If you’re looking for tips on how to crate train a pit bull puppy, let me make it easy for you: it’s really no different than crate training any dog.
There you go, you’re all done!
No, I’m kidding, I’ll still share some tips below that’ll help make it easier.
These tips actually work well for all strong or stubborn dogs, from pits to huskies.
Related: Best crates for Pitbulls
Pit Bull Puppy Crate Training Tips
So, I kind of lied. Well, not intentionally, but still.
While the basics of crate training a pit are the same as those used to train, say, a chihuahua, there are some things you’ll need to keep in mind.
They mostly have to do with the crate itself and not the methodology for getting your pittie to use it.
So, let’s start at the beginning, shall we?
Related: how to train a pitbull puppy not to bite
#1: Get a really good crate!
Obviously, before you can crate train your pit bull puppy you need to actually buy a crate!
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There are many (many many many) different types and brands out there to choose from.
However, you’ll want to focus entirely on the the super sturdy options.
No, not because your pit is a monster that needs to be contained (let’s put that archaic thinking to rest, please).
Pits may not be aggressive in general, but they can be aggressive chewers. Those strong teeth can tear through flimsy crates in a flash.
So, soft-sided crates are pretty much entirely off the table, at least until your pit shows that he actually loves his little “den.”
For now, I recommend sturdier crates, like those we discussed in our top crates for Huskies or for German Shepherds.
Crate Size Matters, Too!
Along with choosing a sturdy crate, you should also take into consideration the size of your dog now, and how large he may be when fully grown.
Crates aren’t terribly expensive, but they’re also not cheap.
It may be smarter to buy a full-sized one now, then just add a divider to make it smaller.
Unfortunately, I can’t tell you exactly what size to get. Here’s a handy guideline, pit bulls aren’t a one-size-fits-all breed.
Or check out this great video:
#2: Give him toys to prevent boredom
It is also important to remember that the crate will be his own individual space.
Make it as comfortable as possible so that your Pit Bull will enjoy his time there.
Try putting some of his favorite toys in there to keep him from getting bored.
Just remember that any toy you purchase should be large enough for the dog not to be able to swallow it.
This is common sense, of course, but it’s especially important for unsupervised play time in a crate.
Kong toys are a good option, and you can stuff them with tasty morsels to really make them more fun for your pup.
#3 Make it comfy & cozy
You should also put some kind of bedding in the crate to help your Pit Bull puppy be more comfortable.
Crate mats are a good option, although very few are chew-proof, so don’t spend a fortune on one.
Old towels or soft blankets usually work well, too. If he chews it up, though remove it so he doesn’t swallow pieces.
#4 Keep him hydrated while in the crate
When you’re just starting to crate train your pit bull puppy, you won’t be leaving him in there for too long.
At first, your goal will be all about just getting him used to it, after all.
However, later on, if your pit will be spending more than two hours in the crate, it is a good idea to equip it with a water bottle in case he gets thirsty.
Many pet stores sell the same type of water bottles that are used for hamsters or gerbils, just in larger sizes.
RELATED: Pitbull obedience training
How to Crate Train A Pit Bull Puppy
Okay, now for the actual steps that will help you crate train a pit bull puppy.
I’m not going into a crazy amount of detail here because every step is fairly self-explanatory.
I will share videos, though, for those who need a more visual guide.
Step 1– Set up the crate (which we covered above)
Step 2– Make it the comfiest place in the house (basically, take your pit into a room without any better options.
Step 3- Entice your pit to go into the crate by putting some treats inside while using the “crate up” command. DO NOT shut the door.
Step 4- Repeat, reward, praise, repeat, reward, praise. Seriously, you’ll need to do this several times to create happy crate associations.
Step 5– Slowly start shutting the door, little by little.
Step 6- Shut the door, but open it within a minute. Repeat with longer intervals. Reward and praise each time.
Step 7- Give the “crate up” command without luring your dog. Reward when he obeys.
That’s pretty much all there is to it! If you need a visual guide, check out this video by Zak George (it’s for all breeds):
Most dogs respond well to the crate when they’ve been trained to view it as a good thing and not a cage.
Never, ever, ever, ever, ever use any sort of punishment with crate training. Ever.
You shouldn’t be punishing your dog anyway, but you definitely don’t want your pit to associate the crate with “bad dog.”
Do you have any other tips on how to crate train a pit bull puppy? Share below!
Related: How to potty train a Pitbull puppy
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