When the puppies are with their mom in the whelping crate and then after moving to the small puppy pen they have a sheepskin-type bed or soft blanket to sleep on. But when they move to bigger quarters and the large puppy pen, then we have room to add a crate with the bed or blanket inside. This helps the puppies get comfortable with sleeping in a crate. Most dogs naturally will gravitate to a “den”-like structure for sleeping anyway.
Then we start feeding in the crates, usually first with the door open and next with the door closed. This helps the pups get used to being in the crate with the door closed and feel comfortable being there.
Summer & JessWilly, Johnny and KennyWaylon, June, and Dolly
Here are Lucy and Mercy’s pups having lunch in the crates. With a limited amount of crate space, and when they’re just starting out, I like to double or triple them up in each crate; the buddy system!
And another accomplishment in the books we had our first all-night sleepover in crates (doors closed) with nary an accident! And it wasn’t only Lucy and Mercy’s pups, but Oakley’s pups slept in their crate too. (Mercy and Oakley have been weaning their pups and the pups are not with them at night any longer).
Let me clarify when I say “all night”, this isn’t a twelve-hour sleepover. No, it’s me sleeping on the couch, getting up around eleven-thirty to midnight to wake the sleeping beauties (they normally conk out about nine to nine-thirty) so they can sleepily go potty. Then put them in the crates, close the door, turn out the light and head back to bed. I woke up about five-thirty so I quietly crept up the stairs and opened crate doors. I wanted to get to them before they woke up crying to be let out.
Such good puppies! They’re getting a good start on crate training. 🙂