How To Crate Train A Dog

by | “How To”, Blog, Dog Crates, Houses & Pens

When it comes to crate training, it’s important to manage your expectations. Just like any other training effort, it takes time. Don’t assume your dog is just going to willingly jump in his crate, just because you leave the door open. What you should expect is whining, crying, and barking. However, with a little patience and gentle persuasion, you can make crate training a comfortable experience. To help you with your efforts, below are a few suggestions to help you learn “How To Crate Train A Dog”.


Try to make the crate comfortable by placing within it, familiar comfort items such as a blanket, dog bed, toys and treats. The plan is to get your dog to gradually get used to occupying that space, without being forced. It may take a few days, but the idea is to make it seem like it’s his idea to use the crate.

Meal Times Inside The Crate

You can also try feeding your dog inside the crate. At first, consider feeding your dog outside the crate, with the door open. Overtime, you can gradually move his feeding position inside the crate. When he starts eating inside the crate, leave the door open as he eats. However, after a couple of days, close the door while he eats. After he has finished his meal, let him stay inside the crate for a short period. Then gradually increase his time daily.

Practice When You’re Home

To get your dog to enter his crate at times other than meal times, consider training him to enter on command. The command word you use can be something like crate, bed, sleep or enter. If at first he seems resistant, try to coax him with a treat, making sure to say words of reassurance and praise—for example, good boy.

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Practice When Your Away

After you have done the above suggestions, you’ll be ready to move on to the next stage—which is leaving your dog in the crate while you’re away. Begin by putting them in the cage with all their comfort items. Then sit with them for several minutes. Then stand up and walk around the room, while staying within your dog’s sight. Do this for a few minutes. Afterwards, quietly leave the room and stay away for 45 minutes. When you return, let him out and take him for a walk.

Crate Your Dog At Night

When you want to start training your dog to stay in the crate at night, you’ll want to keep the crate within earshot, just in case they need to be walked.

First, take him outside for a walk, so that he can do his business. Then get him to enter the crate by the use of a command, treat or praise. Don’t let whining deter your efforts. However, if you find that they start to whine in the middle of the night, he may need to be walked again. If this is the case, you’ll need to walk him and return him to his crate. Nevertheless, whining is a normal part of the process.

In conclusion, crate training shouldn’t be used as a form of punishment. The idea of crate training is to get your dog to enter and stay in his crate willingly. Dogs should not be left in a crate for long durations of time. How long a dog can tolerate being in a crate depends on the dog, but it is inadvisable to leave your dog in a crate for more than 6-8 hours or you’ll run the risk of making him anti-social. Because of their small bladders, puppies can’t last more than 3-4 hours. Be mindful of your dog’s limits and make sure that he gets plenty of exercise, when he is not in his crate. Good luck and thanks for reading “How To Crate Train A Dog”.