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Dog Crate Training

Dog Crate Training

Crate training is the fastest and most humane method of housebreaking dogs. Many dog owners also think of it as an effective way to keep their pet safe from potential dangers around the house. A crate is a metal pen-type construction and it can be used when you need to confine your dog for any number of reasons including housebreaking, safety, protection of household goods or when you need to travel.

A crate serves as a den for your dog. Since dogs naturally want to seek shelter, if you don’t provide one, they will create one themselves. So, the crate helps to satisfy the “den instinct” inherited from their ancestors. Once your dog gets accustomed to her crate she will feel secure, not frustrated or stressed. You should encourage your dog to use her crate as a safe area – somewhere that she can go to get some rest or some peace and quiet. You should therefore make the crate as comfortable as possible for your dog, putting in some toys and perhaps a comfort blanket or a washable crate pad.

Advantages of Dog Crate Training

Crate training is not always easy and can take time, so patience and commitment are vital in order to successfully crate train your dog but there clearly a lot of advantages in using it. The crate can help you:

  • when you leave your dog alone, knowing that none of your personal or household items can be soiled or destroyed and that she is comfortable, safe and not developing bad habits.
  • achieve a better relationship with your dog by preventing unwanted behavior when you aren’t there to supervise her.
  • housebreak your dog much easier and much faster! A puppy is unlikely to soil her own rest and play area, so the crate is a good way to teach your pet to wait until taken outside or to the designated area. Of course choosing the right crate will help you avoid any “accidents” while housebreaking your dog or puppy.
  • travel with your dog in an easier and much safer way. If your dog is in her crate, she’s not running the risk of getting lost, hurt or interfering with safe driving.
  • have your dog with you on vacations or family outings without worrying about how she will adapt to the new and different environment. Having her den with her, your dog will feel more “at home”.
  • avoid harassment of your dog by young children or other pets in the house. Your dog can enjoy the security and privacy of her own territory, she can retreat to when she’s tired or stressed.
About Crates

The purpose of the crate is to provide confinement. Still, you should ensure that you have the best size and type of crate for your dog, depending on her breed, size and age, otherwise she may start feeling restricted and anxious. The crate you choose should be large enough for your pet to stretch out on her side and to sit or stand erect. If you have a puppy, it is more economical to buy a wire crate that will accommodate her as an adult, then partition it to the right size. Too large a crate can undermine housebreaking because your pet may eliminate at one end of the crate and lie down at the other. Prices for new crates vary depending on size and construction, so a new crate may cost $40 – 150. This is a bargain compared to the cost of replacing a sofa, woodwork or carpeting.

Things to Avoid

Don’t overdo it! There is no point in having a dog if you are going to keep her in a crate most of the day and night! Dogs need plenty of physical exercise and socialization. And, of course, they need your love and affection. Be sure you can provide these to your dog.

Do not use the crate for punishment. This would destroy any positive association your dog has with her crate, making crate training and any use of the crate thereafter very difficult.


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