inside. When they step inside the crate for the treat, reward them again with another treat. Each time they go inside they should be given a bit of positive reinforcement so that they understand that being inside the crate is a good thing.
Step 3. Use toys inside the crate
If your Cavapoo puppy has a particular toy they love to play with, toss it into the crate and make a game of them retrieving it. Again, use treats to reward your pup for going into the crate. We want them to associate the crate with play, toys, treats – all good things!
Step 4. Closing the crate door
Next, it’s time to show them that the door can close. While this might seem intimidating at first, keep up with the positive reinforcement. Carefully and gently close the door while your Cavapoo pup is inside the crate, and immediately reward them with a treat. Let them hang out for a bit inside.
If your pup gets stressed be sure to stop the training and have another go later. This way you will build up only positive associations with their crate.
Like all training, crate training will be a slow process. You should allow a few months for your Cavapoo to be completely trained and relaxed in their crate. Although some dogs may catch on quickly and be comfortable right away!
Once your Cavapoo pup is comfortable around the crate, here are the next steps:
Step 5. Spending time in the crate
Put your Cavapoo puppy in the crate and leave them in there for a short amount of time. Begin with just a few minutes (or even seconds depending on your pups comfort level) before increasing to five to ten minutes, while you stay within sight. Be sure to include a chew or toy to keep them busy.
Step 6. Increasing the time in the crate
Slowly increase this time over the next few weeks. Make sure to reinforce good crate behavior with treats and a positive tone of voice. Include times when you are out of eyesight so your Cavapoo will become used to their own company.
Step 7. Overnight crating
If you would like your Cavapoo pup to sleep in their crate, work in overnight crating. Be aware there will most likely be some crying involved.
Some owners choose to place the crate in their own bedroom with them to help their puppy settle. But keep in mind the crate should remain in one place. So if you choose the bedroom, then the crate should remain there. At a later time, you can choose to transition the crate out slowly to a new position.
Other owners chose to sleep near the crate for a few nights to help their pup settle in.
And a third option is to hang around the crate with your Cavapoo inside, while they settle. Then quietly leave. This process may need to be repeated a number of times before your puppy feels safe and secure to sleep through the night.
During overnight crate training, it is likely young pups will need to be let out during the early hours of the morning for toileting. But just remember, this stage will not last too long. And before you know it, your Cavapoo puppy will be toilet trained as well as happy to use their crate.
Cavapoo Crate Size
The type of crate you choose for your Cavapoo will depend on how you intend to use it. We love the option of a larger crate that comes with a divider. While your Cavapoo puppy is small, you can use the divider to section off the crate to make a smaller space. Then when your Cavapooo matures and needs more room, you can remove the divider.
The idea of providing a somewhat smaller crate space initially is to reduce toileting accidents. Dogs don’t generally want to toilet in the place they sleep. So the larger the crate, the more room there is for accidents while your puppy is still learning.
Here is an ideal crate with a divider, you can buy once without having to upgrade to a larger size down the track.
Crate Supplies To Include For Your Cavapoo Puppy
As well as your crate, you will need a few supplies for your crate training. They include:
Dog Bed – You’ll want your Cavapoo pup to be comfortable, so provide a bed or even use old towels as bedding (there will be accidents!). Make sure you choose a dog bed that fits the dimensions of the crate. You can go with anything from a simple crate pad to an orthopedic option.
Keep in mind that some dogs, based on their personalities, will chew and rip into dog beds. Cavapoos don’t usually engage in destructive behaviors unless they have separation anxiety, and crate training can help them overcome it.
Water Bowl – Whether or not a water bowl belongs in a dog crate is a much-debated topic among dog owners. As a general rule, most owners/trainers agree that putting a water bowl in your dog’s crate isn’t a good idea if you are working on house training them. They’ll just load up on water and fill their bladders quickly.
However, once your dog matures a bit and settles into the routine, you may want to consider making a water bowl available in their crate. In this case, you’ll see products ranging from bowls that simply hook onto the crate, to no-spill variations.
Toys and Chew Treats – Make your Cavapoo’s crate a fun space to be and provide a few toys and chew treats to keep them busy.
Where Should You Position A Dog Crate?
Keep in mind Cavapoos are people dogs, they just love hanging out with their humans. So think about where to place your Cavapoos crate so they’ll feel comfortable.
Many owners find a shared common area in the home works best. That way your Cavapoo pup can see you during the day if they choose to take themselves off to their crate for a nap.
For training purposes, this works well because you can work the crate into your hang-out routine. For example, if you place your Cavpoo puppy’s crate in the lounge room, you can be spending time in the same room together and you can encourage your pup into his crate. You can do this by tossing in a toy to play with while you’re still within eyesight.
Other owners choose to set up their crate in their bedroom right next to their bed. This can be a good solution for overnight crate training.
The decision is up to you and what will work for you and your family.
Do keep the crate in one location, so your puppy knows where to go to it. Eventually, they’ll want to go to the crate to relax on their own.
Cavapoos are well-known for being intelligent, as well as exceedingly cute, and having the ability to solve problems. So crate training your Cavapoo shouldn’t be too difficult. But it will require your patience to make it a positive and rewarding experience.
By the way, if you would like to see crate training a puppy in action, check out the Jak George video below.