Crate Training Guidelines

Dog crates make an excellent safe haven for your puppy and provides that safe feeling and secure environment that dogs crave. “Crate Training” has been proven to be the fastest and most effective way to housebreak a puppy.  While your puppy is still growing, choose a kennel with a divider that will fit your puppy when fully grown. The crate should be just big enough for your puppy to be able to stand up, lie down and turn around. Puppies should have this much room and no more. Given too much room, they will soil at one end of the crate and sleep in the other end.   Crate training can take one day, several days, a few weeks or longer depending on the breed, age, consistency of the human, and history of the dog. Crate training promotes bowel and bladder control for your new puppy. This is a key element to house training and this is how responsible puppy owners teach a puppy to hold it's bladder. 


Keep the crate in your main living area during the day, so your puppy can be part of family activities. Dogs instinctively want to sleep near their family. However, for some puppies it can be too much and they will need a cover over their crate to remove the visual stimulation.  If possible, move the crate to your bedroom at night or get a second crate for sleeping that stays in your bedroom. 

When a puppy is released from his crate, he should be taken outside immediately and encouraged to eliminate.  Supervise your puppy 100 % of the time when returning to the house, for their earned free time. If your puppy did not potty outside put them back in the crate and tray again in a while. Freedom in the house is earned when going potty on a potty break.  If you become busy or distracted, crate puppy with a special toy that he only gets while being confined. If you keep your pup on a regular feeding schedule and use the crate religiously, you will be rewarded with a fully housebroken puppy in no time.

Puppy is chewing on a bone from the butcher shop.

Length of Time

How long can a puppy stay in the crate? Initially, you can start with just a few minutes with the door closed when you are nearby. When crating overnight, the general rule is that a puppy can hold its bladder an hour longer than the number of months old it is. Example, a 2 month old puppy should be able to hold its bladder for 3 hours. This is just a guideline as each puppy is different, so please adjust the length of time to meet your specific puppies need.  
It is also a good idea to crate your puppy daily for short periods of time when you ARE home with your puppy or dog. This will help prevent our puppy from thinking that crate training means they are alone.    

Unwanted Behaviors

Destructive chewing behavior is often the result of an unsupervised puppy/dog that has gotten bored or anxious. Using a crate while you are busy or out and about eliminates this possibility. Dogs & puppies will sleep the vast majority of the time when their owners are away anyway. So crating your puppy/dog while you’re away keeps him from being destructive and prevents him from ingesting something that could potentially be harmful if not fatal. Surgeries to remove objects are expensive and will result with your dog needing to be confined to a crate during the healing process.  Leaving a puppy loose in a house where he can chew on electrical wires or anything not appropriate is negligent behavior. 

Separation anxiety occurs when a dog becomes distressed over the owner’s departure.  To help eliminate this issue prepare your puppy to cope with isolation.  Crate your puppy while you are home and practice leaving the house for short periods of time.  Just go outside and come back in to start with, then gradually increase the time you are gone. Ignore your puppy when you first come in, this will  help your puppy to learn that your comings and goings are no big deal.  After a couple of minutes, calmly take your puppy outside then celebrate after your pups goes potty. 

Never make a big deal about letting your puppy in or out of their crate. Wait until he is calm and sitting before releasing from the crate, and avoid giving praise or affection until your puppy is relaxed. Practice crating your puppy for short periods of time when you are home so that you can wait for them to relax without a full bladder. 


No collars, tags, water, soft toys, or bedding in the crate while your puppy is crated, for safety reasons. Have the crate in a location that you can hear your puppy when he/she wakes from sleeping. Utilizing the crate is your best tool for house training and keeping your puppy safe. Please, remove your puppies tags when you are not supervising them. Leaving a puppy loose in a house where he can chew on electrical wires or anything that is not appropriate, is an unsafe practice. 
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