Mistakes To Avoid In Crate Training

Mistakes To Avoid In Crate Training

If you recently got a dog or puppy, a crate may be the only way to keep your home safe and sound. Until the pet learns all the rules of the house – where to go to the toilet, what to sharpen its teeth with, and what to play with – it can sit in the “house” in the absence of its owners. So, let’s know mistakes to avoid in crate training.

That’s right: crate training uses the dog’s instinct to find a comfortable, quiet, and safe place. If you train your dog correctly, he will perceive the crate as a welcoming and safe place and will enjoy spending time there.

Let’s break down the key takeaways and discuss some common misconceptions.

Key Takeaways

  • A Safe Space: Crate training aims to make the crate feel like a secure, comfortable den for your dog.
  • Patience and Gradual Steps: Never rush the training. Start with short crate stays and gradually increase the time as your dog gets comfortable.
  • Positive Reinforcement Rules: Heaping on treats and praise makes the crate seem like a wonderful place where good things happen!
  • NOT a Punishment: Crates should never be used as a negative consequence. Doing so creates fear and undermines the whole purpose of training.
  • Age Matters: While crate training can be beneficial for dogs of any age, puppies learn faster and proper crate use helps with housebreaking.

Addressing Misconceptions

There are some frequent misunderstandings about crate training that are important to dispel:

  • Crates Are Cruel: This is only the case if misused. A dog who loves their crate views it as a cozy, relaxing space – their own little bedroom.
  • My Dog Will Never Like It: While some dogs take longer to adapt, with patience and positive methods, most dogs come to enjoy their crates.
  • Dogs Can Stay Crated All Day: This is NOT the case. Crates are for short periods or overnight. Long crating periods can lead to boredom, discomfort, and behavioral issues.

Additional Tips

  • Choose the Right Size: Too small is restrictive, too big and your dog may start using a corner as a bathroom.
  • Den-Like Atmosphere: Blankets and familiar toys make the crate extra cozy.
  • Exercise Is Key: A tired dog is more likely to accept crate time calmly. Ensure exercise and play sessions before and after crating.

How Long Does It Take For A Dog To Get Used To The Crate?

There is no clear answer. Depending on your puppy’s personality and your talent as a trainer, the entire process may take a week or months. With a consistent approach, most puppies will become accustomed to being carried within 1-3 weeks.

How To Train A Dog To Crate?

Every puppy should learn to rest quietly in his crate. This skill will be necessary for the veterinary clinic, while traveling, and also to limit activity when sick.

The cage will help save your repair from destructive chewing, as well as save the lives of young hooligans who like to chew the most inappropriate and even dangerous objects. In some breeds, chewing and gnawing may begin at 2-3 months of age, and end only by 2-3 years.

It is best to lock the puppy in a crate while you sleep. People often make the mistake of reacting to a puppy making noise in the crate.

By doing this, you only reinforce the puppy’s instinctive behavior, which tells him that being alone means death and that someone will come to him when he calls for help.

Placing the crate in your bedroom will help your puppy understand that he is not alone because he can hear, smell, and maybe even see you. Place the cage in a quiet place and put clothes in it. The familiar smell will calm your puppy.

Introducing Your Pet To The Cage:

This indicates that the cage is inside a home or flat. Never force an animal inside! Let me introduce myself to her. Do not bring a cot with you, as such an encounter is not something that lasts for minutes or hours.

This will just confuse the animal and not expedite training. He’ll get the impression that his place has been entirely abandoned.

If your four-legged companion sleeps on a cot, put a blanket on the crate’s floor; if they prefer not to have a cot, leave it empty. Allow your pet to freely explore the cage by leaving the door open.

If you occasionally put toys and/or treats inside, the dog will search for them on its own. Such “surprises” shouldn’t be directly linked to your presence.

Leave Toys And Treats In The Cage:

The preliminary stage can last several days. It can be considered complete when the animal calmly enters the cage, sits down, kicks, etc. So you can move the crib here if you have one.

