Training is a process for sure. It doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time. And it’s noisy. But they’re learning. They won’t be perfect when they go home, but they’ll have a head start on crate training.
As you can see we have a bunch of crates lined up in the puppy room. And each puppy pen has a crate in it.
These puppies started out sleeping in their crate as a big group with the door open in their puppy pen. They could come and go as they please, and use the litter box when they needed it. Once they were completely weaned off mom I split them into two groups in two puppy pens; three in one, four in the other. And I switch them around so it’s not always the same bunch together.
The next step was closing them into their crates at night in small groups; two, two, and three. And then in individual crates. In order to do this, it means waking them up around 11:30 pm, (these pups normally crash about 9-9:30) taking them outside to potty, then haul them back upstairs and put in individual crates for the night. (They fuss. They don’t like the new routine, but they’ll get used to it. And hopefully by the time they go home it will be easier.) And then set the alarm for about 5:00 am to let them out to potty before they wake up and start stirring.
During the day they are getting fed their meals individually in a crate too. I don’t do it for every meal since sometimes they are outside enjoying the sun and fresh air so they get an al fresco meal together in those instances. But when we can it’s meals in crates. And once again, it’s a process. They’re hungry, but some don’t want to eat by themselves in a crate. But it’s just a matter of them learning the routine and knowing that any “complaints” will be ignored by the wait-staff and they will get no attention until they’ve settled. I normally set my timer for 30 minutes and by then they are all chilled out and it’s time to let them all out and head back outside for a potty break.
And when you get your puppy home, just keep at it. It’s always an adjustment (sometimes a very noisy one), but if you’re consistent and patient and stick with the routine that works for you and your puppy, before you know it they’ll be happily crate trained.