The Basics of Crate Training your Dog

What does it mean when you are crate training your dog? Crate training is also known or called as crate and den training. There seems to be some questions with regards to this type of training as some may consider it quite cruel. Is it? And what is its’ exact nature?

What is Crate Training?

Crate training is said to utilize the instinct of dogs to provide for themselves a den, or a safe place which is far from elimination areas and distractions. Crate training is used to train the dog for housekeeping purposes. It involves a degree of isolation but this is only so your dog can be conditioned to gradually treat a particular spot in your house as its safe haven. This is apparently useful especially if your dog tends to get stressed out when you separate, if there are lots of people around or – if your dog is female – it has just given birth to puppies.

This is, in short, a training wherein your dog will be able to establish his or her own territory while inside your house. While it may seem like a type of punishment, dog owners are highly discouraged from converting this training into a punishment.

How do you start with Crate Training?

You will need a crate that is big enough for your dog. It should be big or roomy enough to allow for movement. Instead of forcing your dog into the crate, you can encourage him or her to explore it first. Treats or toys will be of great help to you when you are crate training your dog.

It is important that your dog does not perceive the crate as a source of threat. If it does, you may have an even harder time convincing it to get inside the crate. One suggestion is that if your dog does not really want to get in the crate at all, then you can get in yourself to demonstrate that no harm will come to your dog if it decides to enter or, at least, explore the crate.

The hardest step would be closing your dog in. Some dogs may not take to this very well and may start crying. It is important that you do not let your dog out. You may choose to reassure your dog of your presence but you have to let your dog stay in its’ crate. It is suggested that you can use earplugs during the first few weeks to help muffle your dog’s whining.

What are the Benefits?

Crate training your dog is housebreaking your dog, in a way. Although you should not let your dog out of its crate, you may make an exception if it is whining too much, which could be an indication that its bladder is full or that it needs to defecate. You can leave an old or ragged shirt in the crate for younger dogs and toys for the older dogs. This will help habituate him or her to the crate. As your dog is gradually trained, you may find that your dog takes the initiative to tell you when it has to do its business outside. It may also improve your dog’s moods and security. Your dog’s crate can be converted into a safe haven before long.


Crate training is only difficult as far as the first few weeks are concerned. You must never associate the crate with punishment as your dog may only learn to avoid it. The aim is to help your do treat the crate spot as his or her home within your home.