Experienced and professional animal trainer provide their insights in answering this question :
A. You can start by feeding all meals in the crate to begin associating it as a positive space. Make sure it’s nice and cozy and never force the dogs in if scared. Lure them in with tasty treats, feed meals as mentioned, fill and freeze kongs with peanut butter and give them only for crate time as an activity to keep them busy. Keep in mind young pups will need to potty fairly often so expect to let them out during the night for a potty break at least once. You can also cover each crate with blankets or towels just enough to keep it dark and eliminate visual stimulation.

How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced pet care professionals :

A good rule of thumb for puppies and adult dogs who are being housetrained is no more than three to four hours in the crate at a time. Your dog should not spend the majority of her day in a crate as she can develop separation anxiety and depression.
A dog crate is both an extremely useful training tool and a perfectly good spot for your furry friend to lay his head. The most obvious benefit of having your dog sleep in a crate is that you won`t have to worry about what will happen if he stirs in the middle of the night.
Sit quietly near the crate for five to 10 minutes and then go into another room for a few minutes. Return, sit quietly again for a short time and then let them out. Repeat this process several times a day, gradually increasing the length of time you leave them in the crate and the length of time you`re out of sight.
Give him a command to enter such as, “kennel up.” Encourage him by pointing to the inside of the crate with a treat in your hand. After your dog enters the crate, praise him, give him the treat and close the door. Sit quietly near the crate for five to 10 minutes and then go into another room for a few minutes.
Many dogs will consider the crate their bedroom, using it to sleep and enjoy some alone time. You can usually stop closing your dog into your crate when they are around two years of age. Before then, they are usually more likely to get into trouble.
How long is it okay to leave a dog in a crate? Adult dogs shouldn`t be left in crates for more than 6-8 hours. Puppies of 17 weeks and older can handle up to 4 or 5 hours in a crate at a time. Leaving a dog home alone in a crate longer than this can hurt their mental and physical health.
Use the `last call` system before bed

Before going to bed at night, give your puppy a “last call” and allow them one last chance to use the toilet before you go to sleep. After your puppy has done their business and begins to calm down, place them where they sleep, either in their crate or in their bed.

