Before dogs were domesticated, they sought out dens in the wild, which were safe places to sleep, hide from predators, and raise their families. Today, the crate replaces the den for domesticated dogs. Here are some benefits of crate training your dog.



A crate can be a safe place to keep a dog when you are not able to be around to watch what she is doing (or getting into). Dogs are masters at occupying themselves without help from humans! Sometimes what they choose to play with is either dangerous for them or destructive to the house.

The crate is ideal when she is ill or recovering from surgery and needs to be in a safe, confined space where she can rest quietly. (You’d hate to have to take your dog back to the vet for restitch-ing after she raced all over the house during recovery.)

A crate is also great for long naps, and for sleeping at night if the crate is close to your bedside so you can monitor her noises. (She will let you know if she needs to go potty, because dogs do not want to mess their beds.)

Crates are essential when you leave the home. Mind how long you leave your puppy in a crate. She will tolerate a couple of hours alone at few months’ age, and as her capability to wait longer for bathroom trips increases, so can her crate time.

Still, a crate is not a cure-all. These are some thing you should never do:

  • Never use the crate as a punishment for bad behavior.
  • Never leave a puppy for more than 4 hours, as they don’t have enough bladder control yet.
  • Never leave a pet inside a crate for a long period of time without exercise.

Always make the crate a warm inviting place and include their favorite toys and chews.  She will quickly learn that the crate is her “corner” where she must go for time-out when she is bad. If your puppy needs crate time to settle down, lure her into the crate with a treat and reward her with praise and hugs when she obeys. She will recognize the crate is where she wants to be after you show and tell her that it is a safe, comfortable place.


Here are some tips on how to make a crate a safe haven for your dog:


  1. Introduce the Crate

Place the crate in a quiet corner of your home and put a soft blanket or bed and a few toys inside. Give praise if they explore it on their own. Sit near the crate and call to them in a happy tone. Offer treats and praise when they come near the crate.


  1. Stepping Inside

Gradually work up to inviting them to step inside the crate. Eventually beckon them to walk entirely inside, using small treats as rewards.

Add a command, like “Crate” or “Go to bed.” Keep it simple and consistent each time you’re working with the crate.


  1. Closing the Door

Once they are comfortable going in and out of the crate, as them to go in and close the door. Only close it for a few seconds, then open it. Give lots of praise for quiet, good behavior. Slowly work up to having the door closed for a few minutes, up to 30 minutes while you are sitting nearby.


  1. Meals and Naptime

Your dog is now comfortable going inside the crate with the door closed. Begin to feed all of their meals inside the crate with the door closed. This will help make the crate a desirable place. You may notice your puppy retreating to their crate for naps. If they don’t do this on their own, you can put them in their crate when they are sleepy.


  1. Leaving the Room

It is time to advance the training. Ask them to go in the crate and close the door. Leave the room for a few seconds and come back. Act calmly, ignore any excitement and whining. Once they are calm, let them out and praise them for good behavior with praise and treats. Work up to leaving the room for one hour at a time.


  1. Leaving the House

Begin getting ready to leave the house. Calmly, and without any long goodbyes, direct your dog to their crate. Leave the house. The first few times only leave for a few minutes working up to longer absences. When you return, wait for your dog’s excitement to go down. Ignore any whining and let your dog out to greet you once they are clam.

By following these steps with a lot of patience, your dog should now view their crate as a calm, fun safe haven, and they’ll stay safely out of trouble while you are away.