To encourage your dog to enter the crate, throw a few treats near and inside the crate. If the dog refuses to come in, it’s okay, don’t force him to come in. The craving may last for several days.

Put your favorite toys and gummies in the cage. Throw the ball into an open cage and ask your dog to bring it to you. The main thing is not to rush to close the door. In the first stage, it is important to teach the dog to enter the crate without fear. This will not work if the dog knows that he could fall into a trap at any moment.

Important! The most important thing when training a crate is to not be tempted to use it as a prison as punishment for insulting the dog. Only pleasant associations should be associated with a dog crate.

If your dog wants to go into the crate, place the food bowl in the back of the crate and close the door while he eats. The first time you do this, open the door as soon as he finishes eating. But at each subsequent meal, leave the door closed for a few more minutes until the dog sits inside completely calm.

Train Your Dog To Stay In A Cage:

Training your pet to spend some time in the crate comes next. It may start out being only a few seconds long. Thus, increase it gradually. Hold the door open and guide the dog into the crate with rewards.

Give the animal attention and treats while it’s inside. Additionally, you ought to educate him on how to provide a command (like “Go”). Say it, then lead your four-legged companion outside. Give him a treat back if he attempts to accomplish this on his own.

Once your dog feels comfortable, you can begin training him to stay in the crate for a while. Perhaps the dog, upon realizing that it is stuck, will begin to whine and try to escape from the trap.

Don’t pay attention to him, just stand next to the dog, say something nice to him, and give him a treat through the bars. And if the dog behaves quietly and calmly in the cage, he needs to be doubly encouraged.

Conversely, it is better to ignore a dog that has just been let out of its crate for a while. The dog will understand that when he is in a cage, his owners love him especially much, and soon, on the first command, it will be easy to go to his “den.”

You can and should comfort your puppy if he barks or whines in pain. Talk to him in an encouraging tone and praise him when he calms down. Sit next to the box, but do not let it outside. Otherwise, the puppy will bark, which will help him get out.

Sit quietly near the box for five to ten minutes, then move to another room for a few minutes. Come back, sit down a little more, and then release the dog.

Repeat this process several times a day, gradually increasing the time you leave them in the cage and the time you are out of sight. Once your dog has been quietly in the crate for 30 minutes and you are almost completely out of sight, you can leave the house. This stage may take several days or weeks.

Close The Cage:

Increase the amount of time the door is closed gradually. Start utilizing the latch when the ten seconds have gone and continue similarly training your dog.

It’s crucial now to teach your pet to remain in his box while he is unable to see you. walk inside, shut the door, and walk back a little distance. After a little wait, approach the crate, reward the dog, and let him go. Step by step up the stairs, then into a different room.

Make sure your dog doesn’t bark or complain when they are by themselves in a room. If this occurs, you committed an error during the training process, such as:

Overestimated the animal’s endurance; when more activities are performed, shorten the time the animal spends in the cage; the dog only becomes excited when he is by himself and you notice him. Return to the exercises for a little while and continue exercising; your four-legged pal is simply exhausted and there is too much to do today. She needs to unwind in between approaches to rest.

Playing with its owner provides the best rest for a pet. Allow your dog to pursue his interests if he doesn’t want to play. You can also give her a massage or crack jokes with her.

Leaving The Dog In A Crate When Leaving Home:

It is worth moving on to the next – final – step when the animal gets the opportunity to sit in a closed cage indoors for half an hour. Now try leaving him alone in the apartment. It is best to monitor the behavior and well-being of the animal through a camera: this way you will see its reaction.

As in the previous stages, you should start with a very short time, that is, lock the dog in a cage, get dressed, literally leave the apartment for a few seconds, and immediately return.

If the animal tolerates your leaving calmly, continue the exercise and next time go out for 3-5 minutes. Then accumulate absence time across waves. For example, you might initially use the following schedule: 5 minutes, 15, 20, 10, 25, 15, 40, 20, 5, 30, 20, 50, 35, 60, 15, etc.

This way you will prepare the dog for a longer absence, for the required time.

