Crate Training

– A Safe Haven For Your Puppy

Your lifestyle and schedule may result in your puppy being at home by itself. If this occurs, you need to give your puppy a safe place of its own. Puppies that are comfortable with their crate are more likely to feel secure and far less stressed with traveling.

 shutterstock_26226301Encouraging crate training can eliminate many undesirable behaviors such as:

  • Separation anxiety

  • Unwanted chewing

  • Improper elimination


Before placing your puppy in the crate, be sure that he/she has had sufficient play, exercise, attention, and opportunity to eliminate before confinement. Your crate should be large enough for your dog to stand, turn, play with toys.

Benefits of Crate Training:

  • Provides a place of security

  • Comfortable retreat to relax, nap, or chew toy

  • Helps reduce risk of over-attachment and separation anxiety

  • Helps with house-training

  • Helps avoid eliminations in their crate (unless left in crate too long)

  • Reduces risk of behavior problems.

How to Crate Train:

Never leave the puppy in the crate for longer than he/she can maintain urinary control. If the puppy must be left for long periods of time, he/she should be confined to a larger area such as a dog-proof room or pen. The crate should only be used as a time for naptime, bedtime, and alone time.

  • An ideal location for the crate is where the family spends the most time (kitchen, den, etc.)

  • Associate the crate with positive and relaxing experiences (treats, food, sleeping, etc.)

  • Do not use the crate for punishment

  • Introduce the crate as soon as you get your puppy home

  • Place treats in the cage throughout the day and leave the cage door open

  • When your puppy begins to settle down for a nap, place your puppy in its cage and close the door

  • Make sure to have toys in the crate at all times

  • Leave the room but remain close to hear the puppy

  • Escape behavior and vocalization are to be expected when your puppy is first placed in its crate

  • If “complaints” are short and mild, ignore the puppy

  • If “complaints” are loud and do not stop after a few minutes, a shaker can (sealed can filled with coins or rocks) can be tossed at the crate when he/she is vocalizing

  • If using shaker method, make sure to stay out of sight of your puppy. This way the puppy realizes that whether you are there or not, he/she will have an unpleasant experience when barking in the cage.

  • Repeat the cage and release procedure throughout the day; this way the puppy gets used to its cage.

  • Before bedtime, properly exercise the puppy and take him/her out for eliminations.

  • Do not go to the puppy if he/she cries at night while in the cage.  If you do, you’ll be teaching your puppy that if he/she cries at night, you will come to the rescue!