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Creating a relaxing environment is just one way you've shown your small dog how much you adore it. Although you've done everything you can to make your home a comfortable haven for your small companion, creating a space it can call its own will take its comfort level to a whole new dimension - and a dog crate can do just that! Consider it like a bedroom for your small dog. Just like you have a room you can relax in, a dog crate is a place your small dog can curl up in and catch up on a little rest and relaxation. By lining it with a soft blanket and a few of its favourite chew toys, you've created the perfect doggie oasis.
When you introduce your small dog to the crate, it should be encouraging and fun but there are a few "don'ts" to keep in mind when using a crate. First of all, don't use it as a way to discipline your puppy - keep it positive. And don't neglect your new dog by leaving it in the crate for too long. You need to reinforce the crate as a safe haven for your small dog, not a place for it to howl and whine from. When you bring your puppy home for the first time, begin crate training right way. If the introduction to the crate is positive and familiar, it won't take long for your small dog to "take to the crate."
Start by placing some treats inside the crate, along with your puppy's toys and a blanket or pillow. Make it cozy and inviting inside. Then encourage your dog to go in. Once your small dog makes its way inside, gently close the door and continue to show reinforcement with a warm and loving tone.

If your puppy begins to whine or bark, don't worry. Like anyone, it usually takes some time to adjust to an unfamiliar place. Whatever you do, don't fall prey to your puppy's cry. You need to be firm and not reward your little friend for bad behaviour. Once your small dog has settled down and had some time to get used to the crate, then you can open the crate door to let your dog out. If you do this correctly, your small dog will definitely go back for more!

Your guide to crate training
Ready to crate train your dog? Follow these six simple steps to surprise your small dog with its own place!

Step 1: Generally speaking, crates are for sleeping and they serve as a safe haven for your small dog, when you are out of the house. When selecting a crate make sure that it is big enough for an adult small dog. Your small companion should be able to comfortably stand up, lie down and turn its body around inside the crate.

Step 2: Give the crate a positive name like "your house" and place a doggie treat inside. Then encourage your special friend to enter the crate. Once your small dog is inside, close the door.

Step 3: Crates should never be used for long periods of time.

Step 4: If you are going out for a few hours, it's particularly important to take your small dog outside to "do its business" before it spends time alone in the crate.

Step 5: Keep kids away from your small dog's crate.

Step 6: Since some small dog breeds are highly sensitive to cold and heat, pick an area that will be comfortable for your little friend.

Secure. Comfortable. Relaxing. Dog crates are a wonderful alternative to your cuddles. And, if you take the time to crate train your small dog properly, your little companion will adapt to its new sanctuary in just about no time.

The information above is of a general nature, and may be used as a handy guide to help you monitor your pet's well being and development. It should not be used as a substitute for professional advice. All decisions regarding your pet are your responsibility.