Continue To Increase The Amount Of Time Your Dog Stays In A Locked Crate:

If your dog gets up and starts scratching at the door, say “no” and tell him to lie down. If she doesn’t lie down, then stick your hand inside and give her the desired position, then order her to freeze and immediately close the door, and then say “yes” and quickly give her a treat. Say “okay” and open the door so the dog can come out.

Once your dog has learned to lie in the crate for 1-2 hours, give him something to eat or chew to pass the time, such as stuffed animals, bones, chew bones. Skip this step if your dog begins to guard toys, as it is important that you can reach them at any time.

After the dog gets used to being in the crate for a long time, change your position, do not sit directly in front of the crate. Sit further away, stand up, and walk around the room.

Make sure your dog is okay with your movements before attempting to leave the room or house. Some dogs may not sit quietly in a crate when you are doing something they consider fun, such as sweeping the floor, playing with a child, entertaining guests, or training another pet.

If you need to lock your dog up at such times, it is best to move the crate to a more secluded location. Otherwise, the dog will whine and scratch.

Whenever your dog starts to whine, bark, or scratch, first tell him to sit or lie down before unlocking the door. The dog will learn that to go out, it needs to lie down or sit.

The dog mustn’t think that howling, barking, and scratching are necessary to get out. Just try to let your dog out before he starts to behave this way. If your dog constantly wants to go outside, you will have to go back to the beginning stages and train your pet again.

“Understanding the nuances of effective training techniques is essential for any learning process, be it for humans or animals. In the realm of pet care, Dog training particularly vital as it not only shapes obedient behaviour but also fosters a bond between the pet and its owner. Programs like those offered at Brain Training for Dogs provide in-depth insights and practical approaches to dog training. Their methodologies emphasize mental stimulation that goes beyond the basics, ensuring a well-trained and mentally agile pet.”

Benefits of Caging:

Well, we figured out the “cons”. Now let’s look at the benefits of keeping a dog in an apartment crate. What is good about a cage, since recently many owners of four-legged animals have increasingly begun to use this object to keep four-legged animals?

Cage As A Guarantee Of Safety:

You have a puppy in the house. Like all children, he wants to explore the world, and try everything to the teeth.

By leaving your baby at home alone, you give him complete freedom of action. And don’t be surprised if you come home to find damaged cables, eaten shoes, or a gutted sofa.

This is normal if, having tried everything to the teeth, the child does not get hurt, does not eat a foreign object, and does not shock him with an electric shock.

A pet in a cage will not damage shoes or furniture in your absence. When you return home, there is no need to get angry and scold the Joker for his mistake.

A cage is not only a guarantee of the safety of things in the house and a guarantee of peace of mind, both for you and for your four-legged friend. The most important thing is that the crate helps protect the dog and control the animal’s movements around the house.

Cage As Psychological Protection:

Madness in the house, children’s party, guests. Sometimes it’s a little annoying. Every living creature from time to time needs to retire, hide from prying eyes, relax, and be alone. And the cage is a great option for this.

Equip your pet with a cozy “nest” in which he can easily hide from everyone. Place a soft bedding at the bottom of the box. It will be even better if you cover the top of the cage with a thick raincoat.

For unprotected dogs, a crate is also a psychological protection from the outside world, from their fears and phobias. A place where the animal can calm down.

Cage As A Delimitation Of Space:

In everyday life, you often have guests, a courier, or a pizza delivery person. When cleaning, you can put the dog in a crate so that it does not interfere and does not get underfoot (especially for puppies).

But by visiting the exhibition, you can also protect your pet from contact with other animals. So, to save him from unnecessary excitement and protect him from the possibility of infection with some canine virus (for example, kennel cough).

Cage As A Box For Transportation:

If you are traveling with your pet, a crate will help train your four-legged animals to stay in confined spaces. After all, the only means of transportation for dogs in transport are crates. If the dog is already accustomed to the box (crate), it will feel much more comfortable and confident when traveling.

