Please help with size of cage/crate for training

(29 Posts)

First time dog owners picking up a puppy in two weeks (mini dachshund). We need to buy a crate/cage for sleeping and for when I need to go out during the day so he may need to do a wee in it.

Could anyone tell me what size to buy please? It seems the longer they get the taller the cages get and he wont be a tall dog.

digerd Sun 17-Feb-13 18:01:37

If you expect to use the crate only while a puppy, and he is a mini, the small should suffice. When they sleep they curl up. Yes he will get longer than taller. I had a normal sized Dachshund - long-haired, and as a puppy she was tiny. We did not crate her though. But I was at home all day.
Which type is he - short , long or rough haired?

Booboostoo Sun 17-Feb-13 22:06:59

The dog should be able to stand up, turn around and lie down in the crate, so for most breeds you will need more than one crates as the puppy grows up. You don't want a large crate to start off with because if you allow too much space the dog may be tempted to turn part of it into a toilet. Most dogs will not go to the toilet in their crates so it's a good way of house training them.

How long do you need to go out during the day? Most puppies should be able to hold their wee for a couple of hours and you should not leave a dog in its crate for more than 4 hours anyway. Keep in mind that it takes a while to crate train a dog so set a couple of weeks aside for helping the puppy settle in its new life and don't expect that he will arrive and be willing to spend time in the crate just like that.

He is a mini, smooth, black and tan. Pick up on March 2nd. I had been given the idea that he would wee on a pad at one end of the crate if I need to go out for a couple of hours so I was thinking of getting a longer crate so he doesnt have to sleep/lie near any wee. He is too small to be wandering round the house unaccompanied.

All tips gratefully received as we are first time dog owners.

lotsofdogshere Mon 18-Feb-13 08:41:21

Booboostoo is right about crate advice. Don't use puppy pads. There is lots of good advice on the internet about crate training/house training. The crate needs to be a safe, comfortable place for the pup to feel secure in. Dogs avoid soiling their home, and that's what the crate is. Pups need to be taken out to toilet after every sleep, eat, and usually at least every two hours, but often more frequently. Watch if the pup starts to sniff and circle, especially if its somewhere it has toileted before as they tend to use the same place. Find a word you want the dog to learn, and as soon as it toilets in the spot outside you want it to use, say the word, and praise the dog lots. I use small bits of cheese/chicken, high value treats to reinforce how very excellent and clever it is to toilet in the right place. Don't punish the dog for accidents in the house, if you don't catch it mid flow, it won't understand.

OK thank you. I will have a re-think.

Thanks have had a re-read. I do voluntary work so will do 2 hour shifts instead for a while so I am back for him. When I need to go out should I leave him with the TV or radio on or by the back door so he can see out or somewhere quiet with a chew?

Booboostoo Mon 18-Feb-13 22:02:28

It really depends on the puppy. Always leave him with a high value chew, maybe try quiet at first and if that doesn't work try the radio. Some dogs like the crate to be covered and dark, others like to see as much as possible. It's a bit of trial and error.

I am not a fan of puppy pads either. Basically you teach a puppy to use them and then you have to unteach it so the puppy can learn to go outside. Toilet training takes a bit of patience and perseverence, pop him outside as soon as he wakes up, as soon as he drinks/eats, before going in the crate and at least once every 2 hours if not more often. Be prepared for accidents, i.e. when they happen don't react, just clear them up really well so that the smells don't linger.

You have probably thought of this but it is vital that you take the pup to puppy socialisation classes and training classes. You also need to expose the puppy to as many things as possible as early on as possible. With mine I have them out and about right after the first vaccination, although I avoid places where there might be other dogs or fox poo until they are finished with their vaccinations.

digerd Tue 19-Feb-13 16:35:49

Breeders usually paper train the pups, using newspaper. How old will he be when you get him?

He will be 9 weeks. Bought the 61cm crate in the end. All set up and ready to go. Been watching an excellent Cesar Millan (sp?) DVD which ia giving loads of tips too. Thank you.

toboldlygo Thu 21-Feb-13 08:48:54

You'd best disregard something like 90% of the Cesar Millan DVD. Invest in modern, researched, positive theories - Karen Pryor, Jean Donaldson, Kikopup on Youtube etc, even Victoria Stilwell if you want a 'celebrity' type trainer.

It was sent as a gift, he seems to talk sense.

Booboostoo Thu 21-Feb-13 18:00:12

Observe how often Cesar Millan gets bitten. Ask yourself how often you fancy getting bitten. If the answer is 'a lot' then you are on the right track with CM.

I would also recomment positive re-inforcement techniques, clicker is easy to learn for the owner and fun for the dog.

Thanks, I have been looking at the clicker but will try without first as I have plenty of time for him.

insicknessandinhealth Sat 23-Feb-13 09:48:31

Hello SecondhandRose I am also picking up a smooth mini dachs pup soon (end of March as we can't collect until I'm off in the Easter hols and she will be 11 weeks) I wonder if you got it from the same litter?? Anyhow I would be interested to hear how you get on with your cage and training! I had just logged on to search for crates and came across your post.

Hi 'In sickness'. We ended up buying the 61cm Davic crate from 'Canine Concepts' as it seemed to be the best value although we have now realised we need to make the crate smaller so he doesn't use one end as a loo so we have just been out and bought something we can wire up to divide it with (a piece of garden hard plastic net like stuff that you can buy in hardware shop. When he is toilet trained we can take the divider out.

