I feel that crate training is one of the most important aspects of house training your new Standard Poodle. It makes all the other parts of obedience training run more efficiently and helps establish you as the Alpha pack member.
The natural instinct of a dog is to avoid soiling the area where it sleeps and eats. The crate helps to enhance this instinct, as the dog will associate the crate as his den and avoid soiling in it.
Dogs also like structure and routine. This will make the dog, as well as you, happier. Your Standard Poodle will soon learn to do its business at certain time and in the correct area. Be sure to give the dog lots of praise during this training and not be too frustrated if the dog makes an occasional mistake.
Picking the Correct Crate Size and Type
There are all sorts of crates available out there today. I personally like the wire crates, although there are some that are made of hard plastic. You can get covers for the wire crates.
Take into consideration the size the dog will be when it is full grown and buy a crate for that size. This will prevent you from having to purchase another one later.
Getting Your Standard Poodle Used to Its Crate
It is important to remember that this is your dogs own private space, so you should try and make it as comfortable as possible. Get a nice bed or crate pad for the bottom.
The way I got my Poodle used to the crate was to put a doggie treat in it. He would go in a get the treat. I did this several times without closing the door, letting him go in and out as he pleased. Make sure you give your Poodle lots of praise while youre doing this. After youve done this for a while, try putting a treat in the crate and when his attention is on the treat, close the door for about 10 or 20 seconds. Praise him a lot while he is in the cage to let him know it is OK. Gradually do this several times a day, increasing the amount of time for each interval. If he starts to get upset, let him out. Be sure to end each crate training session on a happy note.
Once he gets used to the crate as his comfortable home, hell start going in there on his own expecting treats and praise. When he does, say something like Wanna crate? or Go in your crate, with a happy voice, while you get his treats.
When he starts staying in the crate for a few minutes at a time, leave the room, gradually extending the time you are gone each time. When you return, walk over and open the door and let him out without making a fuss. After about 3 or so days, he should be officially crate trained. You should be able to leave him for an hour now and gradually start increasing the time he is in the crate alone.