A Crate Is A Way To Train You To Walk On A Schedule:

Typically, tails do not defecate where they sleep. This means that the animal tolerates being driven outside. Of course, this applies to a greater extent to dogs older than 8-10 months, but not to babies. Puppies should be walked every 2-3 hours. Therefore, it is not recommended to lock babies in a cage for a long time.

The Cage Is The Key To Cleanliness:

When used correctly, the lathing will teach cleanliness. For example, during a walk, the dog got very dirty. To prevent your dog from wandering around and spreading dirt around the house, you can lock him in a crate while changing clothes.

It’s Also Discipline:

Over time, after a walk, your dog will independently learn to wait at the door when you call him to bathe.

Undoubtedly, everything described above is only relevant if you choose the right size and format of the cage and correctly teach your pet to find it in it. The crate should not become a punishment for the dog, something like a prison. The animal must love this place and associate it with its home, a kind of den.

Yes, a cage is not a magic tool and not a panacea for the problems and phobias of four-legged animals. But when used correctly, it is one of the most effective methods for correcting or modeling your furry friend’s behavior.

Mistakes To Avoid In Crate Training:

A dog that needs attention and bothers you shouldn’t be kept in a crate. Even if a puppy or young dog may irritate you, putting them in a crate rather than training them is inhumane and unfair. Here are some mistakes that dog owners often make when training their pets to crate:

 The Dog Should Never Be Left In A Crate For A Long Time:

Unless the puppy sleeps in the crate at night, a puppy between the ages of 8 and 16 weeks should not be kept in it for longer than an hour. Never keep a puppy in a crate for longer than two to three hours when it’s between four and six months old.

 An Adult Dog Can Stay In A Cage For 8 Hours:

However, one should not hope that he will behave calmly if he has not previously received appropriate training. An adult dog can be crated for an 8-hour workday only if he is given 30 to 60 minutes of jogging before doing so. If the dog has been sitting in a crate all night before, then it needs to be given 60-90 minutes for a walk before locking it again.

The Cage Cannot Be Used As Punishment:

If the crate is used only for this purpose, the dog will soon hate it. Some dogs will treat the crate as a refuge, hiding in it to avoid further punishment. You can use the cage as a place to rest. The dog should have a large amount of pleasant emotions associated with the crate to counteract any negative emotions associated with it.

 A Dog Who Tends To Guard His Things May Also Guard The Area Around His Crate:

Therefore, always be careful when walking past an open crate or when removing your dog from one. Do not reach the dog with your hands – it is better to lure it out or lift the edge of the cage and “shake” it out of there. Some dogs feel vulnerable and “cornered” in a crate, so they may react aggressively when unfamiliar people or animals approach the crate.


In conclusion, let us remember the important rules for keeping a dog in a crate. For a comfortable stay, provide your pet with toys and treats, and do not forget to leave a bowl of water. Under no circumstances should you put your dog in a crate!

An animal should not be kept locked up for more than 10 hours at a time. When you arrive home, your dog will likely be very happy and excited about your arrival.

Before you take her out of her cage, give her time to calm down: take off her clothes, wash her hands, lay out the food she bought, etc. Only after this “pay attention” to the animal and approach it.

“Understanding the nuances of effective training techniques is essential for any learning process, be it for humans or animals. In the realm of pet care, Dog Training (Course) is particularly vital as it not only shapes obedient behavior but also fosters a bond between the pet and its owner. It offers an extensive course that is cost-effective, with the entire course priced at just the equivalent of what a dog trainer might charge for a single hour ($40 to $120). It covers a wide array of behaviours including Potty Training, Lunging, Jumping, Digging, Whining, Chewing, Excessive Barking, Impulse Control, Hyperactivity, Ignoring Commands, and much more. Plus, they provide a 100% money-back guarantee if you cancel within 60 days, ensuring that your investment is risk-free.”

Aapt Dubey
Aapt Dubey

Aapt Dubey, a devoted canine enthusiast and experienced dog Owner, brings boundless passion to our team. With a heart full of love for our four-legged friends, Aapt is dedicated to sharing insights on dog care, behavior, and training to make every pup's life happier and healthier at ItsAboutDog.com.

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