Training your new pup to do their business at the right time and the right place is a crucial step that every pet owner has to take. Even though dogs instinctively know where to answer the call of nature – they usually do their business on dirt or grass – with proper training, their toilet habits can be further improved. If you’ve recently gotten a golden retriever puppy for yourself, your top priority should be to potty train your new companion.
Generally, it takes four to six months for a puppy to be fully house trained; however, some golden retrievers may take up to a year to get the hang of it. Different dog owners potty train their pets in different ways, but in this blog, we’re going to discuss crate training – what we feel is the best way to potty train a golden retriever puppy.
So, continue reading to discover the best way to potty train a golden retriever puppy. The earlier you start the training, the easier it will be for your doggy to learn how and where to do their business. This also equates to fewer accidents in the house that you will eventually have to clean up.
What You’ll Need
Before we get into the nitty-gritty details of potty training a golden retriever using crate training, let’s first discuss what you’ll need for this training process.
- A plastic crate (flight kennel, Vari-kennel)
- A metal pen
Step 1: Introducing a Crate to Your Dog
You’ll need to first familiarize your pet with the crate so that your furry buddy does not hesitate to use it in the future. Keep the crate in a room where you and your family spend most of your time. For this purpose, the kitchen or the living room makes for a great place to hang out and chill with your loved ones.
Next, put a dog-friendly blanket inside the crate and encourage your dog to sit on this blanket. All this while, make sure that you talk to your pet in a nice, friendly tone. Don’t be too pushy or angry if your golden retriever doesn’t listen to you right away. Give it some time; it will come around eventually.
A good way to ensure that your dog enters the crate is to place food treats inside it. If your pup refuses to go inside the crate, don’t force him in. Instead, let him sniff around it and get familiar with it. Keep tossing the treats around until your dog finally enters the crate. If treats aren’t doing the trick, you can also toss your pet’s toy in the crate. Keep in mind that this step can take time, so you need to be patient.
Step 2: Use the Crate to Give Your Dog His Meals
Once your dog is familiar with the crate, start feeding him his everyday meals in the crate. First, begin by placing his meals somewhere in the far corner of the crate. If your pet is hesitant to approach his food at this far corner, keep the meal near the door or somewhere nearby so that he can easily go inside without being worried or scared.
Once your puppy is comfortable enough to go inside the crate and eat his food in there, practice closing the door behind him. Every time your dog enters the crate, close the door as he gets busy with his meal. Just as he finishes the food, open the door right away. Whenever you feed him next, keep the door locked for a few extra minutes. Continue doing so until your pet learns to stay in the pen for at least 10 minutes.
If your golden retriever starts to moan or cry when he’s in the crate, it’s likely that you have increased his time duration inside the crate too quickly for his liking. If this has happened, then reduce your pup’s time in the crate. Start over and gradually increase the time that your pup spends in the crate. If your pet does the same again (whines, cries, or moans inside the crate), do not open the door for it. If you do so, your pup will think that whining is the only way to escape the crate, and so he will always cry when he’s in the crate.
Step 3: Condition Your Dog to Stay in the Crate for Longer Hours
Once your pup is used to eating his food in the crate, gradually increase the amount of time he stays inside. You can do so by giving your pup a treat once he is inside the crate. Give him positive reinforcement and then shut the door.
Stay by your dog for approximately 10 minutes, and then you can go to some other room. Come back to your dog after five minutes or so; wait some more time before letting him out. Continue doing so every day, and with each recurrence, increase the duration that your pet stays inside the crate.
Step 4: Crate Your Pup When Going Out
As soon as your golden retriever learns to stay in the crate for a long time, you can try leaving him in there for a short amount of time when leaving the house.
Once your pet is in the crate, without wasting time, leave the house quietly – there’s no need to let your pet know that you are leaving. When you come back home, don’t let your dog know that you were not present the entire time. Keep your arrival as low-key as possible. This will prevent your pup from getting anxious during your absence. Plus, if they know that you aren’t home, they will remain impatient the entire time and will feel abandoned.
Step 5: Crating at Night
Crating is also done at night, as many pups need to poop/pee during the night. If your dog is not used to crating, he’ll cry to go outside and may disturb you in the middle of the night. In such cases, you should keep the crate in your bedroom or somewhere nearby, so your pup doesn’t feel isolated.
After a while, start to relocate the crate to a more ideal place such as in the hallway or near your bathroom (any place where your pup can easily access to do his business).
Keep in mind that using crates have cons, too, and more so if they are wrongly used. If used incorrectly, your pup may feel trapped. For instance, if your pet is spending its time in a crate while you’re at work and when you are asleep, it may feel confined as it isn’t getting enough time to go out and play around.
Our Final Thoughts
It is also important to know that puppies younger than six months can’t control their bowel movements or bladders for a really long time, so they shouldn’t be crated for more than two to three hours.
Crate training is the best way to potty train a golden retriever puppy because it is two-fold. On the one hand, your pup will know when and where it can excrete, and on the other hand, it will ensure that your pup stays in one place if you ever have to transport it somewhere in a crate.