We very strongly believe in the benefits of using a cage to sleep your pup in and to keep it safe when you are not around. At first glance some may think this to be unkind, but they could not be more wrong. Considering that in the wild, dogs are den animals, it only makes sense that even domesticated dogs would feel secure in a small space that is familiar to them.
You must understand that a cage is not a jail, it is the safest place the puppy can be to learn to be housebroken, sleep at night, ride in the car, and stay in hotels or caravans when you are travelling. It will become its own portable "Den".
Have a cage the size that will fit the puppy comfortably, large enough to stand up, turn around and has enough space to lie down with ease. You may have to get a larger cage as the puppy grows, but do not buy a huge cage to begin with. It will give the puppy ideas of being able to use a portion of it as a toilet, something you do not want to happen.
We cage train all of our puppies before they come to you, so this makes life easy for you and gives you a great start. Please continue this and you will find having a puppy is easy and fun, which is what it should be. Put the cage with a towel or bath mat in it, in the room where the puppy is to sleep - do NOT be tempted to put it in your bedroom. Put the puppy in the cage with a toy and it will soon settle down for the night. As we have cage trained your puppy, there should be little or no crying or upset. However if the puppy does have a little cry to begin with, do be tempted to go and let it out – this will register with the puppy that it will be let out when it cries. Do not take the puppy into your bed or allow the puppy to run free in the house.
One suggestion that does work - wear your puppy out physically before it's time to go into the cage. If you play a lot, the pup should be completely worn out, and should have emptied its bladder and bowels before you attempt to settle it for the night, and nine times out of ten, the pup will flake out pretty quickly.
There are other advantages to using a cage aside from the dog’s comfort. Using a cage can make housebreaking easier, since it is a dog’s instinct not soil the place where they sleep. Of course it will take some growing time for your puppy to gain the control necessary to keep his/her cage clean. A cage will also give you control over when and where your puppy has access to your house. The cage can be used at night, when you are away from your home, or when you have company or are otherwise unable to keep a close eye on your baby. It brings peace of mind to know your puppy is in a safe place.
If you stick to the cage, your puppy will toilet train in no time, but you should continue to sleep the puppy in the cage for at least the first 12 months. All pups go through an adolescent, chewing phase from around 8 months and using the cage will help control this and keep your furniture intact.