How to Crate Train Your Dog


Hello Pack! When properly introduced and trained, a crate is an awesome resting space and house training tool to make our four-legged friends feel at home. 

If you are welcoming a new pup into your den, we encourage you to consider crate training.

Why You May Want A Crate For Your Dog

Sometimes it may break our hearts to think of our beloved pets hanging out in such a limited space.  But the interesting thing is that they’re evolutionarily motivated to find a cozy nook to call their own! 

Just like a wild dog would seek out a safe enclosed space in the wild, domesticated dogs look for corners and bedding or laundry to curl up in and feel secure.  A crate is the modern, urban equivalent of a den.

Another good reason for a crate is that while you’re out of the house, your curious and mischievous pup can stay out of trouble while they learn the rules. It will prevent them from getting into wires, or potting soil, or whatever other tempting amusements you have in your home. 

Fun Note: If a dog is crate trained, they will have much less anxiety and stress over traveling because they will have a place to feel at home away from home. 

When trained from puppyhood, the crate is a great tool for keeping harmony in your home between you and your pet. If you establish the crate as a comfortable and safe resting space, your dog will want to keep their little room clean. Dogs are psychologically inclined to keep their den area and their potty area separate, so crates are often used for house-training.

What Kind of Crate Should I get?

Crates come in all different sizes and materials. A good rule of the thumb is that the crate should be large enough for them to stand up, do a little circle, and then lay down in.

If you travel a lot, they make some specifically for this purpose, also known as “flight kennels.”

If your pooch will most likely be hanging out in their crate at home, you can consider getting one that’s a metal frame so they have more ventilation and a better view of the room.  

How Do I Crate Train My Dog?

It is so important to establish the crate as a place your pet actually wants to be!

  • It should never be used as punishment— we want to avoid associating the little home with feelings of shame or anxiety.  Acclimate your pup by at first allowing free roam in and out of the crate. 

  • Use treats to reward calm and voluntary entrance to the crate. 

  • Offer your praise and approval when they stay in the crate for increasing lengths of time. Once they’ve developed a positive association with the crate, you can close the door, and when you observe them being calm and secure, shower them with love. 

  • Don’t line it with housebreaking pads- we want to work with their instincts to train them to go outside. 

  • Take off any harness or collar before crating your dog in the crate as they can get stuck or pulled onto different parts of the crate.

How Long Can My Dog Be in his/her Crate?

One thing we want to remember is that puppies have pretty small bladders.  So you shouldn’t leave a puppy in a crate for any longer than 2-4 hours.  Older dogs can be comfortable holding in their business for up to 8 hours. 

This is a great reason for a having a dependable neighborhood dog walker in Atlanta. If you have to be away from home all day for work or other activities and responsibilities, whether your dog is crated or not, it’s awesome to be able to allow your pooch to use the bathroom every 4-6 hours. It’s the best way to increase the chance of keeping your home clean and your dog comfortable and stress-free. 

A pooch happily adjusted to their crate can save you a lot of trouble down the road, and maybe spare you some money on replacing chewed up shoes and furniture. And if you’re in the Atlanta area, our Pet Care Professionals are a great resource for giving your pups a break from their crate while you’re away.

See you and your furry friends soon!

Alexa C. - Pack Leader