Crate training is necessary for when your canine is a puppy—sleeping in a crate at night teaches puppies how to control their bladder and bowels since they don`t like to relieve themselves in the same space that they sleep. Kennels are also excellent for the times that no one can be home to supervise your new puppy.
Keep Their Sleeping Area Quiet and Dark: Mammals have circadian rhythms that are influenced by light. View Source , so it`s easier for your dog to sleep at night if it`s dark or dim. It`s also easier for them to sleep if they aren`t being interrupted by excessive noise.
Many factors can influence who your dog chooses to sleep with. And it is not always the one he spends the most time with. Other reasons can include who he initially bonded with, if he likes your bedroom, smells, scents, feeling safe, and personality match.
You can ignore your dog`s whining or crying behaviors in their crate for up to 10 – 15 minutes. After that amount of time, it`s best to take a step back and work on other crate training methods, like familiarizing them with their crate or exercising them beforehand.
Dogs will whine in their crate for a number of reasons including boredom, loneliness, fear, anxiety, or they need to be let outside. All of these reactions are perfectly normal, and it is your job as an owner to make your pup feel comfortable and get used to their new crate.
Any dog can be crate trained, whether they`re a puppy or an adult or even a senior. But if you`re working with an adult or senior dog, it might just take a little more patience.
It`s your decision if you allow them in your bed, in your bedroom, on the couch or provide another place for them to sleep. Most dogs will be content sleeping in a dog bed, crate, or even on the floor. In general, dogs should sleep indoors with their people.
From 3-6 months, they should not be left longer than their age in months (for example, 3-month-old puppies cannot be alone for longer than 3 hours). If possible, dogs older than 6 months should not be left alone for longer than 4 hours at a time.
Typically your dog can survive without drinking water for about 72 hours (three days). However, it`ll show signs of dehydration after the first 24 hours. While this is generally considered to be the case, every dog is different and there are a number of variables at play that can affect the time frame.
Dogs need interaction. Crating a dog for extended periods of time can result in a poorly socialized, aggressive, or hyperactive dog. We believe that Sweden and Finland have passed laws to prevent misuse of the crate and depriving dogs of social interaction, physical activity, and basic needs.
How Long Can a Dog Go Without Food? Dogs can usually go three to five days without food, however, this is not ideal. If your dog has gone two days without food, it is highly recommended you call a veterinarian if you haven`t already. More important than your dog eating is their water intake.
In some cases you may be able to crate a dog for 10-12 hours overnight. Adult and senior dogs tend to sleep rather long at night and will be able to hold their bladder for that long. Especially more laid-back breed such as Pugs or Saint Bernards might not even want to get up before sleeping that long!
How Long Can A Dog Hold Its Bladder Overnight? The answer to this question is about 6 to 8 hours on average. Some pups may be able to last 10 hours, while others may only make it to five.
Puppies also have small bladders and can`t hold their urine for very long. That`s why it`s important to never wake a sleeping puppy to pee. If your puppy is sleeping soundly, it means his bladder is full and he doesn`t need to go. Waking him up will only make him grumpy and disrupt his much-needed sleep.
Put your pads in easy reach of your puppy`s bed or crate at nighttime. Going to the toilet in the house, or their crate, can cause significant distress if they know it`s not what you want them to do, so ensure they have the option of a `safe` place to pee, and your puppy will sleep much better.
In the beginning, we suggest covering a wider area with 3-4 potty pads until your puppy learns how to target the pad more precisely. Important note: Although you can leave potty pads in your puppy`s playpen to absorb any accidents they may have, this on its own won`t potty train your puppy.
It typically takes 4-6 months for a puppy to be fully house trained, but some puppies may take up to a year. Size can be a predictor. For instance, smaller breeds have smaller bladders and higher metabolisms and require more frequent trips outside. Your puppy`s previous living conditions are another predictor.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Q. How do I desensitize my dog to squirrels and stray cats in the neighborhood?
ANSWER : A. It depends on the goal that you have in mind. I am going to assume that you would prefer that your dog not chase squirrels or stray cats in the yard/street. In this case, your options include: (1) training your dog on a “Leave it ” cue using positive reinforcement methods, (2) training your dog not to pull on its leash when it sees a squirrel/stray cat, and (3) training your dog to perform a more desirable behavior when it sees a squirrel/cat.
Training your dog on a cued “leave it” command is useful because it will give you the ability to tell your dog to stay away from any number of undesirable objects on your command. Training your dog to perform a more desireable behavior when it sees a squirrel or cat will substitute a behavior you find acceptable (sitting, laying down, coming to the door, etc.) with a behavior you dislike. Your dog can still react, just in a positive way. If your dog pulls on the leash every time you see a squirrel/cat, training not to pull will make your walk safer and more pleasant.
The ideal training method to use with dogs, or any animal for that matter, is positive reinforcement training, particularly a method called “clicker- training.” The basic concept of positive reinforcement training is to pair a reward (reinforcement) with a behavior you want to increase in frequency. In other words, when your dog performs the behavior you desire, it receives an award, which reinforces the desired behavior so you get more of that behavior. There are many excellent books in stores or on-line that describe positive reinforcement training in detail and many give step-by-step instructions for training common commands like “leave it”. Look for books that specifically mention positive reinforcement training or clicker-training. You can also take dog training classes to learn the techniques, find a mentor who already uses clicker-training, or request a consult from one of the pet experts on this site to guide you.

Q. My Beagle listens to me, but cries & whines when I’m gone & doesn’t listen to my parents. I adopted him just a couple days ago. Any tips for my folks?
ANSWER : A. I really highly doubt that your Beagle listens to you and has formed a connection with you in just a couple of days. It takes months to build up any kind of serious connection with your dog. You need to work on communication with your dog through training them to understand different cues. For instance the Leave-It cue: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1TS5nA7z5Q

You have to work on bonding with your dog through mental stimulation. Training is very important. Luring each new behavior from scratch, and training using treats is how you form a strong bond with your new dog. No scolding is ever necessary… work on being calm, and positive, all the time.

If your dog is crying/whining when you leave, this may be separation anxiety. You’re going to have to separation train this dog from scratch. This dog needs to learn that separation can be a good thing! Tell your “folks” to NOT scold the dog when he is crying/whining after you leave, because that will make your dog MORE anxious when you leave next time. Your dog will be dwelling on the negative if your parents fuel your dogs negative feelings towards you leaving. FUN things should happen when you leave. Your parents should pull out the treats and start doing some basic obedience training with your dog. Your parents should stuff a Kong filled with awesome treats (peanut butter) and give it to him so he feels happy when you leave.

I have some excellent separation anxiety exercises you can work on. If you’d like, you can purchase a consultation with me, and I will go over how to separation train from scratch. It will make your dog comfortable being alone, guaranteed.

Read Full Q/A … : I Don't Like My Mother

Q. Whenever I take my dog on walks he always barks at people and others dogs in my neighborhood. What should I do to resolve the problem
ANSWER : A. The very first thing to do is to make sure your dog is getting sufficient physical and mental exercise every day. A tired dog is a good, happy dog and one who is less likely to bark from boredom or frustration. Depending on his breed, age, and health, your dog may require several long walks as well as a good game of chasing the ball and playing with some interactive toys.

Figure out what he gets out of barking and remove it. Don’t give your dog the opportunity to continue the barking behavior.

