Dogo Argentino puppy crate training!
* Crate training your new Dogo Argentino puppy is one of the first and best steps in his life. It makes all the other steps in your Dogo's training go so much smoother, much like a solid foundation makes for a superior wall. Establishing you as the Alpha member of your Dogo's "pack" is one very good reason for starting your Dogo in a crate when he is very young.
A strong crate is the very basis of good puppy training. A wire crate with a lock is the best kind. Make sure it is large enough for your Dogo to stand up and turn around. But not so large that he can roam and wander around. A too-large crate will inhibit house breaking.
A crate that is just the right size will be perceived as his “nest”, where puppies never “go potty”. They will learn to hold it if you don’t make a prison out of it.
Put a nice pad in there with a bone. Start with placing a tasty treat in the crate for your Dogo pup, he will go in and get it. Do this several times without closing the door, let him come in and out freely for an hour or so. Praise your Dogo highly each time he goes in, make it all very pleasant.
Then when your Dogo's attention is on his treat, close the door. Praise him quietly, “What a good boy, it’s ok, such a good boy!” In 10 or 20 seconds, no longer, let him out without a word, no praise, just a pat. Do this for increasingly longer intervals, but do not give him a chance to get upset. You can do this several times the first day.
Make sure every training session ends on a happy note, this is crucial.
By putting your Dogo Argentino puppy in a crate you are giving him or her a sense of security and a place they can call their own. Dogs actually like having a "den" to cuddle up in. By putting your dogo puppy in a crate while you are gone it will also give you peace of mind knowing that they are in a safe place, away from harm, and not doing any damage to your belongings or themselves.
Once your Dogo Argentino sees the crate as his own private territory, he will go in there on his own, expecting treats and your attention. When he does, say, “Wanna crate?” with a happy face while getting his treats. Start leaving the room while he is in there for 2 minutes and onward, gradually. When you return, don’t make a fuss, just walk over and open the crate. Before you know it, your Dogo Argentino will be officially crate-trained, ready to be left alone for an hour, no longer at first. Leave him gradually longer, slowly and carefully.
Crate training is a wonderful tool to use when leaving your Dogo alone. When placed in a crate, your Dogo feels safe because nothing can get to him, nothing can harm him. He will sleep and chew and wait for you to return. When you leave, most dogs have some measure of separation anxiety. This leads them to any behavior that brings him comfort, which is chewing, digging, or when it is severe, voiding his bowels.
Crate training will also help with potty training. Make sure you put dogo puppy on a regular schedule for meal times & potty breaks and use the crate when you are gone or need your puppy to rest. Dogo Argentinos will typically not "go" in their home. They like to keep it clean and will hold it until you can take them outside to eliminate. Remember to always praise your Dogo Argentino puppy when he or she eliminates in the area you want him/her to outside.
Another thing to consider when purchasing a crate is to make sure that you buy a crate big enough to accommodate the full growth of your dogo argentino. When your dogo is a puppy and you are crate training, make sure that the crate has a divider panel. You can adjust the placement of the divider panel so that the puppy does not have full use of the crate thus creating the "den" feeling that will make your dog feel comfortable and cozy. In this situation the dog will not want to go in its den and will keep the area clean. If you give the puppy the full area of the crate it may be too large and the dog will make one area of the crate his potty area and the other area as his sleeping area. Adjust the divider panel so that your Dogo Argentino puppy has enough area to get up and stretch but not enough room to eliminate.
It also helps if you have to leave your Dogo overnight at the vet. If not crate trained, most dogs tend to whine the entire time, feeling lost and abandoned. With crate training, your Dogo is sure you will return, you always do. Of course the vet’s office is strange and will cause him some anxiety, but nothing like the pure terror he will feel without experience in being locked in.
NOTE: About crate-training, do not make a prison of your Dogo's crate. Do not use it as punishment. Do not leave your Dogo there for more than necessary, ideally 2 hours, just time for a long puppy nap and some chew time. If he cries, do not remove him while he is crying. This will make him think he has to cry to get out. No matter what, make sure he is being good when you open the door. He will learn he has to be quiet to get out. Do not make a fuss when you are letting him out, just quietly open the door and take him out to potty. When he potties, praise him to high heaven! Dogs naturally do not go where they nest, but sometimes it happens. Do not scold, just clean it out with a bland face. He will learn the lesson. If possible, try to clean it while he is outside so he returns to a clean crate....
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