As with most breeders and trainings we believe crate training can be very useful for you and your new German shepherd puppy to learn.
So here are some tips to get you both started in the right direction.
PLEASE BE CAREFUL!
Not to Overuse/misuse a Dog Crate.
Never leave your puppy in a crate just because your to busy to be with them. Puppies need to be socialized, trained and have time to bond with their new owners.
If the pup spends too much of his life in a crate then he will loose one of the most important times that he has for learning. Just like raising a child your new puppy will learn the most in the early stages of life.
The more time that you put into your new puppy early on will payoff in the form of a well adjusted self confident adult. If left alone in a crate then of course problems of insecurity and fear will have been learned in its place.
Another problem with leaving a pup for long periods of time is that he will learn to relieve himself in his crate. No pup should be left in a crate so long that he is forced to relieve himself. Puppies by nature prefer not to do this they consider their crate a den a safe and clean place to sleep and feel secure. If this behavior is learned as a pup then you will also have an adult shepherd that will do this as well.
It is your responsibility to make sure he is taken out to go the bathroom. Puppies can not hold themselves for very long period’s time.
Make sure the crate that you purchase is large enough. We recommend at least a large 500 series www.petedge.com.
Problems arising with a small crate are ears not coming up, poor muscle tone and antisocial behavior.
When first introducing your puppy to the crate open the door throw some small treats in with him and gently put him in then close the door. You can also make his den nice with a rawhide chew, squeaky toy and cushion.
We believe it is better not to crate at all during the day. This however is not always possible. It is best to reserve the crate for when no one can watch after him, but not longer than to 2 to 4 hours at the most during the day. This will also prepare your pup for situations of emergency or Travel. During the day if someone is not available to watch after the pup we recommend having a dog run/kennel installed in your yard www.optionsplus.com this allows him to stay safe and also not to get into mischief while you are not there.
We use the crate at night for all our dogs to sleep in. When a client purchases a pup and he is going to be primarily a companion then we recommend putting the crate in the bedroom with you or if you have children (that are old enough) perhaps in their bedroom with them.
This will make him more comfortable and will also allow you to hear if the pup must go out during the night. If you hear him moving around at 4 or 5 in the morning then chances are he must go out. DO NOT ignore this. Or he will learn to release himself in the crate. So if you are not prepared to get up then do not leave him all night long in the crate. You should also make sure before retiring him to his crate for the evening that he has relieved himself.
If you are patient with your new puppy and consistent then after just a few short weeks he will be sleeping in his crate the whole night and ready in the morning to go out.