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Can Pups and Crates Work together? The Long Answer


Crates have long been a topic of debate among dog owners and trainers. Some argue that crates are essential for a puppy’s safety and training, while others believe that they restrict a dog’s freedom and can be inhumane. So, can pups and crates work together? In this article, we will explore the benefits of crate training for puppies and address common concerns.

The Benefits of Crate Training

1. Safety and Security: Crates provide a safe and secure space for puppies when unsupervised or during travel. They prevent access to hazardous objects and help avoid accidents or injuries.

2. House Training: Crates can be an effective tool for house training. Dogs naturally avoid soiling their living space, and crates encourage them to hold their bladder and bowels until they are let outside. This can accelerate the house training process.

3. Controlling Destructive Behaviors: Puppies are notorious for chewing on furniture, shoes, and other household items. Crates can prevent destructive behaviors by providing a designated area where puppies can relax and learn to entertain themselves with their toys.

4. Encouraging Independence: Crate training encourages independence by teaching puppies to spend time alone without experiencing separation anxiety. This is particularly important for dogs that will need to be left alone for extended periods in the future.

Choosing the Right Crate

When selecting a crate for your puppy, consider the following factors:

1. Size: The crate should be large enough for the puppy to stand, turn around, and lie down comfortably. However, it shouldn’t be too big, as this might encourage the puppy to use one corner as a bathroom area.

2. Material: Crates are available in various materials, including plastic, wire, and fabric. Each material has its advantages and disadvantages, so choose one that suits your needs and your puppy’s behavior.

3. Accessibility: Look for a crate with a door that is easy to open and secure. This will make it more convenient to enter and exit, especially during house training.

Introducing the Crate to Your Puppy

1. Familiarization: Start by allowing your puppy to explore the crate while the door is open. Make it a positive experience by placing comfortable bedding, toys, and treats inside.

2. Gradual Enclosure: Once your puppy is comfortable entering the crate, gradually close the door for short durations while you are present. Extend the time incrementally and reward your puppy for remaining calm.

3. Alone Time: Once your puppy is acclimated to being enclosed, gradually increase the amount of time they spend alone in the crate. Start with short durations and gradually build up to longer periods. Ensure that the crate is associated with positive experiences.

Common Concerns

1. Cruelty: When used incorrectly or for extended periods, crates can be seen as cruel. However, when implemented properly as a training tool and safe haven, crates promote a sense of security for puppies.

2. Lack of Exercise: Some argue that crating limits a puppy’s physical activity. It’s important to balance crate time with ample opportunities for exercise, play, and socialization outside of the crate.

3. Separation Anxiety: While crate training can help prevent separation anxiety, it is not a cure-all. Puppies with existing anxiety may require additional training, support, and gradual transition to longer periods outside the crate.


In summary, when approached with care and a focus on positive reinforcement, crates can be a valuable tool in puppy training and development. They offer a safe and secure space, aid in house training, prevent destructive behaviors, and encourage independence. However, it’s crucial to remember that crates should never be used as a means of punishment or for excessive periods of time. Always prioritize your puppy’s comfort and well-being throughout the crate training process.


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