A crate is a safe place for most dogs. Many dogs "naturally" crate themselves when they go under your furniture, such as underneath a table, your bed, or your desk. Crates are good for most dogs, but there are a few dogs who don't like to be crated. These may be dogs with separation anxiety who are frightened to be in the crate.
Usually, crates act as bedrooms, and dogs sleep in their crates. It gives them a safe place to escape all the commotion of the household. A crate should be your dog's sanctuary and should NEVER be put in the crate for punishment or timeout.
Crates are very helpful when you can't keep an eye on your dog, and especially for puppies who explore the world by chewing everything. If they're crated, they can't chew your stuff! If your dog is going to fly with you, he'll need to be in a crate -- either a small carrier that you can carry in the cabin or a larger one in cargo.
And it really helps in housetraining because, just like you, dogs and puppies don't like to pee and poop where they sleep. It teaches them to "hold it" until they are let out to toilet in another area. BUT, when ya gotta go, ya gotta go -- NEVER keep your dog in a crate for longer than he can hold it because then he will go in the crate. Which brings us to our next question:
How long in minutes, hours should my dog stay in the crate in one session?
Again, that depends -- the older the dog is, the longer he can hold it, so theoretically, the older he is, the longer he can stay in the crate. For puppies, the formula is one hour in the crate for every month he is old -- if he's three months, then theoretically he can stay in the crate for three hours. Remember that's theoretically. Your mileage may differ.
Until he is both potty trained and you can trust that he won't chew up your house. Each dog is different, so I can't tell you after X-days, he'll be fine. It's like asking, "How long will it take until I learn how to drive?" Each person is different and each dog is different.
I think you have an advantage with puppies -- because one of the methods of training them to accept the crate is to wait until they are sleepy or tired, and puppies sleep a lot. So that gives you more opportunities. And they have less "baggage" to overcome than adult dogs.
No matter how old your dog is, be sure to take his collar off while he is in the crate. Don't simply put your dog or puppy in a crate because it's easier than watching him! Dogs are pack animals, and they like to be with their pack.
Crate training helps in potty training. Why? Because puppies and dogs don't like to pee and poop where they sleep. But your dog or puppy needs to associate the crate with being a good place to be, not a prison where he is shut off from the rest of the family.
There are several ways that you can get your puppy or dog used to his crate, and here are a few of them. Probably the easiest is to wait until he is tired -- really tired -- and put him in his bed which you've put in the crate. Put the crate in an area where you can keep an eye on it and him so you can be aware of when he awakens so you can take him to his designated toilet area *before* he starts to whine or bark because he will have to pee and maybe poop when he wakes up. You don't want him to learn that barking will cause you to come running, and you certainly don't want him to pee in the crate.
Another way to train your dog or puppy to acclimate to the crate is to put some really fantastic smelly *treats inside* the crate, shut the door while *he is outside* the crate. He will definitely let you know that he wants those treats! When he has quieted down, then open the door and let him go into the crate and eat the treats. Then he will come out, which is fine. Repeat this several times, and then begin putting food-dispensing toys in the crate. These will take him longer to eat. While he is eating, shut the door. Again, keep an eye on him so you will know when he is finished. Take him out before he begins barking or whining because he will likely have to pee, especially if he is a young puppy.
Still another way to train him to like the crate is to leave the door open and toss treats inside so he has to go inside the crate to eat them and praise him when he does. Repeat several times so he associates the crate with the treats and is eager to go inside. Then put a food-dispensing toy in as described previously.
If these methods don't work for your dog, then we can discuss other crate training options that will work for your dog or puppy in our consultation. I invite you to contact me now by I'm looking forward to working with you!RETURN TO TOP