Puppy Crate Training

The single most important rule about crate training is that a crate should be a refuge to a puppy or adult dog and never a place of punishment; time-outs do not work on dogs.

If introduced correctly, the crate will become a place of comfort and safety for your puppy, appealing to his natural instinct of being in a den.

The crate should be big enough for the puppy or adult dog to stand, sit and stretch in. Start with a smaller crate when your puppy is still young, or use a big crate that be sectioned off into a small area. The key principle of crate training is for puppies to learn not to mess where they sleep and eat. If the crate is too big for your puppy, he may excrete in it.

Make the crate an inviting place for your puppy, place a soft a comfortable bed in the crate with enticing toys, leaving the door open. Encourage your puppy into the crate with a treat and stay with your puppy until he is calm. Close the door only once your puppy is relaxed and comfortable. Gradually close the door and stay with your puppy at this point to reassure him. When you are sure that all is well with your puppy, while the door is closed, leave the room for a few minutes and then return. Keep the closed-door periods short in the beginning, gradually increasing them. Remember puppies are all about praise. Don’t forget to tell your puppy what a “good boy” he is.

Puppies are part of the family so make sure that you have their crate with you in your living area. Don’t put the crate in the back storeroom. Ideally, have the crate in your bedroom at night, this way puppy will be reassured and will get into a routine with your sleeping patterns. You will also be able to hear if the puppy indicates he needs to go to the toilet, by whining or fussing in the crate.

  • Creating a safe comfortable den for your puppy which will become a refuge for him.
  • Great for encouraging routine
  • Helping to stop destructive behaviour
  • A fantastic tool in house training your puppy. It trains them to hold their bladder
  • Useful when travelling

From a safety point of view, remove your puppy’s collar and leash when crating them. Don’t leave them in the crate for long periods initially and make sure that the toys you leave in with them are not dangerous if the puppy is unsupervised. Never force a puppy into a crate in a negative way. Crates must always be a safe soothing den, that puppy wants to enter.