A crate gives your dachshund a secure bed of his own and gives you a place to put him where you won’t worry about him. It’s like his nest. By the way… all dogs should be crated trained when they’re pups. Crates help in-house training, they provide a safe means of car travel, and provide a safe haven when staying with friends or at hotels. A crate trained dog will also fare better if he has to be crated at the veterinary hospital.
But crates can be overused. They are not a place for your dog to be disregarded while you entertain yourself with other things. Overuse of crates can create serious behavioral problems. Think of a crate as your child’s crib. It’s a safe place to sleep, but not a place to grow up. And it’s certainly not a place for punishment.
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Build a good confidence with the crate by feeding your dog in it. At first just place the food slightly inside the crate so he doesn’t even have to go inside to eat. Then, next time, move the food farther inside. Finally, close the door while he eats, opening it as soon as he finishes. You can probably do this within the period of a day. Soon he will be running to the crate as soon as he sees you with food. If you want, you can now introduce a cue, such as “Bedtime” (or whatever works for you) for him to go in the crate.
You can extend his time in the crate by giving him chew toys or other toys to occupy him while inside. Extend his time in the crate gradually, always trying to let him out before he has a chance to get bored or vocal. If he does begin to protest, wait until he is momentarily quiet before letting him out. Continue to extend the time he must be quiet before he gets released.
The crate is one of the safest places your Dachshund puppy can be, but you must do your part. Do not leave collars on puppies while they are in their crates. Collars, especially choke collars or collars with tags, can get caught in crate wires, and puppies have a bad habit of getting their lower jaws somehow stuck in loose collars. Soft bedding is wonderful for most puppies, but those that chew and swallow it may have to be relegated to surfaces less likely to cause intestinal blockages. If your puppy tends to chew on the wire, he could get his jaw or tooth caught. Discourage such behavior by spraying the wire with anti-chew preparations and by making sure your pup has no issues with being crated.
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