How to Crate-Train a Papillon

Treats are great rewards during crate-training.
i dog biscuits image by Greg Pickens from

Think of the crate as a sanctuary for your papillon, not a prison. The crate gives your papillon an area of relaxation, security and privacy. The papillon breed is difficult to potty-train, so the crate is a wonderful tool that keeps random pee spots off your carpet.

Step 1

Introduce the crate to your papillon. Keep the crate in a room where your family members spend the most time. Keep the door of the crate open. Create a comfortable sanctuary for your dog using blankets, inedible toys and treats toward the back of the crate. Do not force your papillon into the crate since he is likely to explore the crate on his own — especially to find the treats.

Step 2

Feed meals inside the crate. Start by feeding meals next to the crate, but progressively move the food dish toward the entrance and then inside the crate. As your papillon becomes comfortable, move the dish closer to the back of the crate with each meal. By the end of the week, your papillon will likely be standing entirely inside. If your dog is relaxed while eating, close the door and allow him to finish eating with the door closed.

Step 3

Crate your papillon while you're home. Create a command, such as “kennel” or “crate.” Give the command each time a meal is in the crate or a treat is available. Once your dog is inside the crate, close the door and sit next to the crate for 10 minutes. Leave the room for a few minutes and return to the crate for five minutes before opening the door. Repeat these steps until you can leave the crate for 30 minutes without your dog barking or whining. These steps prevent your papillon from associating the crate with you leaving, the American Dog Trainers Network advises.

Step 4

Follow age guidelines for crating. Once your dog sits comfortably in his crate for 30 minutes, you can leave the house. The American Dog Trainers Network recommends puppies between 9 to 10 weeks old be crated only for 30 to 60 minutes, those age 11 to 14 weeks one to three hours, those 15 to 16 weeks three to four hours and those over 17 weeks crated four to six hours.

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