How to crate train your dog?

Crate training your dog is an invaluable and necessary step in your relationship with your well-trained dog. Crate training your dog is useful in many ways.

  • · It’s a great way to house train your dog
  • · It’s a way to keep your dog or puppy from chewing up your possessions
  • · It’s a nice safe place for your dog to go for some quiet time
  • · It’s a safe and effective way to transport your dog

Choosing a Crate

When you crate train your dog it’s important you start out with the correct crate for your dog. There are many brands of crates but there are two basic types: the wire mesh crate and the plastic mold crate. Each type is adequate for crate training; whichever you decide on is really a matter of taste.

The important thing to consider is the size of your dog. Don’t forget if you have a puppy they grow into full sized dogs. Buy a crate that will be adequate for your full-grown dog. Your local pet shop retailer can help you with the sizing charts but basically you want a crate that your dog can comfortably stand up and turn around in.

Introducing your Dog to the Crate

Whether you have a full-grown dog or a puppy it’s important to crate train in a positive way. Crate training will be useless and frustrating if your dog fears the crate. Avoid these crate-training pitfalls:

  • · Don’t use the crate as a place of punishment
  • · Don’t force your dog into the crate
  • · Don’t leave your dog in the crate for long periods of time
  • · Don’t play with your dog once they’re in the crate
  • · Don’t use the crate in excessive heat

Put the crate in a spot where you’ll be close by, like the living room or kitchen. In other words don’t put the crate in some dark isolated corner of your home. Your dog needs to be comforted by your presence in the early stages of crate training.

How to crate train your dog?

Let your dog explore the crate. Don’t force him into it, but play with him around the crate. Feed him near the crate. The idea is to get the dog to associate the crate with pleasurable experiences.

Once the dog is familiar with the crate start coaxing him into it with treats and toys. Put them just inside the door and direct him to them with happy tones.

Once they’re comfortable with that put the treat a little further into the crate. Keep putting the treats further and further back until the dog is completely comfortable going in and out of the crate. When he goes in say, “Kennel up” or some phrase he will associate with the crate. Be consistent with what you say and soon he’ll enter the crate when you ask him to.

Now move the dog’s food dish into the crate. When he’s comfortable eating his food inside the crate, start closing the door while he eats. When he’s done immediately open the door.

Each feeding keep the door shut for longer and longer periods of time. Stay in the room with him during the first few times, then gradually start leaving for short periods.


If your dog starts to whine, you may have progressed too fast in your crate training. You’ll need to take a few steps back.

Don’t let the dog out of the crate once he starts whining. This will only enforce a bad habit and make your crate training harder. Undoing this habit can be difficult and frustrating.

be firm and wait until the dog stops whining before opening the crate door. Don’t yell or scold him for whining, just wait it out. Properly crate training your dog takes patience.

If you suspect your dog is whining because he needs to go to his potty spot, use the phrase you use when you want him to potty, then take him directly to his spot and give him a few minutes to void. If he doesn’t, take him back to the crate and wait him out.

Once your dog is comfortable with the crate and can stay for longer periods of time without supervision you’ll notice that he actually prefers it as a place to relax. You’ll probably be able to take the door off and let him enter and leave at his leisure. Put a dog pillow or blanket in with him and a few of his favorite toys. Be careful not to put things in that he can chew up and possibly choke on.

When your dog is in the crate don’t try to interact with him too much. He’ll think of his crate as his den, his place where he can get away and have some private time. If you have children instruct them to leave the dog alone while he’s in the crate. Dogs need privacy too sometimes.

Properly crate training your dog takes some time and patience but it will pay off and both of you will be better friends because of it.