Is it better to crate train a puppy or not? Find Out Here

Step 1: Learn your puppy’s body language

Some puppies whimper, bark, scratch at the floor, squat, or pace when they need to go outside. Keep an eye on your puppy, learn his tells, and take him outside immediately. Praise him and give him a treat to reinforce the training.

The case for crate training

According to Hill’s Pet, “Crate training is necessary for safety, damage prevention, housetraining, and traveling.” Curious puppies want to explore their space, which can be dangerous if they’re left unattended. Anything from computer cords to medicine bottles can be hazardous to your dog. While puppy-proofing your home is a must, crating your dog can help if you want to ensure a pup’s safety when you leave the house. However, you should never leave small dogs or puppies under 6 months old in their crate for longer than three or four hours. Puppies lack the bladder control necessary to remain crated for longer periods, and small breeds have small bladders. Confining your pup to a crate for extended periods will result in a messy crate, and no pup wants to be trapped next to a soiled potty pad.

Contrary to popular belief, crate-training your puppy won’t make him feel confined. It will give him a space of his own, which helps him feel safe and secure. In fact, crating dogs can actually help calm anxiety. Lastly, crating your dog can help make the potty-training process easier, as it will allow you to prevent accidents in your home while teaching your dog to hold it until you take him outside to do his business. (You’ll want to nix crate training as part of potty training if your pup urinates and defecates in his crate. If your dog came from a shelter, he might be used to eliminating in his crate, and you’ll want to avoid encouraging this behavior.)

You’ll Need to Keep Track of How Long Your Pet Has Been Crated

You’ll also want to be wary of keeping your puppy or adult dog in a crate for too long. The most a dog should stay in a crate without a potty break is eight hours on average. Never crate your dog for longer than he can hold his bladder.

Younger puppies can only be crated for an hour at a time, gradually increasing as they pass eight weeks of age. You can bump this time to three-hour periods until your puppy reaches around 3 ½ months. From there you can slowly move up their time spent in the crate in relation to their ability to hold their bladder.

If you think you’ll be gone for longer than your dog can handle, you have options. Look around your area for doggy daycares, dog walking services, dog-friendly workplaces, or an option to come home for your lunch period. You can also set up a playpen for your dog to give them more room to roam around without giving access to your entire home.

The BIGGEST Mistake People Make With Crate Training A Puppy