HomePet Supplies & AccessoriesIntroduction to Crate Training for Dogs

Introduction to Crate Training for Dogs

Crate training is an essential part of dog ownership and can greatly benefit both you and your furry companion. It involves teaching your dog to view their crate as a safe and comfortable space, similar to a den or a bedroom. This not only provides a sense of security for your dog but also helps with housebreaking, separation anxiety, and overall obedience. In this blog post, we will discuss the benefits of crate training, choosing the right crate, setting it up properly, essential accessories, tips for successful training, and common mistakes to avoid.

Benefits of Crate Training for Dogs

There are numerous benefits to crate training your dog. Some of the most notable ones include:


Introduction to Crate Training for Dogs

When done correctly, crate training can help speed up the housebreaking process for your dog. Dogs instinctively do not want to eliminate in their sleeping area, so using a crate can teach them to hold their bladder and bowels until they are taken outside.

Provides a Safe Space

Introduction to Crate Training for Dogs

Dogs are naturally den animals and having a crate can provide them with a safe and secure space of their own. This is especially helpful for dogs that may feel anxious or overwhelmed in certain situations, such as when visitors come over or during thunderstorms.

Eases Separation Anxiety

Crate training can also help with separation anxiety in dogs. By creating a routine around the crate, your dog will learn that it is normal to be left alone for short periods of time. This can prevent destructive behaviors and excessive barking when you are away from home.

Aids in Traveling

Having a dog that is comfortable in a crate can make traveling much easier. Many airlines and hotels require dogs to be crated during transportation, so it is important to train your dog beforehand to ensure a stress-free experience for both of you.

Helps with Obedience

Crate training can also improve overall obedience in dogs. By using the crate as a tool for positive reinforcement and rewards, your dog will learn to associate good behavior with their crate, making training much more effective.

Choosing the Right Crate

When it comes to choosing a crate for your dog, there are a few factors to consider. The size, material, and type of crate all play a role in ensuring your dog is comfortable and safe.


The first and most important factor to consider is the size of the crate. It should be large enough for your dog to stand up, turn around, and lie down comfortably. However, it should not be too big where they can easily eliminate in one corner and sleep in another.


Crates come in various materials such as metal, plastic, and fabric. Metal crates are durable and easy to clean, while plastic crates provide more privacy and can be used for travel. Fabric crates are lightweight and portable but may not be suitable for destructive dogs.


There are three main types of crates: wire, plastic, and soft-sided. Wire crates offer good ventilation and visibility, while plastic crates provide more security and privacy. Soft-sided crates are best for small and calm dogs, as they do not offer much protection or durability.

Setting Up the Crate

Properly setting up the crate is crucial in making sure your dog feels comfortable and secure. Here are some tips to follow:


Choose a quiet and low-traffic area in your home to place the crate. This can be a corner in the living room or your bedroom. It is also important to avoid areas that are too hot or cold, as well as direct sunlight.


Place a comfortable bed or blanket inside the crate for your dog to lie on. Make sure it is machine washable in case of accidents. Avoid using towels or newspapers as bedding, as these can be easily shredded by your dog.

Water and Toys

Always provide your dog with access to water when they are in the crate. You can use a travel bowl or attach a water bottle to the side of the crate. It is also recommended to leave some safe and chewable toys inside the crate to keep your dog occupied.

Time in the Crate

In the beginning, start by putting your dog in the crate for short periods of time while you are home. Gradually increase the duration as they become more comfortable. Never leave your dog in the crate for more than a few hours at a time, as this can cause them to resent it.

Crate Training Essentials

In addition to choosing the right crate and setting it up properly, there are a few essentials that you will need to ensure successful crate training for your dog.


Using treats as rewards is an important part of crate training. Always have a stash of your dog’s favorite treats on hand to reward them for good behavior. This will help create a positive association with the crate.


A clicker is a small device that makes a clicking sound and is used to mark desired behaviors by your dog. By pairing the sound with a treat, your dog will learn to associate the click with a positive outcome.

Potty Pads

Potty pads or newspaper can be used inside the crate during the initial stages of housebreaking. This will help protect the bedding and make cleaning up any accidents easier.

Divider Panel

If you have a growing puppy, using a divider panel can be a helpful tool. This will allow you to adjust the size of the crate as your puppy grows, preventing them from eliminating in one corner and sleeping in another.


Covering the crate with a blanket or sheet can help create a den-like atmosphere for your dog. This can be especially helpful for anxious dogs who feel more secure in enclosed spaces.

Crate Training Tips

Crate training can be a challenging process, but with patience and consistency, it can be successful. Here are some tips to make the process smoother:

Make It a Positive Experience

Always use positive reinforcement when crate training your dog. Never use the crate as a form of punishment, as this will only create negative associations.

Set a Routine

Dogs thrive on routines, so it is important to establish one when crate training. This includes feeding, playtime, and potty breaks. Stick to a schedule and your dog will learn what to expect and when.

Keep It Short

In the beginning, keep crate training sessions short and gradually increase the duration. This will help prevent your dog from becoming overwhelmed or anxious.

Use a Command

Using a command such as “crate” or “kennel” can help your dog associate the word with going into their crate. Be consistent and use the same command each time.


It is important to supervise your dog when they are in the crate, especially during the initial stages of training. This will allow you to intervene if any issues arise and ensure your dog is comfortable.

Common Mistakes to Avoid in Crate Training

While crate training can be a highly effective method for dog training, there are also common mistakes that can hinder the process. Here are some things to avoid:

Rushing the Process

Crate training takes time and patience. Do not rush the process or expect your dog to adapt immediately. Take it slow and give your dog time to adjust.

Using the Crate for Punishment

As mentioned earlier, using the crate as a form of punishment will only create negative associations and make training more difficult.

Leaving Your Dog in the Crate for Too Long

Never leave your dog in the crate for extended periods of time. This can cause them to become anxious and resentful towards the crate.

Not Making the Crate Comfortable

Dogs are more likely to enjoy their crate if it is comfortable and inviting. Make sure to provide them with a cozy bed, water, and toys.

Giving In to Whining

It is normal for your dog to whine or cry when first starting crate training, but it is important not to give in. This will only reinforce the behavior and make it more difficult to break later on.

Conclusion and Final Thoughts

Crate training is an essential part of dog ownership and can have numerous benefits for both you and your furry companion. By choosing the right crate, setting it up properly, and following essential training tips, you can help your dog view their crate as a safe and comfortable space. Remember to be patient, consistent, and always use positive reinforcement. With time and dedication, your dog will learn to love their crate and you will have a well-trained and obedient companion by your side.


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