Crate Training

Crates are actually an excellent choice for most puppies and adult dogs as they keep the pet and your belongings safe when you are not able to supervise. They aid in house training because a dog will not want to soil his sleeping area. Select a crate big enough to allow the puppy/dog to stand up and turn around and stretch out when lying down. 

Remember, the crate should never take away from the contact and socialization that your dog needs from you and your family. The dog needs to spend much more time out of the crate than in.
Why Use A Crate? 

  • To provide a den for your dog. 
  • To help calm and nurture your dog in the new environment. 
  • As a house training aid. 
  • As a recovery room from illness or surgery. 
  • As a sanctuary when things get hectic. 
  • In some mild cases, it can be helpful for anxiety to help prevent destructive chewing. 
  • To protect your pet from children who cannot act appropriately around dogs.

Crate Do's and Don'ts


  • Make the crate a positive place. 
  • Use treats and toys to lead the dog into the crate. 
  • Feed the dog his dinner in the crate at first. 
  • Leave the door open initially. 
  • Hide food treats in the crate. 
  • Place a clean, soft bed in the crate. 
  • Place a shirt with your scent on it in the crate. 
  • Encourage your dog to sleep in his crate. 
  • Praise and pet him when he is inside his crate. 
  • Stay close when you first close the door. 
  • Teach your dog to “wait” before coming out. 


  • Force a dog or puppy into a crate. 
  • Use the crate for punishment. 
  • Keep the crate in an isolated area. 
  • Leave your dog in his crate for more than six hours (see Creating a Routine for additional guidelines for puppies). 
  • Talk to or let him out when whining. 
  • Choose a crate that is too large. If your dog can eliminate in one corner and sleep in another, the crate will not help teach good potty habits. 
  • Choose a crate that is too small. Your dog should be able to sit up and turn around. For a growing puppy you may wish to choose a larger crate and initially block off part of the space (with a box). As the dog gets larger, you can remove the partition. 

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