Ignore your dog’s barking for as long as it takes him to stop. That means don’t give him attention at all while he’s barking. Your attention only rewards him for being noisy. Don’t talk to, don’t touch, or even look at him. When he finally quiets, even to take a breath, reward him with a treat. To be successful with this method, you must wait as long as it takes for him to stop barking. Yelling at him is the equivalent of barking with him.

Get your dog accustomed to whatever causes him to bark. Start with whatever makes him bark at a distance. It must be far enough away that he doesn’t bark when he sees it. Feed him lots of good treats. Move the stimulus a little closer (perhaps as little as a few inches or a few feet to start) and feed treats. If the stimulus moves out of sight, stop giving your dog treats. You want your dog to learn that the appearance of the stimulus leads to good things.

Teach your dog the ‘quiet’ command. Oddly, the first step is to teach your dog to bark on command. Give your dog the command to “speak,” wait for him to bark two or three times, and then stick a tasty treat in front of his nose. When he stops barking to sniff the treat, praise him and give him the treat. Repeat until he starts barking as soon as you say “speak.” Once your dog can reliably bark on command, teach him the “quiet” command. In a calm environment with no distractions, tell him to “speak.” When he starts barking, say “quiet” and stick a treat in front of his nose. Praise him for being quiet and give him the treat.

As in all training, always end training on a good note, even if it is just for obeying something very simple, like the ‘sit’ command. If you dog regresses in training, go back to the last thing he did successfully and reinforce that before moving on again. Keep sessions short, 15-20 minutes max, and do this several times a day.

Q. Rescued a dog almost two weeks ago, and now that her kennel cough is gone her personality shines!! No previous training, how should I start?
ANSWER : A. POST FOUR:

After your dog is familiar with the behavior you lured from scratch, and taught to your dog, you can start to use the “no-reward marker” I talked about. What you do is ask the dog to perform the behavior, and if the dog does not perform the behavior, you simply say your no-reward marker (choose one: eh-eh, hey, uh-oh, oops) show them the treat, put it behind your back, and BRIEFLY ignore your dog. Just turn your back for a second or two, before turning back to your dog and saying, “let’s try that again.” When you’re ready to start over with your dog, make sure you move around. If you are repeating the same cue while in the same position, while your dog is in the same position, you are likely to receive the same results. The more you move around, and start fresh, the better your chances are of having your dog listen to your cue the second time around. BIG rewards when they dog it successfully! Lots of praise and treats.

My no-reward marker is “hey.” When my dog does something wrong I say, “hey” and she immediately understands that she needs to offer a different behavior. This is clear to her. I don’t have to say it in a mean way, I simply say, “hey” in a normal tone of voice and she understands what the word means.

Once you’ve built up that connection and communication with your new dog, you can work on all kinds of fun behaviors! I personally enjoy the more zen-like behaviors: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ruy9UMcuGh8

I like to teach my dog fun tricks that offer her a “job” to do of sorts like object retrieval: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4iertZSva8

(object retrieval training completed; what it looks like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jx0Dml28FGY)

Scent-games are fun too! Very confidence building. Hide a REALLY smelly treat in a box, and place that box in a line of boxes. Let your dog go in the room while saying something like “search!” or “find it!” and watch them hunt for that smelly treat! Lots of rewards when they find it!

Q. How do I determine how much my overweight pet should weigh?
ANSWER : A. There are many tools to determine overweight and obesity levels in pets. A new tool, morphometric measurements and body fat index, are available to accurately determine a pet’s ideal weight; this will allow an accurate determination of the amount of food a pet should receive to achieve weight loss. Feeding the correct amount will lead to greater weight loss success.

There are many weight loss food options to help pets reach their ideal weight. Your veterinarian can help make a ideal weight recommendation. Here are some tips to help your dog lose weight in a healthy and safe way:

1. Diet: Providing a healthy and well balanced diet is essential to your pet’s overall health. Finding the right food for your dog can be a challenging process. For those overweight animals many commercial dog companies offer weight loss diets, but it is important to evaluate food labels for adequate nutritional content.

You want to ensure you are not missing other essential vitamin or mineral content. Volume of food is also important and the amount of food that works for one breed of dog may not be the same for another breed of dog. Portion control as opposed to free-choice feeding can help your dog to drop a few unnecessary pounds.

There are also prescription weight loss foods designed by veterinary nutritionists, such as Hill’s r/d (http://bit.ly/1AoENSd). Some pet owners find that home cooking is the best option for helping to provide a well-balanced and realistic diet plan. There are websites such as balanceit.com that offers recipes to fit your dog’s specific needs. Consulting with your veterinarian or a veterinary nutritionist to find the appropriate diet is a great way to help your dog be as healthy as possible.

2. Exercise: Another great tactic for weight loss for your dog is exercise. Whether this is through running, walking or playing with a favorite toy all of these are wonderful types of exercise to help keep your dog at a lean and healthy weight.

