Your Giant Schnauzer Puppy
Puppies are lively and curious by nature and easily find trouble to get into such as soiling your carpet, chewing your favorite shoes and putting things in their mouth that don’t belong because.. that’s what puppies do. They do not come equipped with the DO’s and the DON’TS in life, so on your part… there is work to be done.
You could choose NOT to work with your Giant and may come home to signs of destructive behavior and separation anxiety. I’m pretty sure we are all on the same page when I say, “I like my sofa intact. I like power cords to stay put. I like my curtains where they are and I certainly like to know my dogs are alive and well”.
Accidents happen all of the time and as a responsible owner I try to prevent them from happening in the first place. Crate training is crucial. The crate it is not be used as an area of punishment or a long-term care facility to forget about your dog. They are social beings and need your time and companionship. This is simply a good start to many years of training required to having a giant schnauzer AND … If you take the right approach, you can utilize the crate as a valuable training tool.
First you will need a crate. See Crate Sizing and info here
STEP 1: PUPPY MEETS CRATE
Make this a good experience for your puppy. Start by placing the crate in a central location such as the living or family room. Keep it open and ready with bedding and a toy or two. Let your puppy explore in and around their crate. When puppy enters the crate praise them for doing a good job. The goal is to get them comfortable with ease and at a gradual pace. Be patient and encouraging, never forceful. You do not want your puppy to fear the crate.
STEP 2: FEED MEALS IN THE CRATE
Once your puppy is comfortable, the next step is to try feeding their meal in the crate.
Have the food ready and place it inside. Once the puppy is eating it is ok to close the door. After they’ve eaten take them outside for a potty break. Praise them for a job well done.
- If you have several dogs this may also be necessary for the one who wanders over to the next bowl that isn’t his which may create conflict or someone may even go hungry.
- Meals in the crate have helped me to train our Giants to each wait in their crate, sit patiently and wait for the command to eat.
STEP 3: INCREASE CRATE TIME
Now that your puppy has gotten to know the crate a little better and there are no signs of stress, it is time to move on to the next step.
Entice your puppy into the crate with their favorite toy or treat and close the door. Start with 5-minute sets and sit nearby where they can see you. The point here is to get your puppy accustomed to the crate. Your puppy may cry a little and that’s ok. If you let them out now based on this, YOUR action is communicating to them something like, ‘If I cry, I get out and get what I want- I WIN!’ Giants need a firm leader and for you to take the lead. If you don’t, they will.
Try to encourage them. Chew toys are a good distraction and way to create a positive space for your puppy to enjoy. After 5 minutes try heading into the next room for a few minutes. When you return sit with the crate closed for a few minutes before opening the crate and take them outside for a potty break. -Always praise for good behavior!
Each time you crate, increase the increment of time by a few minutes. Eventually the puppy will be able to stay crated comfortably for longer periods and even sleep there throughout the night.
Keep in mind, young puppies have small bladders and holding it for long periods isn’t going to work out if you want them to succeed. An 8-week-old puppy may be able to go 2 or 3 hours while being crated, during the day. If they are running around your home, they need to go out more often. Take them outside for one last potty break before bed and to start, get up every 2 hours during the night (just like babies). If 2 hours is successful you can try 3 hours. If they have eliminated during that time, go back to 2 hours and adjust times accordingly.
Spend as much time with your puppy/dog outside of the crate as possible but while you work (provided the work day is not too long and your puppy gets adequate exercise and attention before, during and after work), or when you cannot supervise, crating can help prevent your puppy from getting into mischief and harm. It is very important they learn to spend time on their own, in your home. Properly crate trained, there is less chance of issues such as separation anxiety as well as destructive behaviors. The crate is meant to create a safe spot for your dog while you are away, at least until they are trained and can be trusted.- Usually by 9 months I can trust my giants with full reign of the house but, I also spend a lot of time working with them.
DO’S & DONT’S
DO make sure there are NO sharp edges on wire crates.
DO be sure to remove your pets collar before crating for safety reasons.
DO make sure bedding and toys are safe and don’t become a choking hazard.
DON’T leave any dog crated for long periods.
DO give reward with ‘ATTA BOY’S’ or the occasional treat for good behavior.
DON’T give treats when it’s an unwanted behavior.
DO be sure your puppy/dog is given adequate attention, time and love.
DON’T feed too many carb-filled treats to a large breed puppy. It takes them longer to fully develop than smaller breeds and added weight is harder on their joints to support.