The breeder has a rather 'doggy' surname. You will know who I mean if it is the same one.

I have also bought a Lindam playpen too to prevent the furniture being eaten and him getting trodden on by mistake while he is little. Although I have a funny feeling he will be able to walk straight through the bars when he first gets home.

I am going to try to avoid the clicker or a whistle and see if he will work to the sound of my voice or I will be forever clicking or whistling. I have plenty of time to work with him and I am quite looking forward to it.

We have got various books, the Cesar Millan puppy DVD and I have also been looking at puppy training videos on You Tube. All really interesting and there is lots to learn. We have never had a dog before. My kids are teenagers so they are old enough to train him too.

Let me know how you are getting on.

The advantage of clicker training is you are marking the behaviour immediately that it happens and it is one sound without emotion. You soon mark the behaviour with a signal and word and disregard the clicker anyway. Not sure what you mean by having plenty of time for him, clicker training isn't a short cut!!!

There are a lot more positive training methods out there than Milan and his pack leader stuff, gwen baileys perfect puppy is an excellent book as are the ones mentioned above. The kikopup videos on YouTube are brilliant.

Good luck anyway. Puppies are hard work but great fun.

Clicker training is so quick and easy it gets addictive as teaching things is so quick.

Dh couldn't see the point of it, till it finally 'clicked' with him why the pup obeyed my commands and got confused by dh asking the same thing.

insicknessandinhealth Sat 23-Feb-13 19:29:30

It IS the same breeder! I know, I did laugh when I saw the surname. How funny we will have a brother and sister. Yes after I saw your post I decided on the small crate too. I think you can get beds to fill them up so you wouldn't have to worry about them getting confused. We are also first time dog owners and our DS is 5, and I'm preparing myself for the equivalent of a toddler arriving in the house. I was also thinking of setting up the old playpen, I wondered about a stairgate too. I don't think dachs are very good with stairs although I'm hoping to train her to go carefully down if possible. Good luck and let me know how you get on!

Booboostoo Sat 23-Feb-13 19:39:51

Secondhandrose I don't mean to harp on or be rude, it's entirely up to you which method you use, but the clicker and the whistle are entirely different training methods. The clicker is used as part of operant conditioning and as a marker for a behaviour, how you elicit the behaviour is another matter (e.g. lure, coincidence). The whistle is a way of transmiting commands, especially from a distance, you still need to teach the command somehow in the first place.

A dog can't learn to work to the sound of your voice as they don't speak english! Whichever training method you use you will have to elicit the behaviour and simply talking to the dog is not going to do it.

Booboo will I have to use the clicker forever or is it something we stop when he has learned the 'commands'?

We are looking at lots of different training methods, we have the Perfect Puppy book, The Dachshund by Judy Squires, Dachshunds for Dummies (if it ever arrives). Plus I am looking at plenty of You Tube stuff including the kiko ones. As far as I can see lots of positive reinforcement is what is needed and the whole family training together rather than us all doing something different and confusing the poor man. I think I will put up 'training posters' on the kitchen wall.

What I meant was that I have lots of time to spend with him and train him. We know that if he knows his boundaries he will be happier. Much like training my teenagers!

As for stairs we will let him go up but not down (if we can stop him) due to the spine compression problems they can suffer. Also been out to buy him a bathmat so he doesnt slip and twist in the bath. If he is happy and relaxed when he gets here I am going to give him a bath with his rather expensive doggy shampoo.

Insickness - I will contact you through the breeder and perhaps we could get them together at some point if you are not too far away.

Booboostoo Sun 24-Feb-13 16:52:45

The clicker is used at the beginning to mark all behaviours but can be phased out. You may want to pick it up again if you want to teach something new down the line, but honestly it is not a hassle to have a clicker on you, they are so easy to transfer to another person so the whole family can be involved in training and I doubt you'll be bothered by having to use one.

It's also a question of what is meant by 'leant the commands'. For example, many dogs go through a 'teenager phase' where they seem to forget many things they previously knew and need extra re-inforcement, some dogs while fine younger have recall problems as they gain more independence and again need reminder training and some environments are more distracting from others.

I tend to have a bum bag with a clicker and treats in it all the time around the dogs when I have a puppy and that way I can train little and often all day long as well as immediately reward any good behaviour that comes my way.

insicknessandinhealth Sun 24-Feb-13 19:33:32

Those dachshund books sound good I might try and get hold of them. Yes that would be great, if you leave your details with her I will drop you a line. There is such a lot of information and equipment around it is all quite daunting. My mum just laughs about it as when they first brought their Westie puppy home in the 60s he slept on a towel with a hot water bottle underneath and they didn't have anything!!

I have bought the disc you heat in the microwave. This dog is going to live like a prince. I also made him a sleeping bag yesterday out of fleece as they to be covered when they sleep apparently. Meanwhile DD was cutting all the treats up very tiny and putting them in separate Tupperware type containers with the brand name taped to the outside so we can find out which he likes best.

'Dachshunds for Dummies' is another book you can get. Plus lots of training on You Tube.

Booboo, I have bought some clickers for the whole family to use and we all understand the importance of the timing. Thanks so much for your advice, much appreciated.

Booboostoo Mon 25-Feb-13 17:22:57

Photos please as soon as the young man arrives! grin

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