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CRATE TRAINING - A Dog’s Retreat Center or Jail?

To Crate or not to Crate Train #cratetraining

Many people think that confining a pup is torture and when you stuff your dog in one and walk away it can actually be so. On the other hand, if a crate is introduced appropriately it can truly be an extremely valuable tool.

Crates don't have to be a forever solution but can begin the process to solve destructive, snarky &/or potty training issues!

  • Crate training can be an excellent way to housebreak and keep your puppy safe when you are not able to actively supervise.

  • Crates can make it easy to travel with your puppy and acclimate your dog to being confined at the vet or groomer.

It is true that some dogs feel extremely safe and secure in small, confined areas and conditioning your pup to a crate can lead to a pup that chooses their crate over chaos.


Your dog should be able to stand up, turn around, and lie down in her crate.

For puppies, it is important that the crate not be big enough to allow the puppy to eliminate in one corner and sleep in another.

Soft Crates are also amazingly easy to bring from one room to another as well as unzip multiple sections and sides.

If you wish to buy a crate that your puppy will grow into most crates now come with a divider but if yours does not, simply block off the back with a large box, so that you restrict the total floor space available to the puppy.


Acclimating your pup to a crate early is most effective and can save you from setting your dog up for stress or trauma.

1. Introduce your pup to a crate gradual by placing a treat inside and allow him to go in and get it.

2. Encourage him/her to enter the crate for the reward without closing the door. It is important to go at your puppies pace. Using your hands, point inside the crate and when the puppy follows and begins to

enter the crate "on his own" you can begin to say the word CRATE when his entire body is inside. Each time he enters praise him.

3. When your puppy begins to enter the crate, pause and look at you rather than coming outside you can begin to start closing the door and then

immediately opening the door. Gradually increase the length of time the door is closed.

4. Once the dog is used to the crate, allow him to spend longer periods in it while you stay nearby. Try not to go out of site at first.

If your dog is whining, barking, scratching, or doing anything you don't want to encourage be sure to NEVER open the door until the pup is calm. Sitting near the crate and petting throught the holes is a great way to stop the crazies and as soon as the pup is settled you may open the door. If you open the door while those behaviors are occuring you will be teaching your puppy that those behaviors get him what he wants!

5. Always allow your puppy the opportunity to go potty just before entering the crate and pick him up and bring him directly where he is suppose to go potty every time you open the crate door. This will prevent ALOT of accidents!!!!

6. With puppies 6 - 10 weeks old crating should only be for short periods of time and very gradually increased. A puppy that has been resting or sleeping for some time, and then whimpers or cries most likely needs to go potty.

They need to go potty during and after exercise periods. They will also need to go potty right after eating and drinking.

7. Anytime you cannot actively supervise your pet, place him in the crate with a toy or treat. Each time you take him out of the kennel, take him straight outdoors to the location that you permenantly want your dog to use as their potty area.

I think this is one of the most important things to remember!!!

Try not to play, love up or distract your puppy until he has gone potty. If you do they may get distracted and not seem to need to go pee and then the moment they walk inside have an accident. Your puppy has a very short attention span, has no

understanding of bladder control so help him out by not distracting her at this time.

The intention is to condition our pup to understand that the crate is a safe space to go when he is tired, over stimulated, not feeling well or wants to be left alone.

If you need additional assistance with a crate or want to learn more details on training a puppy visit "New Puppy Crate Training Handout".


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