Crate Training: Love it OR Hate it

Crate training a dog, or crate training a puppy.  I’ll bet if I took a vote on this right now it would come out 50/50.  Used to be it was more like 25/75, with the lowly 25 being those who liked it.

So, let’s take a minute and look at crate training, the good, the bad (there’s really no ugly)

Good stuff about crate training:

  • If used correctly, the crate can keep your dog from having accidents in your home when you cannot watch him.
  • If used correctly, it can speed up the house breaking process.
  • In addition to stopping unwanted accidents in your home, crating your dog keeps your stuff safe when you cannot supervise your dog.
  • There is also this peace-of-mind that that you get “just knowing” all is well while your dog is in his crate.
  • In a house full of kids and chaos, your puppy or dog will have a place to go and get away from the stress. He can seek peace in his own space.
  • It also teaches your dog to be confident in being alone when you can’t be with him.
  • Another advantage is that your dog learns that you are not available 24/7. You come and you go – but you always come back and let him out!
  • Crate training provides your dog with expectations of what to do and when to do it. He will begin to lock on the predictable times he goes in his crate. Having this routine can give your dog a profound sense of security – keeping his stress down.
  • If you are as busy as are most people, crating your dog frees up your time to get more pressing things done that you couldn’t do because you felt you had to watch your puppy or dog.  More time out of the house is good. You are much less stressed and your dog will pick up on this. He will be less stressed as well – assuming you began your crate training properly from the beginning.

When you first bring your new puppy or dog home, begin gradually desensitizing him to the crate using food treats and make it as comfortable as possible. Then begin to enjoy all the benefits of crate training. You’ll be glad you did.

By properly crate training your new puppy or dog you will have avoided things like:

  • Cleaning up pee/poop messes
  • Chewed up furniture and your personal stuff
  • Running, chasing, jumping on and biting the kids
  • And much, much more

 Bad stuff about crate training:

  • Owners who leave their puppies or dogs in a crate for hours on end
  • Using the crate as punishment

But here’s the thing, if you become educated about using a crate, understand the type of crate you need, how to properly get your puppy or dog used to a crate, how to properly use it to help with training your dog, well,  it’s the same thing as YOU have a little place in  your home that’s “just yours” where you can go and get away from everything and well, just be you!

Like my “man cave” I have at my house 🙂

So tell me, how are YOU or ARE you using a crate with your puppy or dog?

Come on over to FACEBOOK and let’s hash this out.  I’m dying to hear your questions on crating your puppy or dog.

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Together, We Can Raise a Happy and Obedient Dog”

Jim Burwell is a “thanks for making the impossible, possible” professional dog trainer having trained 20,000+ dogs and counting and serving more than 7,000 clients.  Jim’s easy to follow, common sense, and positive methods have made him the “dog trainer of choice” for 30 years.  One of his clients says it best: There are people who are so good at, and passionate about, what they do, that in their presence, one can’t help thinking that they have found their true calling and are doing exactly what they should be doing on this earth. Jim is one of these rare people. His quiet and understated manner, his effective technique for training dogs (and their families) is something which I feel fortunate to have witnessed and in which to have been an active participant.  Jane Wagner

(c)Jim Burwell Inc.


5 replies
  1. Jim Burwell
    Jim Burwell says:

    Please answer the following questions so that I can give you a more definitive answer:
    What breed is your puppy?
    Does your puppy have separation anxiety or just doesn’t want to be crated?
    What exactly are you doing to prevent your puppy from eliminating in the house?
    How did you begin to crate train your puppy?
    If you are now not crating your puppy, where do you put your puppy to sleep and stay when you are not able to supervise him?
    How much lap time is your puppy getting from you and other family members?

    Give me answers to these questions so that I can better understand your dilemma.


  2. Steve Lindley
    Steve Lindley says:

    My 13 week old puppy is impossible to potty train and more importantly he has Seperation Anxiety. I have spoke to several vets as well as reading books on crating and puppy training. It says that if your puppy whines or barks for more than 20 min, and is hyper and obsessive in the crate to not crate him. He will whine and whale for hours and is very crazy acting. I think something is wrong with him and we are at our end with how to find peace. Please help.

  3. Jim Burwell
    Jim Burwell says:

    Alexa: great post. sometimes the confinement for a dog with separation anxiety can actually make things worse. I applaud you for not giving up on your dog! Good for you. I always tell my clients, dog training is not written in black and white. You take the
    great training information and you tweak it so that it works for you. If I made all my clients go “by the book” I would have unhappy clients. Today’s world is busy busy and stressful. We find what helps them have a great dog and we go with it. Again, bless you
    for not giving up

  4. Charlene
    Charlene says:

    I crate my dog and have since she was a puppy. I have one of the wire crates like you show in the picture. For me it was easier to work on her potty training and it’s where I would put her when I couldn’t watch her so she would not have potty accidents.

    The way I look at it, it’s no different than when you put a child or baby in a playpen when you can’t supervise. People don’t consider that cruel – they think it’s being a good parent.

    That’s my point. Good article, thanks for writing it

  5. Tiny Lee
    Tiny Lee says:

    Great article. Thank you for sharing your expertise. I agree that there are many benefits to crating your dog, but I also know of people who abuse them by using them as long term babysitters or for punishment. I like your analogy of a dog crate being like your “man cave”. Every living individual needs a retreat to relax and unwind.

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