For those pet owners with busy schedules utilizing professional dog walking services or playtime through dog daycare services is another option. It has been shown that those pet owners that exercise regularly with their pets generally live a healthier lifestyle.

3. Physical therapy: As animals age pet owners offer encounter their favorite canine having more difficulty walking and have a dwindling desire to play with toys. Physical therapy, specifically hydrotherapy is a wonderful way to help older and arthritic animals gain more mobility and lose weight. Hydrotherapy has been proven to have several therapeutic effects on the body including, muscle strengthening, relief of swelling, decreased joint pain, less stiffness in limbs, improved circulation, weight loss, and increased tissue healing to name a few. For more information on the benefits of hydrotherapy:
http://bit.ly/1w1qqoy

4. Veterinary visit and blood work: Weight gain can also be related to underlying health concerns such as hypothyroidism or other endocrine disorders. Scheduling a veterinary evaluation and routine blood work can be another important component in increasing the longevity of your dog’s life. Conditions such as hypothyroidism that predispose dogs to gain weight can be treated with a daily medication to improve hormonal balance. If feel that your dog is unnecessarily overweight there can be an underlying health condition that needs to be addressed.

5. Healthy treats: Pet owners love the chance to reward their favorite canine companion with treats and most dogs jump at the chance to consume these delicious products. The problem is many treats, which can include commercial dog treats or table scrapes can add many unnecessary calories to your dog’s daily intake. Reading labels and making note of the calories in these treats is an important component of understanding your dog’s overall health. Treats should not exceed more than 10 percent of your pet’s daily calories. There are healthier treats that can be offered to your pet to keep calories lower yet provide a fuller sensation. A pet owner can add steamed or pureed vegetables, such as carrots, green beans or sweet potato to add more fiber and thus a fuller feeling for your dog.

Q. My 4 yr old male Catahoula Leopard Dog mix is a rescue. He’s become very possessive of me around larger dogs. How can I correct this behavior?
ANSWER : A. Sudden behavior changes can sometimes indicate an underlying health issue, so scheduling a checkup with your regular vet is always the first step. Once any health issues have been addressed, then you can address the behavioral ones. It is very common for dogs to become “possessive” of people or objects when around other dogs or people, and is called location guarding. Possession of objects or places can be a little easier to manage, however possession around other dogs can be treated as well. Working from a distance in a technique called BAT or Behavioral Adjustment Training may help. This technique involves your dog and another calm dog. Start off at a far distance and then move in until your dog becomes reactive or wary of the other dog. Move back a small amount and wait for your dog to become calm. If he shows calm behavior, reward with lots of praise, treats and love! If he becomes agitated or possessive, move back until he is calm, or stop the session completely and try again later. While this may take some time, it can help dogs learn that other dogs are not a threat to them or their people. Reading more information about BAT training or contacting a local trainer in your area can help with further advice and techniques!

Q. Are Yorkie Poos alright to be left alone some of the day and are they easily house trained
ANSWER : A. They are not very easily house trained, no. Yorkie’s have small bladders, and tend to drink more than other small breed dogs. Yorkie’s need to be on a very strict pottying schedule. When they’re puppies, they should be brought outside every 30 minutes when they’re out of their crates, and when they are in their crates the “rule of thumb” is one hour per month of age, plus one (until they ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO potty). Crate training is extremely important when it comes to raising a puppy, especially one who has notorious issues with potty training.

I could go over a crate training exercise for you so you can start crate training right away. Crate training is a very SLOW, careful, and positive process. It needs to be handled very delicately to ensure the puppy has a positive experience.

Of course dogs are alright to be left alone some of the day. About as long as the “rule of thumb” allows, and absolutely no longer than 8 hours (as I find that just cruel). Crating ensures dogs safety.

Q. I have a 10 year old mutt who is hyper but doesn’t like hyper dogs. Getting another dog from a shelter soon any ideas on calm breeds?
ANSWER : A. If your dog is uncomfortable with other dogs (of any sort), it is important that you bring your current dog to the shelter so he can meet the dog you plan to adopt. You should check out your local shelter, and walk around looking at all of the dogs. Mixed breeds have mixed amounts of energy and it’s tough to recommend a breed. I suppose I would say calm breeds would be the Great Pyrenees, the Newfoundland, the Bernese Mountain dog CAN be a calm breed.. really with any breed you will have mixed litters. Many breeders breed specifically the “calm” Newfies, or the “hyper” Bernese. If you are going to adopt from a shelter however, it’s impossible to expect that level of breeding.

As I said, just be sure you bring your dog along so you can slowly introduce the dogs. If your dog is uncomfortable, immediately separate them, and try again in a couple of minutes. You don’t want to force them to get along, and you don’t want to move too quickly when introducing them.