The Dos and Donts of Crate Training Your Puppy

Are you a new puppy owner? Crate training can be a highly effective method for house training your furry friend.​ Not only does it provide a safe and secure space for your puppy, but it also helps in preventing destructive behaviors.​ However, there are some dos and donts to keep in mind to make the crate training process successful and stress-free.​

Do: Make the crate comfortable and inviting.​ Add a soft blanket or bed, along with some chew toys and treats, to create a positive association with the crate.​ You can also try leaving a piece of your clothing inside the crate, so your puppy can smell your scent and feel more at ease.​

Don’t: Use the crate as a form of punishment.​ Your puppy should view the crate as their own little den, not a place where they are confined as a form of discipline.​ Using the crate as a punishment can lead to fear or anxiety in your puppy, making the crate training process much more difficult.​

Do: Gradually increase the time your puppy spends in the crate.​ Start with short periods, and gradually extend the time as your puppy becomes more comfortable.​ This helps them build up positive associations with the crate, and prevent them from feeling anxious or stressed when confined in it.​

Don’t: Leave your puppy in the crate for extended periods of time.​ Puppies have small bladders and need to relieve themselves frequently.​ Leaving them in the crate for too long can result in accidents and make them associate negative experiences with the crate.​

Do: Use positive reinforcement and rewards.​ Whenever your puppy willingly enters the crate or stays inside without fussing, praise and reward them with a treat or verbal praise.​ This helps them understand that being in the crate is a positive experience.​

Don’t: Force your puppy into the crate or lock them inside against their will.​ This can create negative associations and make the crate training process much more difficult.​ Allow your puppy to enter the crate willingly, and use positive reinforcement to encourage them to stay inside.​

Do: Use the crate for short periods of alone time.​ Crate training can help teach your puppy to be comfortable and calm when left alone, which is important for preventing separation anxiety.​ Start with short periods of alone time and gradually increase the duration.​

Creating a Routine

Creating a routine is crucial when crate training your puppy.​ Dogs thrive on consistency and knowing what to expect.​ By establishing a routine, you’ll make the crate training process easier and more effective.​

Start by taking your puppy outside to relieve themselves as soon as you let them out of the crate in the morning.​ Use positive reinforcement and rewards to encourage them to go potty in the designated area.​

Puppy Training
This helps them associate going outside with a positive experience.​

Throughout the day, designate specific times for playtime, feeding, and potty breaks.​ Stick to this schedule as much as possible to help your puppy learn when to expect certain activities.​ After each activity, bring your puppy back to the crate for a short period of rest.​ This helps them associate the crate with downtime and relaxation.​

Using the crate during the night is also important for house training.​ Make sure your puppy has gone potty right before bed, and then place them in the crate for the night.​ This helps prevent accidents and teaches them to hold their bladder throughout the night.​

Dealing with Whining and Separation Anxiety

It’s natural for puppies to whine or cry when first introduced to the crate or left alone.​ However, it’s important to address this behavior in a positive and proactive manner.​

Start by gradually increasing the amount of time your puppy spends in the crate.​ This allows them to get used to being confined without feeling anxious or stressed.​ If your puppy starts whining, try to distract them with a toy or treat to redirect their focus.​

Praise and reward your puppy when they are calm and quiet in the crate.​ By reinforcing this behavior, you’ll encourage them to be calm and relaxed when confined.​ Avoid giving in to their whining or letting them out of the crate, as this only reinforces the behavior.​

To help with separation anxiety, gradually increase the periods of alone time your puppy spends in the crate.​ Start with just a few minutes and gradually work your way up to longer durations.​ This helps your puppy learn that being alone in the crate is not a negative experience.​

Introducing the Crate Gradually

When starting crate training, it’s important to introduce the crate gradually to your puppy.​ This helps them feel comfortable and secure in their new space.​

Begin by placing the crate in a central area of the house where your puppy can easily see and hear you.​ Leave the door open and allow your puppy to explore the crate on their own.​ Encourage them with praise and rewards when they approach the crate willingly.​

Once your puppy is comfortable entering the crate, start closing the door for short periods while you are still in the room.​ Gradually increase the duration, always using positive reinforcement and rewards to create a positive association.​

As your puppy becomes more comfortable, start leaving the room while they are in the crate.​ Again, start with short durations and gradually increase the time.​ This helps your puppy learn that being in the crate is a safe and secure place, even when you’re not around.​


Crate training your puppy can have numerous benefits, including aiding in house training and preventing destructive behaviors.​ By following the dos and don’ts of crate training, creating a routine, addressing whining and separation anxiety, and introducing the crate gradually, you’ll set your puppy up for success.​ With patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement, your puppy will learn to love their crate and view it as their own little den.​

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